I would like to switch the meanings of these two words. (Who would I speak to in order to have that changed? LOL)
We think of someone who is selfless as someone who truly cares about and gives to others without thinking of themselves. They are praised and esteemed. This has been deemed a positive attribute; a positive word.
We think of someone who is self-centered as someone who is selfish, cares only of themselves without thinking of others. They are condemned. This is a negative attribute, a negative word.
But, let’s break these words down.
Selfless – Less of self
Self-centered – Centered self
I don’t believe we can truly give to others if we are empty or looking to fill a void. If we ignore our values and beliefs, if we give without boundaries, wouldn’t this seem like self-less giving?
Giving from a place of being “less of self” can often be pleasing or co-dependent. It is unhealthy. If I am already at a deficit and unsure of what I have to give…what is it I am actually giving? It is pure? Is it honest? Is it really beneficial to someone else?
If I am centered in self – I have a good understanding of who I am. I care about myself, fill myself up, and know my heart and motivation. When I am full of self and am centered in myself I have more than enough give and it is pure. Wouldn’t you rather receive from someone who is giving from their centered self?
When I give from a selfless place I am giving less. When I give from a self-centered place, I am giving more.
Word play is fun for me, but this deeper meaning is what matters. I question: What is my desire to give rooted in? How well do I understand myself and center myself before giving from a place of pure love? What kind of giving feels good to give and also to receive?
This is what I ponder over coffee in my cozy chair. Sharing my thoughts as I go, hoping you find some value or something to ponder too.
*Note: This post is a follow up from yesterday about being co-dependent and people pleasing, so read Giving if you need more context for this post.