Am I selfish?

Clint Oka
2 min readJun 8, 2021
Mick Haupt from Unsplash

Feeling good coming out of a meditation session at a local sangha, which is a community of Zen buddhists.

I tell myself I’m all put together. I am centered because I finished this hour long meditation.

I get in my car and drive to the other side of the mountain to my hometown of Kaneohe and remember there is a birthday party for my nephew at 4pm today.

I totally forgot, or at least I knew about it but I forgot to get my nephew a present.

I debate whether to rush out and buy a random gift, but eventually realize I’m too tired and just stay home and rest.

4pm rolls around and my brother comes with cream puffs to share at the party.

Oh jeez, I was supposed to bring something to the party. I totally forgot.

My parents were hosting it, so I figured they got it.

Then the mother and my nephew show up with creme brulee for dessert.

Am I selfish for not buying a gift and not bringing anything to the party?

I’m in recovery, and am living with schizoaffective disorder.

I tell myself I am doing awesome, but I stop and realize that I spent all my time trying to get myself up and running.

I didn’t have any time or space or capacity to think of someone else.

I’m not selfish, I’m just treading water barely with my head above water.

I take a moment to think about this and admit that my recovery is still in recovery.

It’s hard to stomach that you are not succeeding like your peers.

I spend so much time comparing myself with my peers and playing the catch up game that I forget to enjoy life and give attention to the people in my life.

But what’s wrong with taking time to take care of myself?

Maybe I am not in a position to help others and am spending time on myself.

So the next time a person seems arrogant or aggressive or rubs me the wrong way, I think that they are probably going through something in their life.

Maybe their life is not together and they are barely getting by. We don’t know everyone’s story and looks are deceiving.

You may be well dressed, have a, quote on quote, good job, be in a relationship, but still have struggles that prevent you from thinking of others.

So I’m going to judge less, concentrate on me time, so one day I’ll be able to take care of others.