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Wellness

How To Stop Being Selfish And Start Beholding Others The Way God Does

I’m not talking about “I feel bad.” No one feels bad about being selfish or self-centered. Rather, I’m suggesting that we “hold ourselves up” and “behave in a way that is consistent with the great Lord of all creatures, and His plan for us which He established at creation.” In the same way that we are responsible for the well-being of those around us, I would like each of us to make the best effort to better ourselves and other people.

If you ask yourself “Why am I holding myself up?” “How am I putting my own needs and desires ahead of others?” “How do I justify it?” you’ll come to a few very surprising answers. Not long ago, I came home after a hard day, and my roommate pulled me into the shower to talk.  I was so surprised that I didn’t feel angry at her, and instead felt very, very proud. When we were discussing my anger because I’d been so hard on myself, she pointed out that in this moment I had actually been showing how to hold myself up. In her words, “You’ve been holding up your own needs without a care for other people’s, and now you’re setting a good example.”

If you feel sorry for yourself, you won’t want to do that as well as you can be. If you feel guilty and feel bad that you’ve done the wrong thing or don’t have that money to buy that present for your spouse, then you should do good and try to fix what you need to. It’s that simple, but it often isn’t. You might think it is, but I’ve seen so many people lose faith, and then they are more and more frustrated.

If you are being an asshole, stop. You can’t have it both ways. If you think you’re the problem, you’re the problem, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Instead of apologizing in all honesty, you should apologize in the light of the good it would do to the person you’re talking to, and then move on to the next person or person situation. No one in this world is perfect. If you want to have peace, take responsibility for the way you really feel right now, but don’t let the thought that you’re right makes you go and be right in the opposite way.

If you are going to be selfish, you have to feel good about it. You have to do something about it or you’ll never be satisfied. You have to look yourself in the mirror in the morning and tell yourself that you did something good today, or the rest of your life will be crap. It’s not a sign that you’ll become nicer because of the other person, but it will help you to stop being selfish.

You must also think of the other person as part of a system of things that are part of God: “Our Father in heaven was a God of Peace” (2 Nephi 28:20). When you begin to see others, both good and bad, as part of that, you don’t blame them or your selfishness but instead see them as part of God’s wonderful plan. You do this by looking through the same eyes that you look at God. You see the beauty in the good things, not the ugly parts. Then you say to yourself, “Now as I look at my selfishness toward myself, I think to myself, that if you would do so much good for others, you too would become so happy. Just the thought of it is bringing a smile on my face.”

So what’s this have to do with the selfish person that you know? He is not “a soul that does not know what he wishes.” He is, however, “a soul that has become hardened within his own selfishness .  He is one whose heart is set on gaining wealth; where his heart’s desire is, there is a place for him in the Kingdom!” (2 Nephi 28:24)

A selfish person won’t be happy (or at least not as happy as he has in the past) because he is looking out for himself. And a selfish person won’t know if he’s having a good day, because he doesn’t see what others see. So he may take the easy way out all day, or he may take the hard way out. There is no such thing as a good day for a selfish person.