No one likes to admit selfishness. It means you are concerned only with your personal profit and pleasure. Your actions and decisions are guided by how they will best serve you. The ability to put yourself in the shoes of another person is difficult. It is easy to lose sight of compassion.

This was my truth for a number of years. My relationships and my actions were all about me—how I could get what I wanted and needed from another person, how I could manipulate a situation to make me feel better about myself, and how I could make sure that I was able to control the outcome.

The reality is that the selfishness is still there. My mind still goes to that place of fear and self-centeredness. Now, I have the tools and awareness to act opposite and embrace compassion and being loving to others and in turn, to myself.

As an active addict for a number of years, I never looked at myself as selfish. In fact, I always assumed I was the victim. I thought, if others could experience the pain and discomfort I felt within, they would need to disconnect, numb out, and not show up for the people and places they cared about the most.

At the root of this were low feelings of self, deep insecurity, and fear.

This manifested itself in removing me from reality. I cared only about myself and what I was going to gain from other people, places, and things.

When the awareness of this selfishness was brought to life, I began to see the selfishness for what it really is—fear, fear of not getting what I want or fear of losing something I already have.

Understanding my selfishness taught me that it’s time to embrace my fear. It awakened me in my life and brought about a newfound sense of presence.

Here are some tools for embracing fear and selfishness.

1. Look at your relationships.

Are these relationships ones that are only self-serving to you? Or do you feel an equal sense of love and gratitude? Ultimately, the most fulfilling relationships are those where you equally receive and give.

2. Understand the motive behind your actions.

Are the actions that you take focused around how you will feel better and benefit most? Are you searching for instant gratification? Take a step back and connect with love and purpose. That is the true and most fulfilling motive.

3. Be compassionate to the selfish part of yourself.

Although I wasn’t aware of this selfishness for a long period of time, I still see its presence. It gives an illusion of control and serves many of us to ease sadness or fear. So be compassionate and loving to this part of yourself. Nurture it like you would nurture a small child.

4. There is beauty in imperfections.

We are all human. We all have flaws. It’s just a matter of your perception of these flaws. If it means you always have a desire to gain something, start giving more. And give more with no expectation. It is truly by self-forgetting that your find yourself.

5. Fear is an illusion.

Fear lives in the baggage we carry from the past or the anxiety about the future. It takes us out of the present moment and leads to a lot of pain and discomfort. Fear is nothing more than false evidence appearing real. As long as we stay in the moment and connect with what is, we can tap into the infinite sources of wisdom we harness within. It is there; it is just a matter of bringing the beauty to life.

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