|Daniel Kelly self portrait "Selfish" (Wikipedia)|
There are only two ways a person can choose to live: lovingly or selfishly.
The loving way requires that we are willing to make consistent unselfish, honest, truly right, lovingly responsible choices.
The result is a truly positive and nurturing inner experience, and a sense that one's life has real meaning.
The selfish way is driven by a person's willfulness and a basic defiance of what is honest, truly right, lovingly responsible, and good.
Selfish choices will inevitably result in negativity, pain, suffering, and destruction.
All of our rationalizations aside, selfishness is essentially in opposition to love and loving experience.
In essence, when we are being selfish, we give-in to a desire that we must have, for ourselves, a particular person, object, or quality. As a person acts on a selfish desire, the list of desires grows to infinity.
Wanting is selfish action that destroys objectivity. It produces negativity and illusion. Loving change means making choices to go against what we selfishly want. We are acting truly unselfishly when we put what is loving, right, true, and lovingly responsible before self, even before others.
There are many degrees of selfishness, but there are no degrees of love. Either an intention, thought, feeling, choice, or action is loving or it is not.
There are also no degrees of true rightness or actual truth. Something is right or it is wrong. Something is true or it is false. A person can be either lovingly responsible, or selfishly responsible (as seen in some high-powered ruthless business executives).
Every one of us recognizes when a person is acting selfishly or wrongly, but we have given ourselves so many excuses for so long that we are beginning to believe our lies.
Our rationalizations for our selfishness and its degrees are convenient, however, we can make our selfish and wrong actions "right" all day long and they will never become actually right.
That means we will suffer the negative effects of our selfish intentions, thoughts, feelings and actions no matter what kinds of excuses we give ourselves.
This is an important concept because if we are unwilling to recognize and acknowledge when and how we are acting wrongly and selfishly we will never correct our negative intentions, thoughts, feelings and actions.
In addition, in this cause and effect world, the effects of our wrong choices are immediate. When we make a wrong choice we feel badly, or our self-esteem is down around our ankles, or we become so hardened we are unable to experience love or compassion.
Every person is choosing to position him or her self within a selfish continuum that ranges from "mildly selfish" to "moderately selfish" to "extremely selfish."
Life all along this selfish continuum is negative and painful. The negativity, pain, and mental and emotional instability substantially increase as a person becomes extremely selfish.
In order to express love to others we must choose to act on what we sense is right in the moment. If we are accurately perceiving what is truly right and acting unselfishly, then we, and all who are touched by our right choice, will be nurtured and feel love. If our intention is not truly unselfish, others will feel control from us, not love.
It is not possible for a person to be loving and selfish at the same time, so we must choose which way we will be in each new moment.
The fact that we are always choosing between these two basic ways of being, loving or selfish, willing or willful, offers every person hope for a better life.
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