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All for selfishness




Ever feel like you're in a hostage situation, facing a long list of demands? The kids, the spouse, the boss, the parent, the sister... everyone and everything wants something...something that requires your attention. You give what you can. Then you give some more. After all, what's really negotiable? Work projects need to be turned in, dinner needs to be cooked, homework needs to be checked, carpools need to be driven, dry cleaning needs to be picked up, dogs need a walk, friends need talk therapy. You are truly grateful for your full life...and you're exhausted. When you finally settle down at 9:30 pm to do something for yourself, you're on E.


How can you bring your best self to your personal passions when you're always running on fumes? The angel on your shoulder says, "This isn't forever. Kids grow up. Pets die. Parents get sick. Stop taking it for granted." The devil on your shoulder says, "You're not a superhero and you're getting any younger. When? When will you get to it?" 


I'm developing an appreciation for selfishness. The word carries a negative connotation, but there isn't another I know of that isn't just as negative: egotistical? narcissistic? self-centered? I mean, what can you say about protecting time for your own interests that doesn't make you into a hedonistic monster?


I think this is a shortfall of the English language and probably a throwback to our puritanical culture. Selfless=good. Selfish=bad. It's perfectly fine to sacrifice the one for the many, even if it results in choked down misery and resentfulness. (Ok, I added that last part myself.)


I'm in favor of a mindset revision. Rather than feeling as if the time you require to tap into your inspiration as "me time" or "selfish," think of it as a Creative Capital investment. You're INVESTING in your dream, your mental health, your spiritual satisfaction. When you put in Creative Capital, it can yield results--results in the form of dollars if you sell stuff, for sure, but also results in the form of personal development and physiological wellness. Spending an hour a day expressing yourself creatively is a lot cheaper than therapy, and may have similar effects (based on my own experience). You'll feel calmer and more centered. It can help you feel more happy, more "you" and possibly more patient with the other aspects of your life.

If this is called selfishness, then I guess I'm all for selfishness.

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