Note: This week’s topic is so important that I have written an article and recorded a podcast. The article shares the same ideas, but is not a transcript of the podcast. This way you can choose the form that works best for you. The tapping script is identical in both the article and podcast.
I think that being selfish gets a really bad rap. Most people think that being selfish is bad and we are taught from a young age to be giving and not selfish.
Personally I don’t believe that being selfish and being giving are opposites.
Instead, I believe that every action I take is a selfish one because it is a self-defining act. Let me give you a few ridiculous examples to help prove my point.
Right now as I type this article I am taking a deep breath in, which means I am being selfish. There is no other reason to breathe than to stay alive. That is very selfish.
When I choose to love my family I am being selfish because I want to be a loving person. When I choose to love someone (and it is a choice), I am defining myself as a loving person.
When I choose to run my practice and help other people, I am being selfish because I am choosing how I use my time. Yes, I am helping people, and that is a great thing, but I am not healing them. That is their choice. I am just a guide in the process. They are being selfish when they choose to heal. I am being selfish when I choose to articulate who I am as a person who guides others on this path.
I know these examples are extremes, but I think they bring out the point because we tend to think of being selfish in such extreme terms.
Not only is it OK to be selfish, it is impossible not to be selfish because every action we make with our conscious choice is a self-defining act.
When I work out to get healthier, I am being selfish because I could be doing other things with my time. When I study a new skill, I am being selfish in order to make myself a different type of person. I am being selfish when I take a nap so I can be more present to my clients later in the afternoon.
It is OK to be selfish.
The reason you are still feeling uncomfortable every time you read that is because it is easy to believe that selfish equals greedy, mean, heartless, and willing to hurt others. We need to be selfish. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we will never be able to take care of others.
We need to be selfish. If we don’t take care of ourselves then we aren’t taking care of ourselves.
We need to be selfish. If we don’t take care of ourselves we are never going to grow and heal in to who we truly are.
Yes, I know you are still resisting this, despite my repetition. That is OK. Tapping for this might sound like:
I don’t want to be selfish…Because I need to care for other people…There are people who have it so much worse than I do…That I can’t ask for anything more or better…And the things I have…I have squandered…It would be really selfish to ask for more…But I choose to know that selfish means I am making self-defining act…Every choice I make is a selfish act…I can love someone else and be selfish…Because I want to be love…I can care for someone else because they are in need and be selfish…Because I want to be giving…This doesn’t take anything away from those loving acts…This doesn’t mean they are less valuable…It just means that when I am sharing…I am also defining myself…It is OK to want better for myself…Because I can then share with others…It is OK to want more for myself because then I can share more of myself with others…I am worthy of taking care of myself…That is not greedy…That is being healthy….I need to be healthy…I must be healthy…It is OK that I don’t think being selfish is a bad thing…I don’t want to be mean…I don’t want to be greedy…But those are not the same as being selfish…To be selfish is to choose the type of self I want to be.