For Happiness, Give Up the Selfishness

Hallelujah ūüôā

 

Joy in life comes from living for the welfare of all.” – Gandhi

How does selfish spoil your happiness?

Isn’t focusing on getting and gaining and experiencing things just for ourselves exhausting?

A neat trick for increased energy, perhaps unlimited, is to let go of all selfish concern and align totally with serving and giving.  In a pure, dedicated, devotional spirit of serving and giving, the human vessel becomes like the Energizer Bunny.  It can keep going on and on and on!  Selfless service, giving, and generosity are incredibly energizing.  Connected with a pure intention, we hardly ever need to sleep.  And, when we do sleep, even that sleep is aligned with the pure intention, and we honor that by sleeping we are serving.  Every moment is an opportunity to align with the pure spirit of serving and giving.

Even eating can be performed in a spirit of service. Enjoying the food and being in a relaxed state of peace while eating is a service itself, and the eating can also be understood to nourish the body so that it can continue to serve, physically and mentally.  The spiritual service is every moment, internally a matter of attitude and awareness, and then whatever acts happen externally on the physical plane of the world are just a way that pure internal intention manifests.  Ultimately, the service is in being joyful and peaceful itself, and only goodness can flow from that internal awareness.

Sometimes, in the moment, we might pose the question, “How can I serve?” and we might find it seems like there is nothing externally to be done. ¬†In moments like those, we can simply direct the awareness within, do our best to abide in a peaceful and loving energy field, and perhaps – if you feel so inclined – send out silent blessings to everyone and everything around us. ¬†Silently blessing is a service opportunity available to us every moment. ¬†And when we bless something, it doesn’t even have to be an animate object, much less a human. ¬†We can always bless inanimate objects like computers, mugs, cell phones, sidewalks, etc. ¬†So, as you can see, the opportunities to bless are limitless! ¬†As are the opportunities to serve and give ūüôā

When we align with the spirit of service and giving, we free ourselves from the limited confines of the small human identity.  We realize we are here not just for our small selves, but we are here for the whole.  What good are we if we are not of service to the whole?  If we are only focused on gaining for ourselves and experiencing pleasure for ourselves, who really cares if we are around, anyway?  It is a joy to be a service, and truly the gift is in giving itself.  The giver of a gift is actually the one who receives, because every time we give is an opportunity for us to get outside of our ego and our selfishness and expand our identity to that of a servant of humanity, a spark of the Divine.

Selfish thoughts and acts are painful. ¬†Selfless thoughts are painless. ¬†The Supreme Truth lies beyond both. ¬†“Unselfishness is God,” says Swami Vivekananda. ¬†If God isn’t Supreme Happiness, what possibly could be?

So forget about being happy – in many ways that is a selfish concern. ¬†Rather, just focus on serving and giving and loving, regardless of whatever brings you – just focus on being a servant of all humanity and loving all of life – and all the happiness will follow. ¬†So yes, you might say you are serving to be happy – and really that’s all fine because it all leads us to the same Supreme Truth, and that pure loving energy that is beyond all thoughts and beyond all selfishness.

“The Dedicated ever enjoy Supreme Peace;¬†therefore, live only to serve.”

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

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How to Transcend Selfishness

Hallelujah ūüôā

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 ūüôā ¬†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!