is it me you’re looking for?

Being forgetful can be amazing. Not forgetful of responsibility or items, but forgetting the self. When we are faced with duty and desire, we can become obsessed with how much we are or are not getting done. When we are perfectionistic, we become so caught up in our own negative emotions, we forget to check on others who might also be suffering. When we stop focusing so much on ourselves, it’s much easier to be ourselves, a kinder version of ourselves.

Often times, we think that in order to be humble and selfless, we somehow should hate the self. If selfish people think they are great, after all, mustn’t that mean that selfless people think they are horrible? Yet selfishness doesn’t necessarily mean that one loves themselves. It is very possible and very common for someone to seemingly hate themselves and still be incredibly self-centered. Hate takes a lot of energy. It takes effort to exert that sort of emotional force. Strictly in terms of physical endurance, it takes a lot out of you, and with other dimensions upon that, it’s safe to say that hate is an expensive habit. That great cost makes it so that limited cognitive resources just don’t have time to think about something else. Even if that hatred is a self-loathing!

Of course, all of this operates on a premise: selfishness is bad, selflessness is good. If people argue against this, it’s usually because their idea of selflessness is letting someone walk all over you, or overworking yourself without a decent level of care for our own well being. When I say “forgetting yourself”, I mean forgetting all the extra stuff. We all do basic things to care for ourselves. We also have things we desire and work for. Forgetting means all that icing on top of that, the overthinking, the dwelling too long, etc. So how do we do that? How do we become selfless?

Simply? We focus on something else. We focus outward instead of in. When we want to complain and think about our own state, we first consider others. We don’t take things lying down, but we don’t fight everyone who crosses our path either. It’s a long term sort of project, and a long term sort of goal that we have to learn how to do on our own, but it’s worth it.

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