What does being selfish look like?
A selfish character and my character are not closely related. As a matter of fact, a selfish character is the worst word to describe me. Okay, that last statement sounded a little conceited, but honestly it is pretty close to the truth; or is it? In this chapter of The Love Dare, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, it not only says that we all struggle with selfishness, but that the basis of selfishness is when we make decisions out of love for ourself OVER love for others.
Growing up in the church, I knew that if I put others before myself, then I am actively practicing selflessness. But after reading this section, I asked myself, “What if you took selflessness to such a degree that your pursuit in selflessness actually created selfishness?”
Ouch! That hit me hard.
My constant pursuit of selflessness creates an environment daily that denies my needs to such a degree that it impacts the well being of my family. Whether it be physical or mental, 20 years of neglect has taken its toll.
This one took a few days
If you are counting the days between my blog posts, you will notice a bit of a time gap between this and the last post. The challenge in this chapter is to do something spontaneous to show your spouse that you love them. And for my interpretation, do something spontaneous for myself that shows me I do think of myself.
Socks. Yes, socks.
I will admit that Jess had this idea. On Tuesday nights, Evan attends youth group at Real Life Church. Most nights I drop him off and wait at home for about an hour and then pick him up. I had the idea that for my own peace of mind, I would drop him off and have some alone time (my gift). Jess added to that by saying I should go to Walmart and buy some warm socks that will remind me each time I wear them that I love myself.
I am not selfish when I love myself
I struggle each day to realize the pain of my past is real and the affect on my family is real. For 20+ years I haven’t taken care of myself. The result: an angry father with a short fuse. Working through my past, I realize I don’t really like myself. In the words of my counselor, I am kind of an asshole to myself and I am not a kind friend to myself.
Truth told, I wouldn’t hang out with a guy like me if I treated everyone like I treat myself. As a result, I don’t put my best foot forward. The ironic thing about my life is that while I struggle with not being selfish, I in turn, perform selfishly. My kids deserve a better father and my wife, a better husband. Thinking of others first, sometimes means paying attention to my own needs. Who would’a thought?
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