Selfishness... :(


#1

I am so selfish…

like, I don’t know how to get beyond it!

Since middle school, I have waster far too much time focusing on myself rather than caring about others.

Throughout highschool, I lost a lot of friends from it. Worrying about whether or not they even wanted to be my friend, rather than forgetting it and just being there for t h e m. I was pretty depressed in higschool too. And sometimes fall back into it… but it’s not nearly as bad now. :slight_smile:

But I don’t know how to snap out of this! I have very introverted thinking, and struggle with getting my thoughts and feelings out there…

And I am horrible at giving advice when a friend’s hurting… it breaks my heart! I wish I had the words… but anything I say, seems to do so little. And even when all I can do is listen and pray… it seems like part of me is thinking “wow, someone trusts me enough to open up to me” <<that’s horribly selfish… but I’m trying to be honest here.

Because I want to get beyond this. All around me, I see friends drowning in their hurt. I want to be able to selflessly reach out to them! I don’t want to see anymore hurt…

This self-centered mentality has effected my virtual life quite a bit. In adoration, it seems so hard to bring myself to praise God! Often, I find myself simply sitting passively in His presence… I’m right in front of the God who created me, and I rarely manage to even speak to Him!

I pray when it is convenient to me, or when I feel obligated too. I want to pray out of love.

ahhh I’ve just been feeling really frustrated with it. I decided to try just not thinking about it, but that only lasted a week ago.

Advice? :frowning:

oooh, and sorry about the irony of this post… being selfish in talking about how I hate my selfishness. hmm


#2

you and me both :hug1:

welcome to the club :wink:

maybe we can brainstorm together. lol.


#3

aww :console:

I’ll pray for you if you pray for me.

(…actually I’m praying for you either way, but it never hurts to try to rack up the extra intercession :stuck_out_tongue: )


#4

My own selfishness put my family in a financial bind… what to do… I have a hard time caring about anything that isn’t about God these days, which is nice when you don’t have stuff to do, but I seem to be unreliable anymore.


#5

Perhaps asking the obvious, but have you given the selfishness to Jesus in the sacrament of reconciliation? It’s a process (conquering sin), but the graces you receive in the sacrament can go a long ways towards that.


#6

thank you :slight_smile: prayers for you too!! :crossrc:

God bless :slight_smile:


#7

you’re in my prayers too… :hug:

hmm… good point. I have confessed & talked to a priest about it before… and was regularly-ish a year or two ago… but I haven’t been for a few months.

I’m hoping to get to confession first thing once school starts up again in a week or so. That and getting a spiritual director are up there on my list of things to do.


#8

raindrOps (what a lovely name),

You remind me of myself.

Only Christ and Our Lady had no selfishness at all. The rest of us are being selfish every time we do our will rather than God’s. Don’t think you are unique.

Christ wants your love and your trust. Know that he loves you no matter how selfish you see yourself to be. Trust in Him. Do not dwell long on your imperfection and be depressed; lean on Him.

Life continues to be a struggle with our own selfishness. We never fully “snap out of it”. But we go on, and little by little with His help we make progress that maybe we cannot even see.

With practice you may become a little more extroverted. But maybe God has made you introverted, and wants you to pray while other people may be better at finding words to help others. Work hard. But God sometimes lets us keep some of our imperfections as a little cross He gives us. Don’t fret over your imperfections! Don’t fret over your selfishness!! :slight_smile:

You show that you do care about others very much. The fact that you submitted your post at all shows me that you care; so does your saying how much it breaks your heart when your friends hurt.

The Cure D’ars (St. John Marie Vianney) told the story of an old man he saw praying for a long time in the church. The Cure asked him what he was saying to Our Lord, and he explained simply “He looks at me and I look at Him and that is enough.”. Be at peace, raindrOps.

That’s where I am too. I remember telling my mother, I can’t love Him, but I WANT to love Him! She said that wanting to love Him IS loving Him. It is just a beginning. But He accepts our love.

