selfishness

It’s like my new blog crush, Brad Warner, says about the precepts:

You can’t know what the precepts mean for anyone else.  You can only know what they mean for you.  You can’t sit around worrying about what someone else is doing and you certainly can’t go around judging.  Figure out what these things mean for you, and do the best you can.*

It’s like your third-grade teacher said:

Just worry about your own work.  Don’t worry about what your neighbor is doing.

When I said wanting to be pregnant felt selfish, I meant for me.  I didn’t mean to judge anyone else, and I admire all of you ladies who have managed to get out of the self-doubt stage and actually go through with IVF.  We all have to go through all of the feelings and the decisions, and each of us makes the decision that is best for our own situation and our own needs.  I hope I didn’t offend anyone, as it certainly wasn’t my intent, and if I spoke out of turn I apologize.

I have some long-standing issues with wanting.  It’s hard for me to articulate what I want, it’s hard for me to see my own wants as valid and reasonable, and it’s very, very hard for me to parse my own knee-jerk reaction of defining anything I want as selfish, just because I want it.

It was hard for me to say in yesterday’s post that I want to be pregnant because it’s a want that can’t be rationalized as being altruistic.

It’s not part of the fairy tale I tell myself about wanting to be a parent for the sake of loving a child; it’s something I want because I want it.  It’s one of the basic things I want out of life, and always have.  Yesterday’s post was mostly about saying that out loud and trying out the idea of being OK with wanting, even if it might feel selfish.

*I’m not quoting here; he puts it a lot more elegantly than that in multiple pieces of writing, both on his blog and in his books.

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3 responses to “selfishness

  1. Your post didn’t offend me. I’m enjoying reading more from you again. 🙂

    I, too, felt, to a certain extent, that our desire to be parents was/is selfish. But I realized that nearly everyone who has a child does so for her own selfish reasons. Really, when you break it down logically, there is no good, unselfish reason to be a parent, through whatever means.

    That doesn’t necessarily make it wrong in my view. Many things I’ve done in my life which have contributed to the greater good are things I initially started for “selfish” (meaning “self-centered”) reasons.

    Just something to think about. . . .

  2. Port of Indecision

    I wasn’t offended by it, and I kind of think it’s…let me put it nicely and say ‘unfair’ that anyone would be upset that you were being honest and acknowledging the complex emotions and considerations that go into a decision like this.

  3. I think I was just being jerky and by suggesting that if you don’t consider it selfish for others it’s unfair to consider it selfish for yourself. Maybe not the classiest way to raise the issue, but I did want to allow for the possibility that you DO consider it selfish for everyone. I love what S says. Maybe the best path is to embrace the selfish!

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