As a woman, to be seen as selfish is one of the worst labels we can be given. Women, we’ve been told, should be lady-like at all times, which in the past has meant submission– shutting up, sitting down, and doing what we’re told. Our grandmothers who came before us lived in a world where taking care of her husband, her children, and the home was her main job.
Anything extra that was left over for her was an added bonus, a luxury that was in no way seen as a necessity. Her wellbeing was placed last, and oftentimes if she tried to do something for herself she was told she was being selfish. Today, because of this social conditioning, we avoid this label like the plague. We want to be seen as accommodating, nurturing, and loving— anything but the dreaded “s” word.
This problem is, we don’t have time for these games anymore.
We don’t have to look far to see that life is changing, and it’s changing fast. As the divine feminine reawakens from her slumber, women around the world are beginning to feel a slow rumble in the depths of their being, a sort of restlessness triggered by the knowledge that something is terribly off. This is our remembering that the chaos on our planet is not how things are supposed to be.
We all feel it, and we have for decades. The women’s right’s movement laid the foundation for the work we are here to do now in the beginning of the 21st century. As the very fabric of our society is beginning to crumble, people are desperately seeking answers as to how we can transition out of the mess we’ve made and into something more harmonious and sustainable for all beings.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama once said, “The world will be saved by the western woman.” By this, he didn’t mean that western women are superior to anyone else, but because of the hard work of our sisters that came before us, we now have space and freedom to explore life in a way that has never existed before in the whole of human history. There are differing perspectives on what we should do with this freedom, and I’m going to propose one that may seem a bit radical: Be selfish.
There’s a difference though between healthy and unhealthy selfishness. Unhealthy selfishness comes from an egotistical, self-centered perspective that says, “I do what I want just because I want to.” It is self-indulgent and emitting from a place of low self-worth and a need to prove something. Healthy selfishness, on the other hand, comes from a more holistic place, a place fueled by a desire to be the best version of one’s self.
A healthy form of selfishness is rooted in the knowledge that in order to be of highest service to life, we must take the time to nurture ourselves before giving to others.
Maybe you’ve been dipping your toe in this idea for a while, or maybe it’s an entirely new concept to you. Wherever you are on the road to embodying radical self-love as your top priority, if you’ve ever needed a permission slip to be selfish, here it is. Darling, it’s safe now for you to tend to your own needs first. Go ahead, dive in head first.
Set aside time in your busy schedule to rest, relax, and rejuvenate. Follow your passions. Do what makes you happy, just because. Express yourself. Say yes when you mean yes. Say no when you mean no. Unleash your inner wild woman. Create simply for the sake of creation. Sing out loud. Dance in your underwear in front of the mirror. Spend time in nature. Travel to a foreign country. Love big. Love even bigger. Laugh. Cry. Be silent. Allow yourself to feel the full spectrum of emotions that make you human. Forgive, both yourself and others. Let go of what’s no longer serving your overall wellbeing. Practice the extreme self-love that’s been missing from your life. Give yourself permission to explore your life unapologetically in a way that would make our ancestors proud.
Rumi said, “Let yourself to be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” Your soul always knows what’s in your highest interest and it knows exactly how you can contribute to healing the collective wounds of our species. You are an integral part of life, and it’s your divine responsibility to give yourself the space to figure out how your unique piece of the puzzle fits into the whole. You’re never going to discover your bigger purpose by continuing to play by the small standards that our society has given us as women.
By fiercely and passionately permitting ourselves to do this inner work, we give others the opportunity to do the same. The world is ready to transform, and it’s time for ladies across the globe to stand strong in alignment unconditional love— and it all begins with unconditionally loving ourselves first.