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Is there a Difference Between Selfish and Selfcare?


"You are selfish!"

Words no one likes to hear from another. It is a challenging topic for we (usually) do not want to be selfish. I apologise in advance for raising it as there is a chance you won't like what we have to discuss about the topic. Often feel it would be easier to move on with our lives without raising the discussion. No one feels good at the end.

So why have I raised it I hear you ask? Sometimes it is important to dig a little deeper. To enter discomfort from time to time...That and also because it is one of the most raised topics by clients in sessions.

"Do you think this is selfish?" they say, before recounting a story about something that happened the other day. By the end of the chat I'm clearer of only one thing. Someone thinks what they did was selfish.

I could of course impart what I think, they have asked, but I am not sure it gets them anywhere. So I don't. Instead I feel it important to know what the client thinks.

"Do you think it was selfish?"

As you can imagine my question opens a can of worms. But it is important to know... What do they think. That is the thing about selfishness. To determine one's level of selfishness requires judgement, expectation or opinion. And perhaps more important than that, a standpoint. A place from which to What one persons considers selfish another considers great

is say before But what if we didn't. WhatBut... No matter who you are, I promise it will be possible to find some selfishness. Even if you have committed a life to serving others. I am certain this might sounds strange so let me explain.

What is selfishness? where does one draw the line? know we don't want t.. looking to explore the difference between selfish and selfcare. It is a topic that does not have an easy answer. It is something I find needs to be experienced rather than debated. There are only so many discussions that can be had. Before long, we find ourselves feeling clearer and yet without any action. Perhaps no further than we were. Trapped still without any clearer ideas.

A Matter of Choice?

It is one of the most demanded areas to be explored within client therapy and once opened, difficult to close for it feels so different. Both right and wrong.

Our essence is called to shine.

Self care and selfishness involve a series of decisions. The difference, I believe, lies in the reasoning from which they are made. The same decision can be, perhaps on different occasions and yet have two very different experiential outcomes. One is made in spite of others, the other for love of self.

It is through the process of loving oneself we are able to comprehend the difference between selfcare and selfish.

“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.”

If looking after yourself is new or un-practiced the opportunity is just to practice and this means 'getting it wrong' from time to time.

It is a process I still go through now. I remember the first time I understood the importance of self care. I spent a whole year doing things I thought were me looking after me. Friends and family noticed and in time started questioning whether what I was doing was good for me (and for them?!) Being questioned raised anxiety for me as old feelings of wishing to please others came through. There was no turning back - there would be pain, confusion (and excitement).

"You seem to do only what you want to do... it is quite selfish". Painful words to hear but part of the baptism of fire. I needed to experience all parts of my choices and actions.

Part of the problem for us is there are not many role models of self care out there.

I have a language I use now which seems to help the other person (but mostly me!). It centres around enquiring how my 'selfish' actions effect the person observing my 'selfishness'.

Interestingly 9 times out of 10 people usually say it looks fun and they wished they could just "ignore everyone else and do what they wanted to do". (Note the little dig in that response as well! Again I will enquire how my actions ignore everyone else. Observers will often not know what they mean by that and comment and again twist the statement again to something like "well... I have responsibilities Anyway... it is a beginning.

As we become clearer between the distinction. they take shape yet further layers form and pathways to hidden doors open.