We are always to try to love Him more - “with thy whole heart, thy whole soul, thy whole strength and thy whole mind”. But who among us love Him so perfectly as that? To try to do so as much as we can is what life is all about.

Maybe Christ would say, Peace be still!

God bless you.


#9

Couple of things
We often become selfish when we consider ourselves over others. Try picturing one of your friends and think what would they like, try and focus on what the other person wants or feels.

What would please the other person. Sometimes the thought of doing what the other person wants is actually worse than doing it.

Of course there will be setbacks and it’s important not to get disheartened, but to keep moving foward rather than getting stuck dwelling on the set backs.

People often want to say something deep and meaningful when someone comes to them for help. Most people just want someone to listen to them, by giving up your time to listen you are saying that you value that person and that there is someone there for them. That simple gesture is often more important than anything you can say.


#10

I have to agree with the above poster, many times just being there & letting people vent is a tremendous help. Also, identifying with them, by that I mean their emotions maybe you didn’t have the same experience but you went through an experience that gave you the same emotions and sharing how you handled it…sometimes when you share your experience it really lightens things. Lot’s of times I feel like you and I wish I had the answer to make everything better, but even if we did, people don’t usually do it anyway.

One prayer that I have learned & it inspires me is the St Francis prayer…my new goal is to learn to live it-I just have to get started.

Also, it’s ok to go to Adoration and just be with Jesus. We always think we have to talk & talk-we don’t. The first thought that came to my mind when you stated your experience at Adoration I thought of someone being in the Garden of Agony with Jesus, holding His hand, and caressing His head, as His Holy Mother would have done.


#11

You are giving your friends a great gift by listening. Many people do not take the time to listen, and I’m sure your friends benefit by your care and attention. The inability to give advice is not necessarily a problem - lots of people only want to have someone hear them out - they don’t even want advice. Perhaps you could say a brief prayer to the Holy Spirit as you listen to a friend, in case there is something helpful you could say.

Betsy


#12

heyy thanks for the replies! I hope it didn’t seem like I was trolling, what with not posting for almost a week… I just didn’t have any time to get on the computer. like at all. O the business of life… gotta love it :slight_smile:

true… but that’s much easier said than done. It seems like all my “leaning on Christ” these days is purely mental… like I am trying to convince myself that there is this God up in heaven who is all knowing and all powerful and all loving and who knows me inside and out and who’s got me covered… but it all seems purely rational. Like there is no faith. I know that there is a God. Whether or not Jesus is God I can’t say that I know. I’ve been trying to figure this out this summer, but 20 or so proof’s for God’s existence is as far as I’ve gotten. I am trusting that Christ is for real. Same with the Catholic Church… but I can’t say that I know it, or that I have faith. On the other hand, I can’t say that I know it’s not. But I am trying to trust that it is True. Problem us, it’s hard to tell what is honestly trust and what is simply me trying to convince myself of a possible fact, while really allowing it to have no effect on myself. While really not trusting and leaning on God at all. And it’s hard to know when it matters.

true true. Honestly, my introverted nature doesn’t bother me too much. I like living within the confines of my own cranium… except when it effects or prevents me from helping others. Wanting to care is different then feeling sympathy or showing empathy. I spend most of my time with the first. But I guess the other two just takes practice, and constant stepping outside of my comfort zone… but I don’t know for sure.

true… hmm. But one can’t always passively sit in God’s presence, can they? …or can they

Thanks :slight_smile:


#13

ooh yea that’s part of it, I’m sure. While I know that I am no better than anyone else, I think that sometimes I tend to have that kind of attitude… kinda stuck up-ish. It’s crazy how hard it can be to consider other’s… like, it seems so easy. Yet habits are so hard to break… Not that that’s an excuse at all. But yeahhh… it’s not easy.

Thanks for the encouragement & advice.


