I do not doubt that many people see the idea of mindfulness practice as selfish. Putting your self-awareness ahead of others is counterintuitive nowadays to how good people approach life.
I would argue that mindfulness is certainly not selfish because it helps you to be even MORE aware of others. Why? Because mindfulness starts at you and expands outwards from there.
If you are not aware of your own thoughts, feelings, and actions in the here-and-now, odds are you are living subconsciously. What does that mean? It means that rather than being fully conscious of your mindset and headspace you are allowing your subconscious to do the driving.
How does that work? When you are just going about your day-to-day routine and not working to be mindful, your subconscious absorbs an unbelievable amount of data. All sorts of things that you might consciously avoid or filter out embed themselves in your subconscious, coming from the internet, the people around you, your environment, TV, radio, and so on.
This can all-too-easily put you into a negative headspace. Between the coronavirus and how it’s impacted the world, politics both in the United States and abroad, climate change and so forth, fear, uncertainty, and distress become front-and-center.
When you are feeling negative you disempower yourself. When you are disempowered you can’t do much for yourself, let alone for anyone else. This is why mindfulness and finding or creating positivity is NOT Selfish.
Selfish is a matter of intent
Want a perfect example of selfishness? I give you Donald Trump. Here is a man who is in a job frequently referenced as “leader of the free world.” Yet all he cares about is lining his own pockets, making himself look good, and his sense of power. Mounting evidence shows he doesn’t care for anyone other than himself, with the possible exception of his family and business associates.
That is selfishness. You take and take, give nothing back, and don’t give a damn who you hurt in the process. You know your action is going to cause harm but you don’t care. And you know full well that your thoughts, feelings, and resulting actions are going to be bad for others. That is what selfishness is.
Eating a decent meal, doing something that is an act of self-care, and practicing mindfulness is not selfish of you. Why? Because they harm nobody else. You are not denying the rights and privileges of others for your own needs.
Selfishness comes from a lack mentality. You take what you believe to be yours and leave nothing for anyone else because you believe that there is not enough, or you don’t care.
Finding and/or creating positivity is not a selfish act. Why? Because to do more for others you need to come from a good place. When you yourself are empowered, not afraid, and mindful of your conscious self you are better positioned to give more.
How does that work? Look, you can’t get a car very far at all on an empty tank of gas, can you? Without fuel, you get nowhere. You work the same way.
Your fuel, however, is not a single substance. It is made up of physical, mental, and spiritual components.
Self-awareness opens you to a broader awareness
When you practice mindfulness you are practicing being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and the intent of your actions. That awareness makes you conscious in the here-and-now, taking control from your subconscious, unthinking mind.
This opens you to see if your headspace is positive or negative. Since like attracts like, consciousness creates reality, if you are feeling low and negative then you will not draw heartening and positive things to you.
This is why being mindful of your headspace matters. This, too, is why positivity matters. When you feel bad you are not going to be able to do anything to help anyone else. But when you are a beacon of positivity in a sea of negativity you can help others find their way, too.
It is absolutely not possible to ALWAYS be in a good and positive place. Bad things happen outside of your control. Nobody is deserving of contracting Covid-19 or being denied basic human rights because of the color of their skin, sexual preference, gender, or other unimportant distinction. How much you let these things depress you or how much you fear them, however, is a choice.
Being aware of yourself makes you more aware of everyone and everything else, too. Creating positivity to pull yourself out of the dark is not selfish, because it allows you to pull others to the light, too. How can that be in any way selfish?
Creating positivity isn’t hard, but it does require action
Knowing that it is not selfish of you to find and/or create positivity to overcome negativity and dark times, you make it so you can do so for others, too. When you work to help other people to use mindfulness and find their way from negativity that ultimately empowers you. When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that tends to spread to people around you. It can create a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.
As such, you can build more positive feelings and discover more reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve any number of aspects of your life for the better, generating yet more positivity and gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity that can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, and it’s not selfish to create positivity for ourselves.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on March 16, 2020.