By: Beth Kirlin, Guest Blogger
Throughout life most of us are taught to not be selfish. Being so would mean that we are acting without regard for others. Unfortunately, sometimes in our attempts to not be selfish, we actually become self-ish: a slightly altered version of our truest self based upon the needs, wants, and desires of others.
From the moment of our birth as we are pushed into this big world, we do what comes naturally and let out a big ol’ cry. Almost immediately someone responds, “Oh, shush, don’t cry, it’s ok,” and then they do everything in their power to get us to stop crying. Maybe in that moment, what our Self really needs is to cry; maybe we are scared, nervous or frightened. But we get distracted to feel otherwise. How often in life are we encouraged to feel something other then what we truly feel?
As we begin to grow, we learn to roll over, sit up, and crawl. Our tiny little fingers white knuckle it around larger fingers as we pull ourselves to stand. The baby-babble of words immediately flows out in celebratory song, “Sooooo Big!” When we actually do get big enough to walk and start moving frantically about, we are quickly redirected into spaces that are convenient and safe in the eyes of adults. How often do we know where we want to go only to be convinced that it’s not a good idea?
Kindergarten may have been our best shot at truly living our best self. With all the booger-picking, finger-painting, and bed-wetting, there was no limit to our potential for greatness. We proudly chose to wear capes and tiaras to the grocery store. We mismatched our socks, spun in circles, and played in dirt. We were the center of the entire world and everything else betta-get-out-the way or tantrums ensued. We were forgiven for accidents, applauded for creativity and encouraged for odd-expressions. How often do we fail to truly express ourselves?
Next we enter grade school. Here we are graded on one aspect of ourselves: intellect. We might join sports where we are judged to be either a winner or a loser based on one aspect: physical ability. And finally when we hit puberty, hormones start flying off the charts, and we begin to do the judging based on personality or looks. Life is no longer about expressing and celebrating our uniqueness; it’s about fitting in and trying our best to be like everyone else. How often do we put aside our own wants, needs and desires to fit in?
In life, there will always be rules, structures, and systems. And there will always be a chance we will be judged, outcast, or ridiculed for our behaviors. However, basing our lives on the needs of others limits our true potential, not only for us but also for our planet. You were born to be your most unique Self. If you are living a self-ish life, the world is only benefitting from some of your gifts, the rest are hidden, inaccessible. Find those moments, no matter how big or small to cease the opportunity to truly be your greatest Self. Follow your path. Walk the road less traveled. Speak up. Express your Self. Embrace your needs. Show your Self.
Live your life Self-full, rather then Self-ish.
Beth is a traveler, writer and expressive artist (who loves to make a mess!) She is the owner/designer of PrincessJedi.com, headpieces for your uniquely beautiful expression. Beth is also a former counselor, consultant, and life coach.
Featured image via cailenascher.blogspot.com