The case for doing what works for ourselves, first and foremost
When we do something, we ought to do it knowing that all goodness in the universe is watching us, and do it for ourselves first, because it is impossible to please all men all the time.
As a simple example of this statement, one can walk into a room of five people, wearing a new haircut, and receive different vibrations from every single one there. Each person in the room will have their own life experience from which they will respond to the sight of your new haircut. Each person will feel the change in a different way and, even if all five exclaim out loud to show their appreciation, there may be one who thinks something judgemental or perhaps one who feels jealousy, for some reason. It is unlikely that all five will have exactly the same full response. If our happiness about our haircut depends on what the response of the five others in the room might be, we are limiting our own enjoyment of it and leaving the door wide open to hurt. It is enough to be happy ourselves.
We cannot control what others think; we cannot control what others do. We can only control our own actions, and we can only control our own responses.
The key reason for doing something for oneself first, is so that our own conscience is nurtured. We have a conscience to act as a compass, a barometer and a guide. When we become aware of this precious tool that we each possess inherently and reconnect to it, our actions and our responses alter to be more in line with what brings peace and harmony into our own world, extending out into the world beyond us, to the good of all.
If we operate from a position of disconnectedness, however, we are like a spinning top on the deck of a ship at sea … we cannot find our centre, and our lives reflect all that can be erratic. This is an unsustainable way to live; it creates enormous stress for ourselves and for those around us, and very often it brings destruction to our relationships, our plans and our projects.
Whilst we are part of a larger body of humanity, part of our own small local communities which extend out to the greater whole, each of us must start somewhere before we can help another. The most natural and obvious place to start is with ourselves.
When we measure our own thoughts and work on liberating ourselves from personal criticism and judgement, others begin to experience our acceptance and compassion by default. When we focus on keeping our own conscience clear and sparklingly fresh, others feel safe in our care and in our presence. When we operate from a centre of truth and integrity, our plans and our projects receive the support that they need, as others learn quickly that they can truly trust us. When we choose what will bring us satisfaction, calm and positive vibrations within ourselves, our light attracts others who are doing the same, and acts as a beacon to those who are seeking it.
There are a myriad ways to show how loving ourselves first (not in the selfish or self-centred way of materialism, but in a way that brings peace to our conscience) benefits all who come in contact with us. Most of all, living in this way benefits our own selves – our minds, our bodies, our emotional health, our practical daily lives. Treating ourselves in this way, we free others from the strain of having to continually pick up our pieces, which in turn calms and aids us all.
We are on this planet not as islands, but to learn lessons as we live amongst others. We are here to help one another as we walk our own paths, but we can only help one another if we first love and take care of ourselves. For that reason, we have no hesitation in understanding that first we must do what we do for ourselves … measured against all that we have as a guide within us … so that we can function best in a world where it is never going to be possible to please all at once.
In the process of doing things for ourselves, from a centre of awareness, all around us benefit (including our natural environment) and the love goes full circle. Therefore, find ways to carry calm, find satisfaction, happiness and love in your own heart, doing things well and doing them for your own sake – that way we can each be free.