Last night I was interviewed by Ana Isabel of My Spirit Radio in the UK on her show ‘Mind Matters’.
In talking about Polishing the Diamond, Ana asked how to deal with the dilemma of putting our self first when we hold the belief that we must not be selfish, we must be kind and considerate to others.
In going on the journey of ‘getting to know you’ – seeing our self more clearly, more fully – one of the areas we explore is our conditioning and our beliefs because often our behaviour is motivated by our upbringing. The idea is to examine how our beliefs support us and in what ways they limit us. Then, of course, we can decide whether we want to keep them – or throw them in the bin!
‘Don’t be selfish’ can have us coming from a place of people-pleasing or looking to make others happy. The benefit can be that we feel needed, we receive appreciation and that gives us a sense of value or self worth. However, when we look to meet our needs outside our self, what can happen is that we get disappointed when others don’t give us the appreciation we want, when we want, in the form we want. The result can be that we feel resentful, we try even harder to make others happy, and become exhausted in the process. If we take it too far, we can end up sacrificing and in fact harm our self.
In looking at our beliefs, the idea is not to blame our upbringing for our behaviours. I like to think that we are here to learn and grow. So, we can say I was given this belief, the gift was…. and now I’d like to raise it to another level. When we change our consciousness, we raise our vibration.
In order to take care of others we need to take care of our self first – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually –and that includes taking care of our needs. To feel a sense of value, we do that by appreciating, celebrating our uniqueness, all the facets of who we are.
Being kind for me is an admirable quality. I think the world would be a better place if there was more kindness. And, kindness begins with being kind to self, loving our self. How kind are you towards others – say on a scale of 1 to 10; how kind are you towards yourself on a scale of 1:10? How often do you criticise or judge yourself, tell yourself you could have done better?
We are not kind towards our self or others when we run around taking care of others, exhausting our self, and depriving others of the opportunity to be responsible for creating the life they want. And, if we give, give, give, and don’t know how to receive, we are out of balance.
For the caretakers of the world, we need to get clear about what is my responsibility and what is the other’s responsibility. When we step in to take care of another, we can in fact be harmful if we deprive them of the opportunity to learn their own lessons.
Sacrificing was perhaps the old way. When we sacrifice our self we give away our power, and we cannot be the beautiful, bright, shining diamond that we are. I know how that feels. I was the people-pleaser in my marriage, I lost my sense of self, and it brought me to my knees. I did pick myself up, and learned what I needed to move forwards in life.
Being of service by sharing who we are is for me the way I now choose to live.