What is selfishness?
What does selfishness look like?
Selfishness is essentially destructive and / or harmful.
It can look like laziness or excessive activity. Selfishness lacks balance. It is totally centered around the experience of the individual without consideration for the welfare of others, and really it even lacks considering the welfare of the individual. Even though selfishness is centered around the individual, it does not actually look out for the welfare of the individual. Rather, selfishness harms everyone and everything in the long-run. It doesn’t even benefit the perpetrator! So it is really a lose/lose. In the short-term, a selfish act like stealing can look like a win/lose, but when seen from a higher perspective, considering the long-term, we all know that stealing doesn’t even serve the one who supposedly gained from the theft. Even the thief is a loser! So selfishness is like that.
To go beyond selfishness – consider winning in the long-term. Short-term wins can look like sleeping an extra few minutes, eating three more slices of pizza, cheating on a test, stealing a candy bar, condemning homeless people, etc. but when any of the aforementioned actions are looked at from the long-term perspective, we see that they really don’t serve anyone. They don’t serve the evolution and liberation of the soul, which is what we are primarily concerned about. The earth is a school for learning, and when we act in ignorance, we don’t learn much. We might learn a little, but the learning from such actions would only be from finally admitting how they are truly painful, and that they don’t even serve us in the short-run. The minute we steal something, part of us feels bad. The minute we go past our limit and overdo, we know it, and some part of us regrets it.
Transcending selfishness requires sincerity and awareness. In Reality, the truly selfish thing to do is to prioritize your own peace and happiness above all else – because that is what we all actually want. So by all means, be selfish for that! The best part about this kind of enlightened self-interest is that it also benefits others. Because it benefits both ourselves and others, it can hardly be said to be selfish at all, or at least it is equally selfless. When you’re engaged in actions and a way of being that seems totally selfish nd also totally selfless and serviceful, that’s how you know you probably struck gold and are aligned with Truth.
Service-orientiation is the great liberating perspective to free us from selfishness. It can even be a simple focus on serving ourselves, but not just with sensory pleasures and short-term satisfactions – rather though serving ourselves with long-term fulfillment and peace. That kind of service to self serves all. Or, just forget the small self and focus on serving others – that will equally serve yourself because you’ll experience the joy of giving and transcend the illusion of separateness. When we live to serve, we realize higher consciousness and awareness that liberates us from so much darkness, ignorance, and illusion. It is only the ego that dreads service; the Highest part of all of us knows how enjoyable and pure and wonderful service is.
By all means, serve! Serve yourself by prioritizing your own peace and joy and happiness and all else, and serve others by doing the same 🙂 Or, forget yourself and just serve others however seems most natural in the present moment. Giving brings harmony. Love and give. Live only to serve! It liberates every time. Even in a moment, even if you find yourself engaged in an entirely selfish act – just stop – dedicate it to the benefit of humanity – and continue. Notice the energy shift. Notice the freedom. It is all within.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!