I just wrote this on my bathroom mirror. Right where I stare at myself while trying to get ready in the morning. I really wanted to drive the point home. I spend so much time in self. I am constantly thinking about how I can improve me, improve my health, my spirituality, my relationships. That’s great, don’t get me wrong, but where are the others in this? How am I supporting my friends/family? How am I improving the community? The country? The world?
As a Leo a lot of my actions are self serving. I have good intentions for others but ultimately I am often acting out of guilt, for praise or some other reward. It is a real struggle for me to act selflessly. It’s just not the way my brain is wired. It has taken me a very long time to accept this of myself. I am not the first to remember birthdays. I don’t remember to call my friends who are enduring hardships. I struggle finding time to volunteer and when the time comes for me to volunteer, I often wish I hadn’t signed up for that particular time because there is something else I could have been doing. Usually that other thing I want to be doing is bettering myself through reading spiritual books, meditating, walking in nature or some other self serving behavior disguised as bettering the world by bettering myself.
I don’t like this side of myself, but it is me. I accept it now. I no longer think of myself as a bad person because of it. I no longer call myself selfish, but Self centered. It may not seem it, but there is a difference. I think it’s beautiful the way I am bettering myself, but the next phase of that is to focus on the gifts I can share with the world. The first step of that is accepting who I am; all sides of me. How could I have ever remembered to think about others when I have focused so much of my attention on berating myself for not being the person I want to be? Ugly thoughts take up a lot of space. Acceptance leads to stillness. Stillness leads to deep understandings. Understandings lead to action for all the right reasons. I understand now that service to others is how this world will change and I want to be that change I wish to see in the world.
Thank you for your ultimate selfless service Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.