In our society today, being selfish is an extremely negative way to be. It is an insult, something that is totally frowned on. From very early on we are taught to share and take other people’s feelings into account when making a decision.
We are all selfish in some way, however. It really is in our nature to think of our own needs first. And that is as it should be. I am the center of my own Universe, just as you are the center of your own Universe. If I do not take care of my own needs first, I will not be able to give anything to anyone else. It is like the flight attendants say at the beginning of every flight – put your own oxygen mask on first before trying to help someone else with theirs. If you can’t breathe, you’re not going to be of use to anyone!
It is when that personal wants and desires are held to the exclusion of other people’s welfare that it becomes problematic. If I am always making decisions based on what I want without ever considering what my family wants, I am going to have a mutiny on my hands before long.
Artemis was definitely selfish. She asked her father for several very specific gifts at a young age, and received them. She knew exactly what she wanted and was committed to protecting her interests. And she definitely had the wherewithal to do so! She shot or cursed those who entered her realm without permission, or those who took advantage of her companions, or even those who insulted her mother.
But she also helped her mother deliver her twin brother. She rescued young women who were going to be sacrificed or married against their will. She protected the forests and wild places.
So the guidance I am receiving from Artemis right now is that it is ok to be selfish. I need to make sure that I take care of myself first. Protect my personal interests, and then protect the interests of those I care about. I can be a warrior for others, but only if I am a warrior for myself first.
And that is partly why this post is late this week. I was taking care of myself first. 🙂