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So many disregulated eaters, especially you nice girls and guys, fear being self-centered—you know, selfish, egotistical, or self-absorbed. Instead, you turn yourself inside out to be self-effacing and other-oriented, as if focusing on you is a sin. In reaction to early care-takers who were too self-centered, you now fail to center on yourself nearly enough. Once again, all-or-nothing thinking rears its ugly head, as if people are totally self- or other-oriented. The healthy among us are both!
Here’s a question for you: If you are not centering on your life, who is? That is, if you are not the center of your own universe, who is? Who could be other than you? How can someone else be the center of your life? They can only be the center of their lives! Not to be redundant, but by a process of elimination, you must be the center of your own life. No one else will volunteer. Everyone else is busy being the center of their own life. Get it? And that’s exactly as it should be.
I’m being light here, but that doesn’t alter the truth and seriousness of the issue. Being the center of your life doesn’t mean you’re selfish, self-absorbed, snooty, or don’t give a hoot about other people. It means, quite simply, that you take for granted that it is your job to focus on yourself. It means that you are in the inner circle and everyone else is in the next circle out, circling around you—while you, of course, are also circling around them. You are your own light and your own ballast, unique in the universe. You are filled with your “you-ness” and are enough for yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with the words “self” or “centered.” In fact, being centered is a goal to work toward—to be balanced and connected, to begin with yourself, then extend your focus outward toward others. Strive to have a clear and singular focus on yourself that brings an inner calm and sanity no matter what’s going on around or inside of you. That’s what being centered is all about. That’s what centering on self gets you. When you are this kind of centered, you can then take care of yourself and others.
So, the next time you’re worried about being self-centered, put a different spin on the word. Consider that it’s a fine thing, a necessary thing to zero in on what’s going on within you. Recognize that when you’re centering yourself, you’re making sure that all is well in your inner world. Make your own meaning of the word to replace any previous negative connotation that has been off-putting. Instead of avoiding being self-centered, make it a goal to work towards and be proud of.
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