[This is part 2. Click here to read part 1.]
The selfishness hook.
It works wonders, doesn’t it?
Especially on women.
I’ve coached hundreds of women, both at my retreats and in my on-line seminar. The fear of being “selfish” comes up often when a woman is making a choice that goes against the traditional cultural model, or if her desire is different from what everyone expects.
Nowhere is this more true than in the “to have kids or not” question. This is a major trigger point.
Women have heard this one very strange outmoded story for too long: that women who choose a life without their own children are clearly selfish because they are choosing their own “freedom” or “ambition” over the delight of raising and serving other human beings.
I call it The Selfishness Myth.
And I have exactly six things to say about it:
1 – Not having children makes you not have children. That’s all.
2 – Having children is not the Automatic Selfishness Release Lever.
A simple stroll around the aisles of any Super Wal-Mart will show you that.
3 – People who label others as selfish are most often not “creators.” They are “getters.”
(See my post Creating vs. Getting for more about this.)
Let’s face it. Most people are not clear. Most people live life from a place of reaction, not Creativity. Most people try to get things in life, and don’t know how to create things in life.
When these people meet someone who makes clear choices, or sets boundaries, or treats herself with care, or only says yes if it’s an Absolute Yes – then it looks like selfishness.
That’s because when you live in the Getting place, then your very survival necessitates a world where other people are unclear and don’t make healthy choices and aren’t sure what they want.
That’s because “getting” involves strategies and manipulation. Manipulation requires that other people don’t have any boundaries or clarity about their time, money, and choices.
So, the word “selfish” is convenient. It allows the labeler not to have to look at her own feelings of powerlessness. Instead she just feeds her ego and puffs-up her world-view.
4 – There is no point in getting vitriolic about people who play the “selfish” card.
They are not mean or bad or evil. They are merely unconscious. And they’ve never taken the bold steps to discover their own huge power to create their lives. They are scared.
5 – Redefining Selfishness is necessary.
When you step begin to “Live Creative,” and you get clear about what you want and how to create it from the inside out, then you’ll often have to stop waiting for others to validate your choices. Instead you will have to Redefine Selfishness.
6 – If you want to Redefine Selfishness, try this definition on for size:
It is not selfish to choose to live how you want to live. It is selfish to expect other people to live how you want to live.
Given that definition, we all know many parents who – no matter how many offspring they produce – will never become unselfish.
And when it comes to parenting, the simple act of asking whether or not you want children might be a wise and bold and unselfish first move.