November 16, 2017

Where to Draw the Line between Selfishness & Self-Love.

It’s time to re-define our understanding of selfishness.

We are typically taught to take pride in sacrificing our own happiness before others’—to be selfless. Many of us have stopped ourselves from doing things that matter to us because of the fear of being perceived as selfish. However, it is time for us to re-define our understanding of selfishness and learn where to draw the line between selfishness and self-love.

>> Is prioritizing our own happiness over others’ selfish?

>> Is not listening to what others think we should do selfish?

>> Is not faking niceness being selfish?

It doesn’t matter if our answers agree or not. What matters is how authentic we are—and how free are we to do things that matter to us.

“Selfish” became a bad word in my dictionary quite early in life. I never wanted to say “no” to people when they asked me for a favor. I didn’t want to disregard the advice and warnings from elders, even when my gut feelings disagreed. I didn’t want to prioritize my wishes over other people’s wishes.

I assumed the responsibility of how others would feel, and I based my decisions on them. It saved me from being perceived as selfish, but I failed in honouring my own truth. I lost my voice—my identity, my dreams, my freedom, and my power. 

I knew something wasn’t right and started questioning my thoughts and beliefs around selfishness. I realised, not wanting to be selfish was just a mask I was wearing to escape from my own fears—fear of exploring unknown paths, of making mistakes, failing, hurting myself or others.

It takes courage to honour our truth, to trust our gut, to set out on a journey without destination, to meet our fears, to make mistakes, and to take ownership of them.

Being generous, kind, and compassionate are great traits, but they must also be practised from within. It starts with the way we treat ourselves…and that will flow outwardly to the people around us. 


Until I love me,

What can I offer?

For all I have is myself to offer.

Until I love me,

How can I offer myself?

For I have been taught to offer the best.

Until I love me,

How can I love you?

For I will be busy making myself lovable.

Until I love me,

What does love even mean?

It’s but a word the world is crazy about.

Once I love myself,

I will love you too,

For we are no different.




Practicing Self-Love: What it is & What it Isn’t.


Author: Arjun Som
Image: Instagram @walkthetalkshow
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Nicole Cameron
Social editor: Waylon von Lewis

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