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Selfish vs. Selfless

by WeepingWisteria




I am selfish.
I’m always upsetting others, saying little things that get them to worry about me. I want people to care about me, the words slipping between my teeth, but I am always after the wrong faces. Those I seek, those I needle sympathy from with hurt words and sharp groans, are already in pain. So much more pain than I am currently facing. How could I ask them to worry about me? How could I see myself as deserving of their sympathy and kindness?

I am selfish.
I’m terrified of being left behind, so I hoard opportunities like a dragon sprawled over a pile of gold. I ask for attention, answer everyone’s questions, and leave no room for others to speak. I refuse to give up, refuse to falter for even a moment, and fight tooth and nail for the spotlight as though I need it to survive. Even then, the mountains of awards and recognition aren’t enough; I must earn more.

I am selfish.
My voice is the loudest in every room because I hate nothing more than being drowned out. I’ll take control of rooms and conversations with nothing but my voice and a pen. No one can ignore me, pretend that I’m not there because I dare to demand to be heard. Silencing me is a war most will never win because a coy response is always loaded on the tip of my tongue, piercing and dry. So I hold on to the threads of my control, lay my presence down in bold, and mark myself as unstoppable. I’ll never let you forget me.

I am selfish.
All I do is take up space and resources. My parents have to spend money on me for things I don’t need; my teachers make sure I have the A+ that isn’t required. People have to keep track of me every day, ensuring I’m living and breathing because I’m incapable of being responsible for my well-being. What have I done to deserve this? I make painful, stupid mistakes and contribute nothing but more work to be graded and more events to attend. The only way I can pay these people back is with empty promises of futures not guaranteed to happen — songs of “one day” and “I will’.”

I want to be selfless.
I want to give everything I am until I’m in the negatives, past having nothing left. I want my emotions to be quickly bundled away and tucked in my closet without coming back to get me. I should be able to smile and smile forever without it becoming inauthentic. I want my eternal happiness to be honest, so no one has to ask what’s wrong. I want to stop receiving the support I’m supposed to be giving. I want perfection to be attainable, so I don’t have to ask for help when I miss the mark.

I want to be selfless.
I want to be able to give up some opportunities, let them soar above me. I can’t donate my polished treasury, but I can prevent myself from adding to it with a bit of self-control. And I want to have that self-control, the discipline I need to sit down and keep my hands in my lap. I want to be okay with being unknown, with being ordinary. If I am extraordinary, then I can’t be selfless. Extraordinary people have overpowered rooms, choked others’ chances of being noticed, and that’s what makes them extraordinary. Wanting to be praised is selfish, and I want to kill that urge.

I want to be selfless.
I want to be invisible, to learn when to shut up and stay quiet. Those who aren’t seen can’t consume everyone’s focus. They can’t stand center-stage and block out the rest of the cast. That’s who I want to be. People who shine bright are awe-inspiring, but now I’m just blinding everyone in my wake. I don’t want to be looked at anymore. I’m sure there are quieter ones, dimmer ones, that deserve the consideration much more than I do. I’m tired of stealing their chance to be seen.

I want to be selfless.
Most of all, I want to be deserving. I want to earn the love I am given, the support, the praise. If I am to be considered something remarkable, then I want to be truly remarkable. I want others to be my first thought every time, my own goals shoved to the far corners of my mind. I don’t want to be the first choice, the first priority. I don’t want to be sad when my friends are down. I don’t want to be anxious when my friends are stressed. Can I just be there for everyone without needing anything in return? Is that too much to ask?

I want to be enough.
As much as I complain and beg the stars for flawlessness, I know it is nothing but an empty dream. I’m asking myself for inhumanity, to let go of the little quirks that allow me to be myself. I have to come first at some point, or I’ll have nothing, become nothing. I’ve trapped myself in a dangerous ultimatum, inherently selfish and evil or inherently selfless and good. I’m trying my best, and that’s where I land. So why can’t I be satisfied with that? I just want my mind to fall silent for once, to stop holding me to this impossible standard of perfection and dispensability. I deserve to be worried about, cared for, and listened to when others want to speak. I want to believe that, to unlearn the harsh patterns of self-deprecation that swirl in my head. But, for now, that sounds falser than fiction and just as impossible to achieve as perfection.

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41 Reviews

Points: 110
Reviews: 41

Fri Jun 17, 2022 4:59 am
Sunflowerdemon3712 wrote a review...

Sunflower here for a review.

Gods this hit me like a frieght train. This made me cry because I see myself in a lot of what you said and I think that made this hurt even more. I think this really highlights how we as humans want to be good but in truth there's only so much we can do and sometimes that's okay because it's natural to have flaws and you don't have to be perfect to be a good person and I think that's something I need to remember far more often. The wonderful message mixed with your stunning use of words is what I really think what drove this poem home for me and what made me want to take a picture of this and frame it on my wall, sentences flow beautifully and it just makes me feel so many things all at the same time and I think that's just so amazing and it's rare that people can really capture me the way that your work did and I applaud you for it. Lastly I just want to say that I hope you're doing okay and if you're not I hope that you get better and I wish you nothing but the best because I know life is really really hard sometimes. Having said that thank you for taking time to read this and I hope you have a great night.

Best wishes, Sunflower.

Tldr: I cried...alot.

Hey, Sunflower! Thank you so much for your review. Right now, I can say that I%u2019m okay. I like to think of drawing the line between selfishness and selflessness as something that never ends. So, even on your worst days, you%u2019ll get another chance to get somewhere better. It means a lot to me that you%u2019d want to hang this on your wall. And I%u2019m sorry I made you cry. But I%u2019m thrilled you felt so connected to it.

Happy reading out there!

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400 Reviews

Points: 119
Reviews: 400

Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:49 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...

Wow..That was..beautiful.I think the biggest enemy in the world is society.Society gives the idea of someone who is “completely evil” or “completely good.” Those standards are unrealistic and we all know it.Yet we can’t help but judge ourselves and compare ourselves.Society gives us a disjointed message of what true good and evil is.Society is to blame.I hope you have a lovely day/night.

That is an incredibly valid take there, vampricone, but that was not exactly my intention. While society can be cruel and unnecessarily harsh, society is also what gave us this website. It creates the space we have to breathe and communicate and have an identity. So, my best advice is to carve a place within this world where you can flourish as you deserve to. There will always be the cold, harsh bits of the world, but you can always find somewhere warm, loving, and kind. Good luck on that journey.

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85 Reviews

Points: 0
Reviews: 85

Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:18 am
shatteredstones says...


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