I was caught off guard by some hurtful words that were said to me.
“You’re a selfish person."
It stung. And it’s stuck with me. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought for the past few weeks.
It’s true that I prioritize myself. I get up extra early to get “me time” every day. I practice yoga — a discovery of the body. I practice meditation — a discovery of the mind. I lift weights — a practice that makes me feel confident and strong. I take vacation sometimes to get away from routine and to-dos. Last year, I went to yoga school, using a large sum of money my husband and I saved together, to pursue my passion.
Lots of “I’s” in there.
So yes, I'm a bit selfish. And I’m OK with it. Kind of.
By serving ourselves through practices that serve the mind, body and soul, we create space. We create space that we can give to others. When our needs are met, we can better attend to the needs of others. As my husband can attest, I’m a better wife when I’ve had my time on the mat.
But — there’s always a “but” — there’s a balance. Sometimes when serving ourselves, the ego can creep in. We can get too wrapped up in ourselves and forget about the big picture. That word — “I” — can become too frequent.
There are practices that help with this, too. I like to gaze at the sky and relish in feeling small. You can find this feeling in church or at community events, where you can feel like you're part of something bigger than yourself.
There’s a balance. There’s always a balance. And very rarely at any given time are we in perfect balance. Through our own practices, such as yoga, we become aware of these imbalances and work to “correct” them.
I’m selfish. Sometimes. So are you. Sometimes we’re not selfish enough. By striving for balance, we can find peace … but never perfection.