Take On the Light Side

“A lot of conflict you have in your life is simply because you are not living in alignment; you are not being true to yourself.” ~ Steve Maraboli

Take on the Light Side of Selfish

Are you trained to not be selfish? Do you experience pangs of guilt when you need to say “no” to your partner or friend, and “yes” to your personal needs? Have you ever abandoned your own needs in order to not be selfish and ended up feeling you went against yourself?

(This is the conversation that showed up in all 4 of our Dream Pods last week. So this one is for you girls!)

When you constantly put other people’s well-being and desires ahead of your own, this sets up an internal cascade of negative feelings. Instead of feeling generous with others, you start feeling worn down and taken for granted.

I’ve cooked dinner every night for the whole month. When is it his turn?

I’m tired of handling everything at work. Why can’t  someone else step up to the plate?

Her drama always takes the stage and there is no space or time for us to play or enjoy relaxing together!

Do you know about resentful feelings building inside of you? If this is your thing, read on…

It’s not uncommon for us to judge our feelings as wrong when resentment tugs at us. And if we do, we often override or repress them.

The challenge with this is that withheld feelings will ultimately express somewhere ~ chronic pain, fatigue, irritability, subtle passive aggressive behavior or down right rage.

What I notice is that if I don’t take care of me, I can easily end up feeling resentful and my martyr will raise hell inside of me and holy hell outside. And, I end up hurting the people around me. Bad news!

Who wants to live with the irritability and pain that comes from our inability to take care of ourselves?

“Selfish” has a bad reputation. We’re told too much self-interest is isolating, cold and uncaring, and it can be.  But that isn’t the whole picture. There is a light side to “selfish” too ~ self-loyalty.

Self-loyalty is a healthy stance. You attend to your greater Self. This is not the little self, always filled with “me, me, me”  desires, but the greater Self—the sacred Self whose purpose here is to grow and contribute our light to the world. This Self is the light of who we are, the highest focus we can be loyal to.

If you’ve learned to be super-responsible, a caregiver, a people-pleaser, loyal to a fault, or have co-dependent tendencies, “taking care of Self” is often a stretch. And, what you will learn is that if you stop playing these roles and start:

  • Speaking up for what you need.
  • Asking for what you want.
  • Exercising your yes’s and your no’s. AND
  • Take a stand for your priorities…

You are changing the system!

You may have to deal with other peoples reactions and disappointments. You won’t be able to control their reactions for you to feel safe or comfortable. But…the good news is that you will have YOU!

Don’t Forget Yourself!

Self-loyalty redirects your outer focus and points you inside to listen to your needs. Embracing the light side of “selfish” is  Valuing You!  You become comfortable saying Yes to you and No to going against yourself.

Remember, your life force is your most precious commodity. If you don’t take care of you, no one will. Self-loyalty guides you to keep your eye on the priorities that nourish you and keep your life force burning brightly.

If this is a pattern for you, consider:

  • Making a list of all the things you would be doing if you didn’t label them ‘selfish’. Turn each one around and ask yourself: “Is this action that I’ve labeled “selfish” – truly selfish? Is it loving, is it kind, is it necessary for me to honor me?”
  • Endeavoring to take on one new action that you have considered to be selfish. Work with the guilty nudges that arise as you break this pattern. Be willing to face the reactions and disappointments that others may have when you take care of you.
Breaking any long held pattern feels awkward, uncomfortable and can be anxiety provoking. This is how it feels when we step out of the old groove into unknown territory. The old program will attempt to reassert itself over and over again until we gain momentum in the new pattern.

I encourage you to Dream with the Dreamers this week ~ If you haven’t already…Why not take on the light side of Selfish?



  1. John

    This essay is expresses *exactly* what we talked about in our most recent Al-Anon meeting. In Al-Anon we are taught to take care of ourselves, yet many of us hesitate to do so out of fear of being selfish. Our confusion can be exacerbated by certain Al-Anon readings that caution us against selfishness. We definitely need a good word for appropriate consideration of ourselves, and “self-loyalty” sounds like an excellent choice. And pointing out that the self in self-loyalty is our “greater Self” or “sacred Self” makes it clear why self-loyalty is a healthy attitude about life. That you so much for your wise words.

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