Started this a few months ago but just finished it... Lately I've been working on being less selfish. I wouldn't ever really label myself as a selfish person, but I think that maybe sometimes my reactions to peoples decisions if they affect me, have been selfish. I have taken away from their joy with my own selfish desires. When something has made them happy but me not so happy, I let my unhappiness show... maybe in hopes of getting my way, or maybe just because I naturally show how I really feel. But either way, I've realized that is me being selfish. Now that I've become aware of this, I'm doing what I always do.. trying to be better :).
I have noticed that most people support people conditionally, as opposed to unconditionally. For example: parents who claim to support their children, but really only support them when they are doing what they want and living how they want. Then as soon as a child makes a decision to do something different, not even "bad", but different, the parents no longer support them. And this can be the same with friends, relatives, lovers... anyone really. I get it. I get that it's because they think they "know" what's best. I am guilty of thinking I know what's best too... but enough already. Of course there are those times where 'they' might actually know better, but that doesn't even matter. If I've learned anything, it's that you really have to learn through your own experiences. It's the best way to learn, and with actual real life experiences it may be the only way to learn. Mistakes are okay, but what may seem to be a mistake for someone else, may be what's right for you. And if you aren't making your own decisions, then who's life are you really living? We are talking about LIVING, right? Not just existing...
With that said, being accepting as well as understanding allows me to be able to support the people I love in the greatest possible way - unconditionally! "I'm capable of loving without possessing", that's a quote p!nk said while her and her husband were separated. This is another part of being unselfish.. and I didn't understand it for the longest time. I thought to myself 'anyone could love someone without possessing them, duh!'. But I guess the difference is in the act of love, not just the emotion of love. And this doesn't even have to be a romantic love, but it can be love for anyone. You love, you support, and you accept 100% unselfishly. You act in their best interest with no hidden agenda's. But most importantly you trust them. And what I mean by this is that you trust that they are capable of making decisions that are in their best interest. You believe in them. You let them live their own lives, even if you have hesitation about a decision. You hope everything works out, and if it doesn't, you be there without any "I told you so's". If their life decision may affect you emotionally- you still smile and support what it is they want to do simply because you want them to be happy.. even if it means you might be a little sad. You learn that everybody's gotta live their own life the way that they want, and that those people that you care about... their happiness is what's most important. My friends and family's happiness is most important. So I choose to react in ways that make them feel good, no matter how I'm feeling.
On a side note. This doesn't mean my happiness isn't important to me. But my mindset of unconditionally supporting those that I care about, makes me happy. If I'm missing someone, this doesn't mean I miss them less if they're far away, it just means I'm okay with missing them, knowing they're happy and doing well and what's best for them. This also doesn't mean you should never let someone know how you're feeling, or keep all negative emotions in.. however, being selective about them is okay sometimes... but even better - finding a way to share your honest negative emotions while expressing your happiness for them is also important. Communicating honestly is always important and healthy, but never forget to emphasize the positive perspectives at the same time. (and here's where you see the counselor in me. hehe)