On my way home from the gym, I learned that I was hardwired to hate.
I don't feel like hate is an emotion that comes up often for me, but I understand what Sally Kohn, the author of The Opposite of Hate means by being hardwired for it.
I really appreciated the discussion on 1A about this new book and Sally Kohn's explanation of not only why we tend to hate, but also how to change our discourse. And I highly recommend this podcast to anyone who is interested in changing the way you communicate with people who have different opinions than your own. You can find the podcast here. Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about her book, click here. The full title is The Opposite of Hate: A Field Manual For Repairing Our Humanity. I am looking forward to reading it myself.
But the subject of this post is not about her book or the advice she's sharing, it's about selfishness.
The host stated at one point that he sees selfishness and greed everywhere, and that's part of the problem as he sees it. I understood his point and agree to a large degree, but I think that we sometimes assign positive and negative meanings to words which can become problematic.
Selfishness, defined by Dictionary.com means:
- devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one;s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
- characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.
(The only words I could find quickly relating to taking care of oneself are; self-care and self-sufficient, both are good, but still do not address being intentionally aware the way I define it selfishness in the video below.)
And if we accept this definition as truth, then yes, it can be a negative description. However, though it is defined as such, is it possible to expand our perspective on this adjective? And if we did, why would we want to?
I have found that myself and the community I serve are profoundly un-selfish, or at least strive to be. Rather it is the desire to be accepted, to be worthy, and self-sacrificing that are common traits. And often these very traits, though taught and rewarded, have a negative effect when not coupled with being intentionally selfish.
And as a result, we can become unintentionally selfish due to feeling resentful. As our time become more dedicated to others and their priorities, and as we become more rundown and how health degrades, we become resentful. And that resentment leads to feeling anger toward ourselves and wondering why we can't be nicer, be more loving.
So, I propose a shift. What do I mean by that? Take minute to watch the video below to discover a possible new perspective on being selfish.
Being selfish can mean being more mindful about what you want and need, intentionally. And when you learn how to incorporate this perspective of selfishness in your life, your health can improve and the more joy you will experience.
If you feel like you could use more selfishness, with intention, in your life, but don't know where to start you can always contact me for a FREE Exploratory Consult. Just click on this link, tell me a bit about your situation and schedule a time that fits your schedule.
Your partner in health,
P.S. What are your thoughts? Share your comments and insight below and lets expand the conversation.
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