#14

so true with that last line… But like… sometimes it seems like I have no problem dumping advice, but can’t offer words that’ll help… :frowning: Relating with them… hmm… good advice. I think that may be part of my problem, most of what I’ve gone through is unlike what most people go through… and I can’t relate to most people’s emotions because I used to be pretty emotionless… Which I guess must be ok. Maybe I’m not supposed to be able to really be much comfort to struggling friends?

Thanks =)


#15

thanks for the advice… prayer to the Holy Spirit <<< good idea… I hope I remember that one.

God bless

(& sorry all for the legnthy post dump…)

(& thanks again.)


#16

Hi – I agree with this. I also shared the following on another thread today, it might help.

*To me, God’s Truth is that there is no competition. God’s love is infinite. There is no “more infinity” for some, and “less infinity” for others… Infinity is ALL, always, all the time. No less-than or more-than.

However, in the human realm, we have competition. Cain slew Abel because HE felt less-than – not because God actually loved him less. Satan tempted Eve with the FALSEHOOD that she and Adam could be “more” than what they were. (which in truth was already precious enough!)

So to me, a primary feature of sin is our belief in the LIE of an up-down, superior-inferior, more-than/less-than creation, or reality. Violence stems from people harming or putting others down, in order to be “up”. It’s all based on falsehood.

Competition is only healthy for humans when we have agreed first, in an environment of equal respect, to compete in a certain “arena” – such as sports, a game, or in business. We develop our muscles and keep ourselves healthy by facing resistance — the stone is heavy, it resists my lifting it, so by lifting it I strengthen my muscle. We need resistance in our life, it’s part of our design to exercise ourselves against it.

But at ANY time other than in sports or business where there’s a clear arena, if a feeling of competition, or a sense of less-than/more-than comes up – it’s a lie, which can be traced back to its roots in Satan.

You are the only one besides God that knows your heart. But often the circumstances of our lives allow us to hold a false belief. And Satan is always there, trying to drive a wedge in, to make you doubt, and make you swallow the belief that love might be competitive, sometime, somewhere… It’s untrue.

Push back the lie. There is no competition in genuine heartfelt love. This understanding has helped me a great deal to recognize one of Satan’s main strategies, and to point myself back to God, my Light and my Truth, when doubt or feelings of more-than/less-than creep in.*

Selfishness stems from the belief that you don’t get enough attention, love, grace, comfort, etc, and that other people get more. When I’m selfish I’m basically attempting to feed a hungry, empty hole inside with more because I have swallowed the lie that God’s love and grace are limited and scarce – that some get more and some get less. Then I react and attempt to “correct the problem” by pulling everything toward the self and depriving others of the love and care I could give if I weren’t so busy trying to fill my hole.

The thing is, every lack that we face is in God’s hand and is part of His higher purpose. And there’s no way we can “correct” (what we believe are) His errors!!! To be selfish is thus have swallowed a lie, and to react by trying to PLAY God over God, in order to correct His errors and deliver what we think is just --, which is among the highest blasphemies. And like an addict, we forget others and the Truth when we are wrapped up in playing God.

Something that helps me every day is to remind myself that: “I am not God”. I say it to myself several times a day. I also thank God for my not being God in all my prayers because frankly, it’s very liberating to just let God be God and to STOP trying to play Him! I can just be me and practice being equal to everyone, not more than, and not less than.

If we can remember God’s Truth – that He is God and we are not – then we can share, be empathetic to, and have compassion for others, because we all carry burdens and we are all vulnerable to the LIE that God’s love is limited or scarce…

I hope this helps you.

Look inside your feeling of emptiness and root out the LIE of an up/down, superior/inferior creation that Satan is planting there. And fear not! The Truth is what sets us free.


#17

There is a story inthe Sayings of the Fathers about a monk who told his spiritual director he had become discouraged about doing charitable works, because every time he did, all he could see was his own selfish motives that kept getting mixed up in everything he did. The spiritual director asked him: Who do you think is more likely to survive a famine, the farmer whose harvest is poor and half-ruined, or the one who gives up and doesn‘t sow at all?


closed #18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.