|original image property of Jocelyn Wardle|
Sometimes the most important first step to selflessness is selfishness.
To be 'selfish' is to be willing to practice those things that are inherently important to us and our individualistic drive. To be 'selfish' is to help ourselves, to cultivate an honest relationship with our own psyche and accept the things we can and cannot do, those we can and cannot help, and so on and so forth.
I don't believe in being selfish all the time, but when it is important. I believe we need to be selfish when it comes to our dreams, and knowing what will make us truly happy.
It's not kind to relinquish something that is important to us for something else (i.e. A dream for a relationship) nor is it healthy. It will only result in the bitter taste of regret, constantly rolling around our mouths, bursting and leaking through all those 'what if..?' scenarios we wake up to at 3am.
The novel 'the Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho is a perfect example of how 'selfishness' and an individualistic drive can be extremely positive & beautiful. While I don't feel entirely comfortable likening real life to a novel, I do think that the Alchemist carries some important weight when it comes to the subject of needing to do something in particular, rather than just anything to pass the time and quench the boredom.
I suppose the trouble is trying to find what that 'something in particular' is. That dream that will end up being the most important thing. The thing that we know we cannot live parallel to the pursuit of, the thing we must always be on the path towards, or risk being forever unhappy - and maybe even harming those around us through our more depressing moments.
That's the 'selfishness' I condone.
Once we leap wholeheartedly into that pursuit, we can be more whole, more accepting people in other areas of our lives, we can open our eyes and look at many more situations with a fresh perspective. When we understand the roots of our own drive, it becomes easier to understand the roots of the drive of others, what it is that urges them to make the particular decisions they must in order to be happy. Perhaps they are trying to better their personality, perhaps they are trying to become nicer, more well-rounded people. Perhaps they are trying to be heard. Perhaps they are trying to gain insight into those around them.
It's worth thinking about, this 'selfishness' thing.