Loving yourself requires some beliefs and behaviors that some others will criticize. Yes, they will tell you to take better care of yourself and then criticize you when you do the things you need to do, to do so, such as pursue a career because you love it and you are good at it instead of taking the practical job you aren't into, to make more money. They may even tell you: we worry about you and just want you to be secure. They throw out the other part: your happiness.
Because those who pursue their own happiness or assert one's needs are selfish.
Such is the low bar/basic stage of evolution most of society finds itself in.
Where did the term selfish come from?
I did some quick (maybe too quick since, after all I'm one of the selfish ones LOL) research and it appears the term 'selfish' originated in the 1600's by the Presbyterians. Of course, one of those protestant faiths where so called 'cleanliness is next to godliness' and other interesting dictums.
When you decide to do what others disapprove of, right away you are 'selfish' or 'self absorbed'. Did you ever notice it's usually others making that assessment of you or someone? Do they ever use that word to describe themselves? Probably not.
NEWS FLASH: All of us are selfish. Yes! How do I know that? Because we must be focused on ourselves to survive, at a minimum. Yes, there are a rare few who you could argue are 'so truly selfish' that they kill others due to their lack of care about anyone but themselves. But is that selfishness or something else? I'm not sure.
What is emerging in today's world to help banish the term selfish? Ethics. Yes, that's right ethics.
I am taking an ethics refresher right now for continuing education and license renewal. In fact as a licensed professional, I am legally required to take ethics course work for every two year renewal. So I am constantly 'sharpening that saw'. And I am still far from perfect.
But what about most of us, who don't regularly read ethics materials? We have a culture where too many throw this insidious word around, not realizing the damage it can do to intimacy and more.
Perhaps learning more about ethics should be required learning for all children and adults. Why? Because ethics would teach all of us much, much more about self respect and respect for others. Those are the two issues that most matter. Not whether a person is self-less enough or not, which is not the true test of character. In fact, the truly self-less person is someone who is giving responsibility for their life away. Study those who are most self-less. They tend to be burdened by low self esteem and self hate even. Why? Perhaps due to internalized resentment at NOT living their truth. I'm just sayin'...
Can you blame them? If their experience has been a lack of support for being who they truly feel themselves to be in the world, that gets mighty frustrating.
ANOTHER NEWSFLASH: Ethics and religion are NOT the same thing. There may be some cross over at some points, but you don't need religion to be ethical, indeed sometimes religion f's (yes I said it) with your ethical development, as in: screws you up!
The other side of the ethics coin is love. Unlike some of the hateful rhetoric in our country today that IS truly selfish such as: I don't care what you think, I'm entitled to as many types and numbers of guns as I want because of an amendment. I am so fearful you will 'take my guns away' I don't support ANY law that tries to make gun ownership and our society and schools safer.
That is the pure irony of what I am referring to here. I don't see anyone with that belief questioning their 'selfishness' .
Much more on this juicy topic to come, I'm sure.
Please share your thoughts below.