The JOY That Comes From Being “Self Centered”…John Page Burton

When most people hear the phrase “self centered” they conjure up an image of a person who is self absorbed, someone who only cares about themselves. Most of us were admonished at an early age to not be “self centered.” As adults, many of us continue to hold the belief that “self centered” people cannot be counted on because they usually have a hidden agenda. In my early forties, I began to immerse myself in spiritual studies. Gradually, the words “self centered” took on a much different meaning and I realized that this supposedly “bad” thing called “self centeredness” could in fact be a very good thing. My journey toward  “self centeredness” had begun.

Webster’s Says….

Self-centered (adjective): concerned solely or chiefly with one’s own interests and welfare, independent, self sufficient, centered in oneself or itself.  I then looked at each of these words separately in order to gain an even better understanding. Self (noun): a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality, a person’s nature of character. Centered (adjective): having a central axis, situated in the center.

As I pondered Webster’s definitions, I began to ask myself some important questions.  Shouldn’t all of us strive to be independent, self sufficient people? Isn’t our ultimate goal to become a person of sound character?  Isn’t self sufficiency what our family, friends and especially society are expecting from us? How could I possibly add value to someone elses life if I am unable to take care of myself? If we fail to become a self sufficient person doesn’t society then deem us to be an even greater liability than those who have been labeled as simply being “self centered”? Having pondered these questions in great detail I made a decision and adopted a philosophy that I do my best to live by each day…..


We live in a fast paced, technology driven world that is moving faster than most of us can comprehend.  In order to find peace and re-charge our soul it is critical that we become “SELF CENTERED”. We must become still enough to tap into our inner voice. Many of our spiritual teachers encourage us to find a quiet, sacred space that will allow us to dialogue directly with our creator. A daily practice of prayer and meditation can help us to create an opening where we can explore the deeper levels of self.  When we make the commitment to take care of our minds, bodies and spirits we are honoring both ourselves and our creator. I have found that those who readily give to others but never honor themselves eventually become “angry givers”. Finding a healthy balance between what we lovingly give and what we are open to receive should be our goal. We must become “self centered”.


*When we are “self centered” we understand who we are and what we believe in. We are grounded in these beliefs. We are confident in our ability to make decisions that always honor the greater good.

*We trust our our inner voice. We are comfortable getting out of our head and into our heart. Our feelings become the language of our soul. We freely express our individuality. We are able to respect and honor others for who and where they are.

*We take responsibility for ALL of our experiences and actions. Because we are “self centered” we no longer feel the need to play the victim role by blaming our circumstances on others. When presented with challenges we trust in our own ability to make an informed decision.

*We have more to offer those around us.  An anchored, self sufficient person can have a much greater impact on our world than someone who is “flying by the seat of their pants”. When we are “self centered” we stay grounded and  view our lives in an objective manner.

Today, when someone refers to me as being “self centered” I am able to thank them for recognizing my efforts and for supporting me on my journey. As always I openly welcome your thoughts and feedback.

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