It’s All About Me
Though of course none of us can clearly remember our infancy, there was a period of innocent selfishness in each of our lives when the world was indeed all about me. I’m hungry, tired, afraid, this rash is annoying, something hurts, I need to be changed, etc. I need was the only reality, and one of those gigantic, fuzzy, out of focus “comforters” had better come over quickly or they’re going to receive a serious dose of displeased lung action. Inevitably they came and fixed whatever was wrong. Life was indeed good, selfish and clueless, yet good nevertheless. However, as we grew a little older we became aware of the concept of us and them. Buddhists often refer to this as discursive mind, a sword which slices reality into separate pieces to accommodate the intellect. It also became painfully obvious that this heretofore idyllic adventure was no longer going to be all about us. While again I posses no vivid recollection of the time, one can only imagine what a joy kill that must have been. We would actually have to share with siblings, classmates, even our parents, and we quickly learned that perhaps ultimate horror of horrors, that sometimes at least we would even lose. Wow, life sure got hard in a hurry. Our lives were totally dominated by those oversized creatures known as adults, and part of their job it seemed was to teach us not to be selfish. I can’t say for sure, but usually being less than perfect themselves their teaching methods may have been possibly imperfect as well. It may also have been how we interpreted their messages, yet whatever the reason I fear that far too many may have learned these lessons too well or taken them too literally, and regrettably in some cases at least, we went past it’s not all about me, and straight into it’s not about me at all. Even our western religions though probably with the finest of intentions perpetuated this potentially unhealthy view of the world and self. We were always taught to put others needs ahead of our own, and as a christian our teacher/role model certainly exemplified such virtuous behavior. While this concept is undoubtedly noble and sage advice for anyone who happens to be at least reasonably spiritually and emotionally healthy, it no doubt must seem sheer madness to a typically selfish and needful 5 year old. Though I can’t explain or even claim to understand the whys, far too many of us seem to see ourselves as somehow less than or less important than others. Those of us who live within this false reality tend to suffer greatly and often hurt others as a consequence of perhaps life’s greatest irony, when we fail to love ourselves life does indeed become all about us, not necessarily because we wish it to be, but rather because it has to be. Lack of self love is certainly a sorrowful way to live and may be the great pandemic of our age, but perhaps the greater tragedy of not loving one’s self is that each time the entire world has once again been cheated out of knowing the perfection and beauty that is uniquely us. Please love yourself. You deserve it and the world will indeed be a better place for it.