Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Does Cancer Make you Selfish?

There have been so many things that I have learned and continue to learn about myself while I am on this journey. Mike and I were having a conversation the other day about being selfish. In my pre-cancer life that is not a word that I would attribute to myself. However now I can see that I do possess some selfish qualities. I am not so sure it is a bad thing. A lot of people might relabel selfishness as self preservation or some other catch phrase that takes the negativity and finger pointing out of it. But what does it really mean? To me, it means that I am making a greater effort to put myself first. It doesn't mean that I am ignoring the needs of my family and friends but I am striking a balance between my needs and others. As opposed to putting others needs before my own and then whatever is left giving to myself. I suppose it is all part of growing up. Or better yet evolving into my best self.

Ancora Imparo


Aaron said...

Interesting thought. To me, a lot of life, whether it’s related to our personal or work lives, comes down to prioritization, and barring extreme situations (say a loved one trapped in a burning building), self preservation has to be our first priority. If we aren’t taking care of ourselves, we aren’t going to do anyone else in our lives much good. I don’t think that’s selfishness, its common sense. For those of us who have a tendency to put the needs of others first that can be a jarring realization, but it’s a necessary one. That said, having a goal that goes beyond one’s self can be a powerful motivator. Watching Ted Kennedy’s determination in taking the stage to speak at the DNC last week was a pretty strong case in point.

Fortunately, you have pretty strong goals living under your roof that get to motivate you every day! So keep being as “selfish” as you need to be on any given day, for there is an awful lot to look forward to when this whole nightmare is behind you.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Amen, Aaron!!! I've tried to remember, since I had kids, that I've got to do what is right for myself...and that will ultimately make it right for everybody else that I love. Not always easy to do...but something to remember and work toward.

Cancer does not make you selfish; cancer is the wake-up call that life is flying by, and you had jolly well better figure out what is MOST important...and then, make that most important stuff formost in your mind and in your actions.

We love you.

Marilyn, Fred and Betty

Anonymous said...

Hey Mama - too often women put themselves last on the list. I don't see a problem moving yourself to number 1 on the list. That doesn't mean you don't care about others and their needs, but right now my love, you need to put yourself first and then everything else will fall nicely into place. Be comfortable in the number 1 spot. My love to you, lis

Sheila said...

Hey Marla,

Sorry I haven't written much, but I read your blog often and am so grateful for your progress - you have some really great people around you. It took me a really long time to learn to put myself first or find a better balance. My wake up call was a few years ago and when I started to say no to things and prioritize for me - it was almost a relief. Like you said, it doesn't mean you can't do for others, just means you're treating yourself with the respect you deserve. Its interesting, I think I walk a little taller. All part of life's journey.

Looking forward to more dinners at Lido. Let us know when you're up for it. Sheila B.