Being Full Of Yourself

Vanity by John Waterhouse

I have sometimes been criticised for being “a bit too full of myself”. By which I suppose people mean that I seem over confident and opinionated. Or perhaps they mean that I am vain and conceited. I will concede that all of those things can be true although I hope I don’t get the balance wrong too often. I suppose I do think that I am important and that my opinions matter; if that were not the case I wouldn’t waste my time sharing my opinions on the internet. Yet there is a pervasive attitude in society which makes us believe it is somehow wrong to place ourselves first and that being too full of ourselves inevitably leads to extreme selfishness and other nasty character traits.

So for me there was always a dilemma. I do genuinely care very much about other people and the good of society as a whole, but I can’t deny that I also care very much about myself. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to a so called Left Hand spiritual path; indeed Satanism may well be the most well known Left Hand Path of all.

I am not going to describe in depth all the differences between left and right hand spiritual paths (a quick google search or visit to my other blog may help clarify if you want further information) but it is fair to say that emphasis on the self is one of the main distinguishing features of the Left Hand Path, whereas the Right Hand Path tends to be more outward looking. I did not choose to follow a Left Hand Path just as an excuse to be selfish however; I chose this path as a way to be better balanced and make “being full of myself” a more positive and productive aspect of my personality.

As time has gone by I have come to believe that the differences between LHP and RHP are not as great as might first appear.

Some of the main criticisms often levelled against followers of the left hand path is that it’s focus on the self can lead to extreme selfishness, narcissism, amoral and anti-social behaviour. All of these things can occur if focus and balance are lost. And it is fair to say that those who have a tendency to anti-social behaviour of various types might be drawn to left hand paths under the mistaken belief that such paths somehow justify their unpleasant characteristics.

On the other hand it could be said that right hand paths don’t emphasise the self enough and can encourage unworldly dreamers who cannot cope with everyday reality into meaningless activities which have no real benefits for themselves or anybody else. In short they can become like opiates which lead to nothing but waste and entropy.

There are dangers in the extremes and misunderstandings of both paths. I think however there is a point of balance where both paths have a lot in common and where genuine progression both for the individual and wider society is possible. For those on the LHP I think that point comes with the realisation that the good of the self depends to a large degree on the nature and health of the wider community. For those on the RHP I think that point comes when you realise the individual is ineffective in helping the wider community unless the individual is strong and balanced in his/herself.

Once that point of balance is realised, both pathways can be equally beneficial both to the individual and to society as a whole. In fact there maybe far more similarities than differences from that point on.

In conclusion, I hope I am full of myself in a positive and balanced way. Of course I am not perfect; there are times when I might well be vain or conceited. Hopefully however it will increasingly mean that I am a “whole” person who is well equipped to be happy and successful in my own life and play a positive and constructive role in the wider community.

10 responses to “Being Full Of Yourself

  1. I agree, and it’s like the ambidextrous thing I mentioned before. I think balance is necessary, like you say. Too extreme RHP can actually lead to Martyr Syndrome where you become a doormat to others and it doesn’t actually make you a saint; most people end up secretly bitter and resentful which are hardly “good” qualities. You need to take care of yourself as well or you can completely lose your identity.

    And, btw, people who have good self-esteem (as you do) often come under fire for being “full of themselves” or “too opinionated”. I get that as well. Someone on WP wrote a post recently (not mentioning my name specifically but using other clues that they were referring to me) saying “Some people think they have all their s*** together, but they don’t! Everyone is the same. Nobody can really have all their s*** together like that …”

    Everyone is not the same, and yes, some people have got it sorted out a bit better than others. Doesn’t mean we’re perfect, gloating, or that we have all the answers, but nothing wrong with having confidence and opinions. I don’t apologise for that! I like your confidence, and you don’t strike me as being full of yourself. Maybe it just seems like that to people who have low self-esteem.

  2. “Hopefully however it will increasingly mean that I am a “whole” person” I love that part. I’m always striving for that wholeness, and sometimes that means being open with your screw-ups. Balance and wholeness. Everyone on every path needs both.

  3. Just a totally vague and random observation, but why is there no center path? Just as in politics, there seems (in many people’s minds) to only be a left and a right. Certainly, there should be a compromise that incorporates the best of both sides.

    • A good point and I may write a full blog post about this sometime but in short I think there is always a balanced path to be found, but the point of balance does not have to be in the centre. In politics for example, if you are left wing or right wing there are certain fundamentally different things you believe which can’t really co-exist with their opposite. If you believe the free market is the key to everything, it doesn’t make sense to have an equal amount of public ownership and state control (and vice versa). If you are totally against racism, you can’t also say that some forms of racism are okay. Etc.
      Spiritually I think there is a bit more room for manoeuvre since I think the borders between left and right hand paths can be quite arbitrary depending on the definition you use. I do think it is possible to incorporate the best of both sides; but the point of balance would be something dynamic rather than some grey centre ground.
      I doubt if that makes much sense to anyone but me!

      • It makes perfect sense to me. I probably shouldn’t have used politics as an example because you’re absolutely right about certain beliefs being mutually exclusive. All the other points you made were totally valid, too. I’m not fond of grey either (I prefer black, red, blue or purple), so I suppose I shouldn’t be asking for a center patch 🙂

  4. I love this post, thank you Cassie. Many people will say ‘You are selfish for taking care of yourself. You are selfish for thinking of yourself and not me. You need to change so I can look at you and feel better…..’ The irony in that!!!

    Maybe a good many of us have forgotten what it feels like to love and care for ourselves? Really love ourselves. Some think that being ‘full of ourselves’ means that we are arrogant or conceited or think of ourselves as better than another soul. And while there may be people that do this, self love and nurturing is different. It is knowing your worth and loving yourself dearly whilst at the same time feeling the knowing the value, and appreciating, other souls.

    Some people are out there taking massive action, putting others before themselves because they believe it may be noble or good. There is no doubt this is kindness, it is love but sometimes it can come from a place of personal misalignment. it can stem from a place of not caring enough about oneself. Sometimes it can even stem from obligation and feelings of resentment arise. Caring and giving and supporting other souls is so much more divine when it comes from a place of alignment, of acknowledging your own needs and loving and taking care of yourself too. It is living resistance free.

    I love it when I see people who love and adore themselves. Once upon a time, I would have been quick to negatively label them as ‘full of it…or.. in love with themselves.’ but I believe that is because I didn’t love or appreciate myself. It would be so beautiful if every soul truly fell in love with the beauty that they are.

    • Thanks for your comment and I totally agree. Of course it has to be balanced. Love of a child, a spouse, a lover or a friend my sometimes include criticism and chastisement. We want those we love (including ourselves) to be as happy and fulfilled as possible and that may sometimes mean having to learn tough lessons. Loving yourself is not always easy.

  5. callingyoufarmer

    thank you for the nice read on your blog Being full of your self !! very nice read from a left handed person ..

  6. I would use this analogy: You wouldn’t go to the gym and only work out one part of your body all the time, would you? Why would you limit your spiritual growth and expression to only one side? Balanced body, balanced spirit. Work both sides.

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