I have some news for you: if you continue to view 'putting the self 1st' as 'selfish' and you continue to view 'selfish' as a 'self-absorbed sin' then you will never step into the potential of what you are here to do.
Bold statement; i know and I believe this with every fibre of my being.
As a whole, I believe, we have demonized what selfishness truly is; yes, I agree that with all things in life there are two sides -- one of them being the shadow-side and the shadow side of selfishness is no doubt why we run away from this heavy and loaded word. The shadow of selfish is: ego and at the core it means 'selfish AT THE EXPENSE of others'. It means that we act with total disregard for how others will feel; it means that we step over people to get to where we want to be. It means that we have complete disregard for the cosmic whole and solely care about the self and only the self.
So if all things are dualistic in nature and all things have two sides, what then is the other side of selfish? Is there a healthy version of selfish; a healthy dose?
While many may not agree, my philosophy in life remains the same:
"selfishness is the fist step to self love".
I whole-heartedly believe that there is in fact a healthy dose of 'selfish' and I will be bold enough to take another step forward by saying that I also do not see that being self-centred is a problem (when in balance, like all things in life). In order to show up for the world in our full capacity with our full strength, stamina and brilliant light we simply must care for the self first and foremost. This means that we must make sure our foundation is in check before we can care for the worlds foundation.
My therapist always reminds me that "you must learn to mother the self before you can mother the world"; every ounce of my soul agrees with this. Although, it wasn't always so.
I believed for many moons that selfless was the "right way", that is until I became so utterly burnt out from a sheer lack of selfish-self-care that I simply had nothing left to give to the world and selflessness ceased to be an option. I needed selfish as my fuel for selflessness.
My job on this planet is holding space for humans to be human, I have made a full time gig out coaching people and empowering humans to grow, evolve and shed layers than no longer serve. I care about the planet as much as I care about my puppies and my tribe is as important to me as the air I breathe. BUT -- if I do not selfishly engage in my own well being first and foremost I can not hold the space for others to grow to show up and to evolve. I can not handle my tribe, my puppies, my purpose, my relationships if I do not put self as a priority -- I simply burn out and have nothing left to give.
You see, selfishness allows my selflessness, it keeps my tank full. I (like a car) can not operate on empty tank: self-self-care is my fuel.
I see humans run away from selfish-self-care left right and centre with a martyr attitude of "everyone else comes first" and inevitably this leads to burn out, depression, adrenal and thyroid problems, weight gain and a general dis-ease in life. How though can we put self-first in a world that shames putting the self-first? How are we supposed to care for self fist and fill our own well in the name of spreading love and nurturing the world when we are told that "selfish" is bad.
If you truly want to care for our world, our earth and the humans on this planet there is one step that simply must come first; this is the step that cultivates divine selfishness. I am not talking about the shadow of 'selfish' that says "fuck the world I will do what I please at the expense of Mother earth and my tribe". Hell No, I am taking about getting selfish in your own self-care. This means putting YOU first and foremost in order to fill your well and keep yourself afloat.
The divinely selfish are the ones who have boundaries and know how to say NO. They take the time each day to engage in selfish ritual of: meditation, journaling, exercise, orgasm, nourishing food, breathing, gratitude, self-connection etc. They know the value of placing self as a priority for they know that when they do not they become imbalanced, stressed and burnt out and have nothing left to give.
To save the world, the divinely selfish know that we must save ourselves.
The divinely selfish are keenly aware of the humans in their lives, the earth their feet walk on and the problems that plague us. And they know that if they are to make an impact their own hearts must be well nourished, balanced and full for empty and neglected hearts can not do for the world they are here to do: saving the planet.
Call it what you want: selfish, self'ing, self-love, self .... for at the end of the day the word maters not; what matters is that we care for self (first) and for for the world -- neither gets neglected.
Give yourself some permission to take some selfish time to care for your own wellbeing, you will do your jobs better: you will mother better, teach better, lead better, nurture better.... you will just be better off for it.