Enough with the selfishness
“Out beyond our ideas of right or wrong, there is a field. I will meet you there. ” Rumi
I’ve loved that quote for years, but never felt a blog post following that would be…enough. But hell, sometimes you gotta feel inadequate and do it anyway. I hope I don’t lose you by referencing next a Friend’s episode. I used to feel pathetic admitting this, but a lot of my life lessons are mirrored in Friend’s episodes. I imagine any show that lasts 10 seasons must tap into something viewers can intimately connect with; that finds a way from our tv screens into our hearts.
The episode I reference regards a dispute between the characters Joey and Phoebe. The dispute being around this concept:
Is there such thing as a selfless good deed?
Phoebe insists there is no such thing under the basis that helping another, helps us feel good. So even helping others, is innately, selfish. Joey disagrees and sets out to prove Phoebe wrong. The plot continues with Phoebe giving money to PBS, a company she had a lot resentment towards to help Joey with his fundraiser. Phoebe swore this was selfless because she hated PBS, therefore doing it for Joey was at her expense. Yet when Joey asked if it made her feel good to help him, she admitted….YES.
Case closed, right? If we help someone and we feel good, are we not selfishly doing what makes us feel good? I don’t know. Maybe.
I took a class that had me track for a week what love felt like. What I found for myself, was that I identified love as a feeling of expansion. Perhaps we are desperately hoping to forget self-absorption and translate it into self expansion. I don’t know if this is selfish as much as it is seeking company in that field. Somehow magically the idea of you verse them disappears.
Isn’t it funny, it seems impossible to help someone else without also helping ourselves?
And this is where Rumi’s quote comes to play. I think we lose the point in our ideas and debates about what is good and bad; right and wrong. Is not the bigger question, does this benefit the whole? Because if an action helps you become a better person and helps you carry inner peace, does not everyone benefit from that “selfish” act? Do we really aspire to be selfish, or are we seeking freedom from the idea of an isolated, separate self?
I started out with doubts I could do justice to Rumi’s words. I’m not clear on my intention, self expansion perhaps; that something in this post might reach out and touch you, or at least create a space for that potential. Because, maybe, to be able to meet and expand in that field together first requires letting our ideas go to create some space for each other….I don’t know. Maybe.