I recently made a decision to not tell someone something that was important to me. It took me weeks, maybe even months to decide, I wrote it down, I created little quizzes in my head like you see in magazines, I assessed and reassessed the consequences, went back and forwards (you get the idea) and all in all I decided I was going to keep the information to myself.
I have always been a very vocal person – to a degree. I mean, I write a lot in my blogs and try and be as authentic and as raw as possible, but like everyone there are parts of me and parts of my life I wish to keep private and keep to myself, very few things; but still a few.
Selfish is a word I have used more recently than I would like and for numerous reasons. By definition it means “lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure” but what if you believe what you are doing is the right thing, despite it possibly taking something away from someone else, you are not gaining from it, so are you still being selfish?
I watch these acts of kindness videos on facebook all the time, some are staged and some are not but they always make me think, is it about the person they are trying to help or more about the person doing the act. I once read somewhere that you can never truly be selfless, because in doing something for someone else part of you is doing it for your own gratification, so does that make it about them or about you?
When I finally came to the decision to not tell this person it was because I believed it was better for them, because I didn’t want to upset them, put them in an awkward position or make things difficult for THEM but by keeping it in I was doing all those things to myself and that simply made no sense, I had to then question was I being selfless or was I being stupid.
I looked into it further and further and tried to get my head round the real reasons I wouldn’t tell. Was it really about them or was I protecting myself and my own vulnerability because if that was the case then I was actually just being selfish.
We often think we are doing others a favor if we don’t tell them something, when we sugar coat the truth or when we push them away. We feel it’s because it is “best for them”, that they simply don’t understand and we are protecting them. But protecting them from what? Our own insecurities and fears? There are thin lines between selfless, selfish and stupid. I have crossed them so many times the lines have become blurry and it is only now I realise how much of a difference it has made to my life, to my relationships and how many opportunities were missed because I believed being one of those things was better than doing what I didn’t want to do most, face my fears.
Fear makes us become one of those three things whether we like it or not. Everything you have ever wanted is always on the other side of fear. Whether it is your dream job you don’t think you are ready to go for, aspiring for more in life but not feeling like you are not capable or pushing away someone you love because you don’t feel good enough.
We as humans have been taught from childhood to share, from toys to food, to information to our hearts and if we don’t we are selfish. We are processed to believe we are all to lead this “cookie cutter” lifestyle and to aspire to all be happy families as society believes we should and the pressure of that can make us frustrated, or even depressed because we are not where we are “supposed to be”. By 20 you should have your career started or an idea of what you want to do, 30 you should have a partner and children, 40 settled and successful etc etc etc..But who set these ridiculous time scales and age requirements?
There is no law and nothing is written in stone but we still believe we should those things at those moments and if we don’t we are behind and need to catch up. We can become so fixated on having things by a certain time we end up losing the things and people we need in our lives.
We live in a world full of rules that make no sense and principles that clash. “Put yourself First”…but “Don’t be selfish”. “Do random acts of kindness” but “don’t trust everyone”. We give with one hand and take away with another. It’s confusing, frustrating and quite frankly makes no flipping sense.
My point? Fear can consume us to the point where we don’t realise we are being selfish or stupid meaning to be selfless. It clouds our judgement and often means we are unable to see the bigger picture, to see a solution or even have faith that maybe it will be ok?
Fear is as barrier we need to break down. Some of us will kick it with full force and others will take it down bit by bit slowly and surely and there is no problem with either. Be patient with yourself, allow yourself time to heal, to learn and to make a decision.
I am standing by my decision to not say anything, the only thing I haven’t decided is whether that makes me selfless, selfish or stupid.
Thanks for stopping by x
The Fat Funny One x
P.S – I’m not telling anyone else either!