Am I Too Selfish?
Before I answer the question posed above, I want to acknowledge something I’m picking up from a number of people who follow this blog and who have attended my Principles of Joy workshops: They miss Samuel and they want me to bring him back. I admit that I’m somewhat conflicted about that, because standing where I do I know that it isn’t necessary to speak in the voice of Samuel. And yet I also have to admit that the people who were around when I started sharing messages as Samuel felt something special when I did that.
I very much appreciate the great love and support I received (and continue to receive) when I speak as myself, but I’ve also come to understand that people want to relate to me as just me. It’s hard for some folks to relate to Appio when I’m interpreting messages from “the collective.” To be fair, the collective doesn’t always understand the nuances of human emotion. They simply know what is best for us and they urge us to act in ways that are aligned with universal Truth. That’s what they did when I first started sharing the Principles of Joy.
However, the current of emotion as experienced by Source is pure and unpolluted by the limitations of the human experience. So, when they nudge us in certain directions (like they did with me and the whole Samuel thing), they don’t always appreciate what’s going on with our human side.
Fortunately, there are infinitely creative ways to adapt to the human experience AND stay aligned with Source and universal Truth. I’ve therefore decided that when I’m in “sharing mode,” I will do what feels best for now, and that is to speak as Samuel.
I want to make clear that there is no separation between me, Samuel, or Source Energy (none of us are separated from Source if you want to get technical), but I’ve also accepted that our human sides like to compartmentalize the source of our information in order to better process it.
On that note, I’ll address the question in the title. I received this question from a friend who asked to remain anonymous, but I received permission to publish the question and a response through The Aspects of Joy blog. Here is the original question:
“I’ve spent most of my life being a people pleaser. I’ve finally learned how to say ‘no,’ to the demands people place on me, but now I feel like I’m going to the opposite extreme. I used to volunteer and serve the community all the time, but I’m no longer interested in doing any of that. I don’t want to even help my family members. Am I being TOO selfish?”
Here is Samuel’s reply:
The phenomenon of “people pleasing,” as humans like to say, takes so many different forms and is so commonplace most people fail to recognize what is happening. However, when you reach the point where you start to use the label “people pleaser,” it means that your emotional pendulum is so far out of balance it has gotten stuck, and consequently you also feel stuck.
It often takes a traumatic experience or a valiant decision on your part to get unstuck. When that happens, well… your human side starts to doubt everything. That’s okay. You’re experiencing part of the natural corrective process.
It helps to understand that when your emotional pendulum is stuck in one position for a long time, it swings wildly between extreme positions once released. At first, you may feel resentful when the people around you (family members in particular) put the same emotional demands on you that they’ve always placed. Your reaction is normal and natural – especially from a human perspective. Understand that just because you released your own emotional pendulum, it doesn’t mean that the people around you have. Most of the time, they’re still in the same emotional space they were before.
Do not judge yourself. You are going through a period of natural self-correction. As you allow your emotions to flow, you will find yourself swinging between lesser and lesser extremes of trying to make others happy and seeing to your own happiness. When your emotional pendulum settles back into its natural center, you will find it easy to do the things that naturally bring you joy; whether that is volunteering or helping a family member with a project.
Keep in mind that there is a difference between doing something for someone to make them happy and doing something for someone out of love. When you’re aligned with your higher self, you will automatically know the difference. While in your transitional period however, ask yourself this question: Am I doing something because I’m seeking someone’s approval, or am I doing this because I want to? If your answer is the latter, then your motivation is aligned with Source and your higher self.
Any choice or decision made from a place of alignment is the right one for you. You will know this because there are absolutely no feelings of “ickiness” or doubt. Your actions feel good, even joyful. Joy doesn’t necessarily display itself in peals of ecstatic laughter, but one thing you can always count on is a sense of clarity, satisfaction and inner peace.
Let go of your fear and stop judging yourself. When you do, your emotional pendulum will right itself, and it will do so more quickly than if you try to hold it still. That is not said in the form of a command, but rather as a suggestion. You are always free to make whatever choice you want, but if you want to experience clarity, balance, inner peace, love, and joy, then let yourself practice the advice you have been given.
Everything is in perfect balance and your joy is always with you. Know this and be well.
About the Author
Appio Hunter is an author, speaker, spiritual guide, and self-described champion for living joyously. He uses his seminars and workshops to facilitate conversations about authenticity, alignment, and the daily experience of community, connection, and joy. Appio is also a weekly columnist with The Good Men Project and co-host of the Real Men Feel Show along with his good friend Andy Grant.