Around the Âmé team’s round table, we debated the ideas of selfishness and self-love. Are they the same? Or do they hold completely different mindful energies? When it comes down to the highest determining factor in breaking this debate, we concluded that it’s about how it plays into relationships on a spiritual level.
When we’re young, we tend to fall hard and fast. We love so intensely that it feels natural to put the other person first, which is one of the reasons we remember our painful crushes and early heartbreak so vividly.
As we move on from adolescence and become young adults, we experience and execute unhealthy, cyclical behavior that results in serial relationships that face the same issues and conflicts over and over like a painful, frustrating loop. The universe tries to show us these lessons through relationships, whether they are romantic partners or friendships. They show us that we are meant to move into another phase in our life—the next stage.
If we repeat our old patterns, we aren’t allowing ourselves to grow. We continue vibrating at our same frequencies, and don’t expand our consciousness to allow in healthier patterns, relationships, and inevitably, unbridled joy. The universe offers more of these relationships, giving us more opportunities to make something new from it. It’s up to us to read the signs.
Jen’s relational experiences lacked a cyclical nature. Without a detectable pattern, she attracted various individuals with different issues and incomparable conflicts. Each relationship’s end came as a relief, to her surprise.
Obviously, as curious seekers of light on human experience, we wanted to investigate why hers was so unique. We dove into her patterns and noticed two major things; she tends to mindfully put herself first in romantic partnerships, career endeavors, and even simple things like scheduling her weekly tasks.
We chalked this up to her early age of defiance. Her mother used to always remind her that she was “selfish,” though she didn’t take heed because her love of life and others felt genuine. She didn’t believe that loving oneself and making sure one’s own needs were met was negative behavior, but that it left you more available to love others freely and without expectation from them to meet her needs for her. This allows her to remain in the present and welcome each moment instead of dwelling on the past, or hypothetical moments.
Remaining in the present and meeting her own needs had a positive effect on Jen’s success in her career, self-growth, her marriage, and the company she kept. Quality thinking practices helped her to live a quality life, and consistent spiritual practice of self-actualization and love helped her to master the techniques that grew permanent roots in her experience.
The verdict? We see Jen’s self-loving practice as a positive affirming way to live life. Prioritizing your own needs leaves you open to accept others and invite them into your life without expectations. And, when you can teach this to your loved ones in life and allow them to prioritize their own needs as well, a beautiful harmony will result.