Clarity in relationships – what is selfish and what is self-love?

For many of us drawn to Reiki, we are natural empaths – people who care for others, and sometimes this means we care too much about being “selfish”. This puts us in positions where we are easily taken advantage of, manipulated, and drained. It takes a huge amount of courage when you are a natural people pleaser to stand up for yourself and own your life. It is also fraught with misinterpretation!

So, I was delighted to come across the follow passages in Anthony De Mellow’s “Awareness” (thank you Adrienne!), he puts it so succinctly – this is really the simple crux of the matter! Italics I have added.

On selfishness:

“I’m a dictator, you’re a dictator. I want to run your life for you; I want to tell you exactly how you’re expected to be and how you’re expected to behave, and you’d better behave as I have decided or I shall punish myself by having negative feelings. Remember what I told you, everybody’s a lunatic.