Although we are taught from a young age that being self-centered is a “bad” thing, I’d like to redefine how you might think of what it means to be “self-centered.” Many people think of being self-centered as being selfish – which is not what I mean at all. Selfish, in my definition, is being exclusively concerned with oneself where as being self-centered is entirely different.
On being “self”-centered
Centering is where you choose to lay your foundation. For example, some parents are children-centered. For them, their children are the most important part of their life. Everything they do is for the sake of raising healthy, happy children. People who are spouse-centered do everything in their power to please their partner. Others are work-centered as their job is the most important aspect in their life. There are still others who are service-centered and give their time and energy to help charities.
Many people center on things outside of themselves and find great joy from that. However, I wanted bring awareness to the benefits of self-centering if your center is more on “them” than on you.
There is only you
Throughout your life, there is only one constant and that is you. Your children will go off to live their lives, or may pass away before you do, your spouse may, in spite of all of your loving, leave you. Your job is only temporary and even service to others can be fraught with challenges outside of your control. Only you will be around for as long as you live, and you are the only one that is truly in control.
The move towards being more consciously “self”-centered gives you power and is the best way to be able to give more to that which you care about. Anyone who has flown on a plane has heard the flight attendant say, “If the plane loses oxygen pressure for any reason, the oxygen masks will drop down. If you are seated next to someone who might need some assistance, put your own mask on first, and then breathe normally as you assist the other person.”
Where can you make a shift?
Sometimes we feel that there are so many things that are more important than ourselves that we need to devote our energy to, and that those things, in comparison, are more important than our own needs. When we forget the importance of paying attention to what is most important for us we lose our power and our center.
If you have built your center around what others think, need or want from you, it’s a good time to re-center yourself.