Selflessness

by Tara on February 19, 2012



Sun Giving LightWhat is Selflessness?

Being selfless means to put the needs of others before your own – a form of self sacrifice.

Let’s see how the dictionary defines it:

Selflessness – the quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others; acting with less concern for yourself than for the success of the joint activity. ~thefreedictionary.com

According to many religious texts, selflessness is the way to greater spiritual awareness. Of course, we must understand that since we are human, we automatically have some form of selfish desire. But we must work at reducing our selfishness (also known as ego) so that we can achieve peace in this life.

The ego is selfish – it is the opposite of spiritual awareness.

What kinds of emotions are related to the ego/selfishness? Jealousy, anger, violence, discrimination, and materialism are just some of the manifestations of the ego. When your ego is out of control, your life is filled with inner-strife and uneasiness.

Do you ever find yourself thinking these thoughts?

I’m not good enough because that person is showing me up.

This person just got a new _____ so now I feel inferior.

I have to prove that I’m better than them!

I’ll show them!

I’m so much better than this person because ______.

These are all examples of your ego causing you strife – they are selfish thoughts.

Can you see that the internal dialogue going on here is causing discord? It’s in your best interest to reduce or eliminate these harmful thoughts so you can actually have more productive, peaceful thoughts.

Many people may think that you cannot be a leader if you are selfless – nothing could be further from the truth.

Take a look at this quote from the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 7

The Master stays behind;
that is why she is ahead.
She is detached from all things;
that is why she is one with them.
Because she has let go of herself,
she is perfectly fulfilled.

So the Master stays behind, therefore she is ahead. In other words, practice selflessness and you will be on the right spiritual path. Think about how you can help others. How can you serve? And the point of serving is not for you to be rewarded. You must give without the expectation of a reward. It’s  like the saying, “Be good for goodness sake.”

Jesus agrees with this selfless way of thinking by saying “Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Now that we know what selfless living is, let’s talk about what it is not:

Being selfless does not mean that you fail to protect yourself from obvious dangers in this life.

Also, being selfless does not mean that you should neglect caring for yourself. No, in order for you to effectively serve others, you must take care of yourself physically and spiritually.

And remember, it takes time to change your thoughts to a more selfless way of thinking. The fact that you are even reading this post proves that you are on the right path in terms of spiritual awareness. Become aware of your thoughts, and then work on improving them.

I will leave you with one of my favorite, beautiful quotes:

Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, “you owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky. ~Hafiz

Tara Walker

 

 

 

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Is Meditation a Form of Spiritual Awareness?
February 19, 2012 at 8:19 am

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Radu February 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Hey Tara,
Great to see that your interest in spirituality and personal growth materialized in this beautiful blog :) It’s an area of our life that is just as important as health or the material stuff..more, the spiritual realm is the stuff from where all the physical things come.
I recently saw Wayne Dyer’s program “Wisdom of the Dao” and downloaded Tao Te Ching as well. A lot of wisdom there.
Great virtue to develop…Ultimately, since we all are one and interconnected , what you do to others you do to yourself..That’s why we feel joy when genuinely help others. When one practices selflessness abundance appears along with happiness, joy and peace. Tony Robbins said that the greatest human joy comes from growth and contribution :)
Hafiz’s quote is just splendid..another reminder of how blessed and supported we are by the nature/world we live in.

Thanks for sharing Tara!
Namaste,
Radu
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Tara Walker February 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Thanks for your insightful comment, Radu. I like how you point out that we are all one and interconnected – so true :)

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Rev Della April 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm

While I think it is very important to serve others, I think it is also critical to serve yourself first. Now before you think I am some egotistical jerk, let me explain what I mean.

I am a minister so I am very used to serving others. I know how easy it is for me to put others’ needs so much higher up than my own, that I get to a point where I feel that I have no more left to give. When I am at this point, the service that I give to others is not full and complete.

When I take time to serve myself first — to fill up my own spirit — whether it be through meditation, prayer, yoga, reading sacred scriptures, creative visioning, affirmations, I am much more available to serve others. I am also much more effective in my service, because I am giving from the fullness of my spiritual nature.

If you are a giver by nature, it is very easy to get so caught up in the process of helping others that you forget about yourself. But you should make it a priority to take care of your own spirit first. Give first to yourself so you can joyously and consistently give to others.
Rev Della recently posted..Can Spirituality Make You Healthier?My Profile

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Tara Walker April 16, 2012 at 11:18 pm

You are so right, Rev. Della! I have made the mistake of only caring for others while neglecting my own needs. I ended up on “empty” emotionally, and then I was unable to effectively give to others – to my fullest extent. Lately, I’ve made the commitment to get outside and hike regularly since the weather is nicer now. That is something that fills me with joy. Thank you for sharing your wonderful words of inspiration.

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