I’ve come to realize in the last year or two that there is a notable difference between self-negligence and selflessness, namely the intent. I have come to learn that my desire to “be selfless” came out in the form of me believing that that meant I had to completely give up everything I’ve wanted and everything that made my own life better. While I’ve learned there is some merit to this, I’ve also learned that if I’m not doing it in the right mind and heart and if I’m, metaphorically speaking, dead because I’ve neglected myself then it is worthless.
I’ve found that the places I am most selfless are the places I actually want what is best for someone else. When I give up a road trip to see a friend I can see some other time so I can attend a once in a lifetime experience of another friend. When I come back to Huntington to just be more available to a friend who has had a loved one die, instead of staying in Fort Wayne to hang out with a friend who is only in town for a week. When I give up talking about myself so much and start looking people in the eye when they speak instead of my typical wandering and uncomfortable eyes, even though looking people in the eye freaks me out.
Giving up what I want because someone else wants it and is making a bigger deal about it, isn’t it selfless it’s avoiding conflict. Not going somewhere I was invited because I feel like it was a pity invite and I would be a burden isn’t selfless. It’s mopey.
What I’ve learned and am continuing to learn is that self-negligence isn’t selfless unless your intent is for the very best for someone else. What I’ve learned and am continuing to learn is that self-negligence isn’t selfless if my intent is simply to ensure I have the very worst. What I’ve learned and am continuing to learn is that self-negligence isn’t selfless (most of the time) at all. It’s actually very selfish.