Monday, March 10, 2008

Ego-centered selfishness vs. Spirit-centered Selfishness

My husband Daniel and I just got back from having lunch with a friend. On the way back home, I happened to see a church sign that said, "Love God, Love your neighbor, Serve Both." I agree with that statement as far as it goes.

Daniel and I got into a discussion when I told him that the sign left out the most important part of "Love Yourself." Even the Bible says to "Love your neighbor as yourself." Most churches forget the "as yourself" part when they are doing sermons. I can get quite passionate about this topic because I had to learn to love myself before I could truly love anybody else. That is what I believe the Bible quote is telling us.

Back to our discussion, Daniel said, "What about the 20 % of the population (Don't ask me where he got his percentage. He probably made it up to make his point.) that love only themselves?" I told him that is not real love.

Real love is not about being selfish. Loving yourself is not about being selfish. Taking care of yourself so that you are full and able to give to others is different than being so selfish that you are completely self-centered. Ego-centered might be a better way to phrase that. When you are ego filled you have nothing that you want to give to others unless you get something back in exchange for what you have given.

Ego-centered people don't love themselves. They become ego-centered to overcompensate for the fact that they don't love themselves. Ego doesn't want us to love ourselves. It wants us to love it. When you love ego, it feels puffed up and self-important and gratified to be the center of your attention. Ego does nothing for anyone else without expecting something in return. Ego-centered people are constantly striving for the next achievement or the next pay-off so they can feel self-important. The reality is that they are not "self" important. Very often, they hate themselves and are very busy being ego-centered in order to hide their true feelings of self-hatred.

When you truly love yourself, you become spirit-centered or Self-centered. When you become Self-centered, you do everything out of love for God, yourself and others. When you are Self-centered, you listen to your body when it tells you what it needs---rest, food, less food, water, less stress, more exercise. When you are Self-centered you are grounded in the Christ-consciousness that says we are all one. Taking care of your needs is not selfish. It is Selfish. There is a difference.


Corinne Edwards said...

Patricia - you are so on the money here.

You have to love and forgive your self first before there is any room for love for others.

People who are seriously damaged close down.

Don't know where your husband got his statistic, but tell him I believe it!

Patricia Singleton said...

Corinne, I was so closed down myself until I was almost 40 years old so I easily recognise it in others. I did not make the connection between self-centered people not loving themselves until Daniel and I were talking.

Stephen Hopson said...


You got it right when you say there's a big difference between ego selfishness and spirit selfishness.

Spirit selfishness is listening to what our bodies need. I often go right to bed when my body tells me it's time to go, for example. I start to feel uncomfortable in my chair or whatever I'm doing. I've become attuned to listening to my body.

Now all I have to do is become attuned to what my spirit wants me to do while I am still on this planet.

Simiiar to what Corrine said - "right on the nose" with this one.

Patricia Singleton said...

Stephen, I agree with you and Corinne, this one practically wrote itself. The incite for me was huge.

Karl Staib - Your Work Happiness Matters said...

Patricia, you hit the nail on the head with this post. There are so many times that we let the ego take over and we fall in love with what we can do or did instead of who we are. I write about working happy and many times I get lost in finding outside sources to accomplish that happiness, but happiness/love comes from loving the person that we are.

Keep them coming!

Patricia Singleton said...

Karl, I am glad that you like my article. Have a glorious evening.

Michelle Vandepas said...

Loved this post Patricia, just put you on my weekly post on others who are living their Divine Purpose

Patricia Singleton said...

Michelle, thank you for that honor.

Kelly@SHE-POWER said...


Did you get my comment? I seem to be having terrible luck with Blogger comments. They always seem to disappear.

And it was a long thought out comment too. Dammit! Well, now I'll have to leave it short and sweet. I love Abraham-Hicks and I'm keen to hear what you think of the book. I've found it quite life changing stuff, actually.


Patricia Singleton said...

Kelly, this is the first comment from you that I have received on this post. I had a friend tell me about 2 weeks ago that her comment didn't come through either. I had done that myself a few times on other blogs as well. I am glad you sent this message when the other one didn't get through. Thank you. I always make a point to answer the comments that I get. Comments always add so much to the posts.

Deb Estep said...

Great message Patricia.

Loving ourselves is the foundation to it all. Anything built on a
bad foundation does not have a chance in the long haul.

You know Patricia, I see that Daniel offers you his thoughts, that are like stay awake nudges for you.
Even if not in agreement, his view causes your perspective to shift so you are better able to clarify your thoughts.

YEAH !!! Daniel.

xo xo

Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, you are so right about Daniel. I love your wonderful evaluation of what he does. You would like him. He is funny, stubborn, wise, stubborn, compassionate, passionate about what he believes, and did I say stubborn? I love him very much. He has taught me so many things. His sense of humor is just as quirky as mine. We suit each other. His most important (to me) trait is that he allows me to be me, whoever that is. His being stubborn is a frustrating and wonderful thing. If he wasn't stubborn, I would wear him down and always get my way and that is not a good thing. He has taught me patience and perseverance. He taught me to laugh in a way too serious world. He has been the Light in my world. He has always been there through the darkness of my world. He showed me that it is ok to cry and not weak at all. He laughs with me but never at me.

I agree with "YEAH!!! Daniel."
Thanks Deb.

Slade | Shift Your Spirits said...


I had to laugh at your aside regarding Daniel's "20%" statistic.

In Wicca, there are greatly simplified directives which are essentially all-encompassing Golden Rules:

The Wiccan Rede "Do what you will; harm none."

The Three-fold Rule (a kind of pagan karma) "Everything you do comes back to you three times over."

Your post, along with the Bible verses, and the "rules" that I personally ascribe to, highlight the notion the question of whether we are separate or the same.

You're so right about needing to love yourself as a critical component. You, God, your neighbor -- when you behave from a position that you are always loving yourself when you love God or someone else it changes your motivations.

Patricia Singleton said...

Slade, thanks for adding your wisdom and humor to the article. Self-love has been the most beneficial thing that I have learned to do for myself. I truly believe that if we don't love ourselves we can't love others and if we don't love ourselves, others won't love us either because others mirror back to us how we feel about ourselves.

I enjoy your comments so much. They add more depth.

Ariel - You Are Truly Loved said...

Yeah, it seems there's some feelings of unworthiness floating around due to people not wanting to be selfish and thus feeling that they're not worthy of receiving love.

We are all one, we are all worthy, we are all unconditionally loved, and we are all incredibly awesome! :)

Patricia Singleton said...

Ariel, There are times when we need to put ourselves first if we are going to have what we need to help others. An empty vessel does no good for a hungry or thirsty child.

Liara Covert said...

As a person reaches a certain level of awareness, it becomes clearer what it means to love yourself. By this point, you are already dissolving the visions of fragmented perspectives within that distract you from the truth. The rest of it does not matter. You know.

Patricia Singleton said...

Liara, yes, exactly. I believe that low self-worth is at the bottom of all of the world's problems. Love really is the answer and it starts with each one of us.

Liara Covert said...

Another point you bring up between the lines is that a person who diverges from the straight and narrow is always on a meaningful journey back to what matters.

Patricia Singleton said...

Liara, to me, the journey is always about eventually making it back to Source which is where we all started our journey. All of our lessons are to bring us back to our Divine center of being.

I love the way your mind works and our continued conversations on these subjects. Thanks for your input. It is valuable and adds more to each article that you comment on.