For many people, fulfillment is sought elsewhere.
We want others to respect us so we do what we think they expect of us.
We want others to love us so we deny ourselves to do for them.
We expect others to make us happy and complete so we wait, and ultimately, disappoint ourselves when they do not.
It is a never ending cycle we learn and unquestionably repeat when ironically, all answers to our desires and questions begin and end with us.
In fact, if we want respect, we must respect ourselves. If we want love, we must love ourselves. If we want to be happy, we must decide to be happy. And if we want to feel or be complete, we must learn to acknowledge and appreciate who we are and what we have.
Each and every day, we demand others to do for us what we will not do for ourselves, we are dishonored and devalued. We brand ourselves with the stigma of dependency and dysfunction, encouraging others to take advantage and use us at every turn.
We, therefore, accept vulnerability as our theme and it surrounds us. It is magnetic and attracts the wrong people at the wrong time, leaving us to suffer for it. Many of us find ourselves enslaved by the whims of others and our lack of belief in ourselves ensures that our emancipation is thwarted. We make ourselves into serial victims instead of resurrected victors.
With each disappointment, we wonder and question why we do not possess what we desire, and why people continuously mistreat or abuse us. Still, we are not met with revelation nor does the narrative change.
Rather, we blame ourselves not for failing to do what’s necessary for ourselves, but for not doing more for those we expected to make us whole. And therein lies the embrace of true selfishness.
2016 © Eric Christopher Webb
The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work. Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio. He is the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes." He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
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