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May 01, 2019

Selfishness, A Path To Enlightenment

Tags: Self care, self realization, awakening, soul work

We think of a spiritual path as being one of austerity and principle, of selflessness and even martyrdom. We carry rice bowls and give our gifts away for free. Many choose vows of poverty and chasteness, even. Give up your worldly pursuits and prostrate yourself in Service! If you look deeply into the spiritual path of Andean Mysticism, however, you will see that all this self denial actually takes us out of alignment with Source. 

The worst thing we can do is put our needs in shadow insisting we have none. Many wives, mothers, and healers find themselves here, many overworked fathers and indulgent husbands, many social workers. In not defining strong boundaries, and a vibrant sense of self, however, our persona becomes entangled in a web of self denial. This is very different than selflessness. Self denial is just that, saying we have no needs when in fact we do. From the Andean perspective we are each souls who came in to evolve. The journey, from this perspective, is about being in integrity with ourselves so we can be congruent with what created us. This means we must be keenly aware of who we are. 

If we are wounded and seeking value through servicing others, we are not actually in alignment with our true selves, especially when this creates imbalance and suffering. Consider the caretaker who puts everyone else first. She feels better about herself, for the time being, but she has not addressed the brokenness inside that she is compensating for. Taking care of others is much easier. While the takers come and drink generously from her well, she, herself, is thirsting for the tiniest drop of dew. This is not a plan with long term perspective gain, however. Without balance, this person eventually breaks down. It is often an illness that red flags our imbalances.

Someone who cannot say no, has no boundaries, who is not selfish enough to define their needs, and insist on attending to them, loses themselves to every relationship. He who buries himself in the pleasing of others soon finds himself resentful and unappreciated. If we are giving it out in a steady steam, to be liked, valued, or so we feel a sense of purpose, we will eventually become depleted. The true path to self-lessness pivots from the self-ish point of knowing who we truly are, and honoring it. We must explore what our needs are, and take care of them, so we have a solid foundation upon which to be available to others. If we don’t spend the time healing our wounds and defining who we are, then we will not know how to drink deeply from the beauty in the infinite that so truly sustains us. 

Many are taught that we are selfish to spend time and resources on ourselves, or that it is unbecoming to stand up for our needs. We may expect others will eventually recognize them instead, and we suffer when they don’t. There is even the slightly arrogant perspective of “Oh, I am stronger than you are, I can give this up because you need it more than I.” In this causal plane of existence, however, we are all creating our own realities. You can’t create something meaningful, that brings the vibration of the collective reality up, without self indulgence. Selflessness comes from doing all the inner work necessary to be able to meet our own needs effortlessly, so we are not distracted by them. When we feel complete we are completely available to co-create with Source. So plant a beautiful garden! Yes, this is selfish. But the more we heal our woundings, and stop having expectations that others fulfill us, the less our creation is motivated by self and the more congruent we are with Self.

Christina Allen, Shamanic Healer, Teacher, and Founder and Director of the Austin Shamanic Center, combines a strong science (BA Physics, MS Neuroscience) background with decades of applied ancient spiritual wisdom (Master Yogi, Reiki Master, Shamanic Healer, based, in part, on Q’ero Indian traditions of Peru). ASC offers profound Shamanic Self Development Workshops, professional trainings, and personal healings. Learn more at

© Austin All Natural, May 2019

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