Definition: concern more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own.
I have spent a lot of time in my life thinking about the act of being selfless. I have heard many times that we should always take care of ourselves first and foremost. That we have to be healthy and good and strong within our own being before we can be good to others. And I completely agree that it is important to take care of self and to be healthy and strong mentally and physically. But I disagree that it has to start that way. In fact, I believe the opposite is true.
My life changed and I began to truly find myself the day I found out that I was pregnant with my second daughter. It all became very clear to me that life was about more than me. That it was time to focus on something more than me. In that moment, I started discovering who I truly was. You see, I believe that we find ourselves when we become about more than self. It’s in the giving of one’s self that living truly begins. It’s what I believe the true definition of loving another is: Giving of yourself in an open, honest, and selfless way.
So, what if we all put ourselves aside when someone we love and care about is hurt, upset, angry, frustrated, or simply wants to talk about their day? What if we decided that any negative feelings in those moments were secondary and our selfish thoughts were pushed aside? Would we wish we had been more self absorbed? Would we regret having given of ourselves in a way that was not about us? It will never happen. I can promise you that. I have never wished I had been less kind or less selfless. In fact, I have always felt good about myself. Even when deep down I didn’t feel the person was in the right or that they really deserved my patience. (Even if I really wanted to throw the flaming arrows.) I have always felt good about my times of selflessness.
After years of thought on the idea of being selfless, I have come to this conclusion… It is right and it is good because it is the way of God (or whatever positive energy you believe in). God’s love is not self absorbed. It is kind and patient and about something more. It’s the definition of selflessness and I have come to realize that is the reason we find our way and who we are by stepping outside of ourselves… Because if we can’t find ourselves in the light of God, where can we?