The Sin of Selfishness: My Own

I am being selfish today. Wrapped up in myself, worrying about what the future holds, when I should be leaving the past behind me and staying fully in the present.

My Great-Aunt died. Miss Margaret. She called me “Lee-tha”, for some reason, she never got the “S” in Lisa. A wonderful, kind hearted lady, who was an “Old Maid”, that lived in a house on the corner that was painted green. My Grandfather’s last living sibling. He’s the only one left now. I mourn more for him, for his loss. She was his best friend and he has been to see her almost daily since my Grandmother passed away. Oh, she no longer lived in the house on the corner, but in an assisted living facility. Her last days being spent in the hospital, where I am sure he was.

Tomorrow, I will head home. My son will be in school, while my husband holds down the fort. To pay respects to this wonderful woman. To hug my Grandfather, tell him I love him so much. Even though I don’t show it like I should. I don’t see him, or talk to him, like I should. Getting wrapped up in my own life.

But, even with all of that realization, I am being even more selfish. It’s one I can’t get past.

My father is going to be there tomorrow. It’s been nearly two years since we have spoken, or laid eyes on each other. I’m terrified. I don’t know why. We haven’t had a relationship in a long, long time. My parents split up when I was 10, but the relationship stopped long before that. He was my Daddy. He’s still there. But, we are too different. I am my mother’s child and like her in so many ways. We look just alike. Maybe he sees too much of her in me. Maybe he sees me not believing him. I know I haven’t forgiven him for the abuse to her. Or for choosing another woman and her children over me and my little sister.

Anger. Selfishness. My own sins. After begging him to be in my life for years, for him just to spend time with me, to stop breaking my heart, I just quit. Instead, I turned to anger. To obstinance. I still let him affect me. Make me cry. Anger for him not giving me away the day I got married. Even though I begged him, changed venues. He didn’t even come. Anger over him giving my sister a baby shower and his wife’s family giving her a bridal shower. Nothing for me. I have no idea why and probably never will. I’ve just looked in the mirror too many times and said, “you’re just not worthy”. But, I am.

It’s taken me a long time to figure out that my anger stemmed from past hurts and the fear of being wounded again. Which could be why I hold onto this sin of selfishness. Fear and anger that inevitably accompanies and feeds the selfishness. Selfishness caused by an overflow of emotion and a lack of reason. The Dalai Lama has said, When reason ends, then anger begins. Therefore, anger is a sign of weakness.” It’s my own weakness, coming to haunt me. Holding me back from growing.

The Buddha said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Until I learn to practice forgiveness that is exactly what I am doing, burning my hands with coal I intend for another. Holding on to the anger is so much easier than letting it go. Because when I let it go, the fear of being hurt by his controlling, hateful ways, comes flooding in.

My problems are indeed my own. Yet, I shall not let them overshadow tomorrow and what I must do. My friend, Vera, told me that I have to go and “be nice. Mourn your loss. Then walk away. Remember why you are going and try not to spend your energy on the negativity.”

Negative energy is not allowed. It will do more harm than good. For now, I am lifting my problems to a higher power, while spending time in meditation and prayer. I will also be focusing on this quote:

“To be angry is to let others’ mistakes punish yourself. To forgive others is to be good to yourself.” Master ChengYen


  1. I am going to print this out: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” How TRUE! Like I’ve already said, I am so sorry for your loss, and I’m sad for you that your Aunt’s death can’t just be about her, but that you have to worry about seeing your father. I know that you can get through tomorrow. It will be a hard day, but I suspect that a lot of peace can and will come out of it.
    Lolli @ Better in Bulk recently posted..Santa Pictures

  2. Yes, you are right, you are worthy! Thank you so much for sharing your story. As a child of divorce and someone who has not seen her mom but on a handful of occassions over the past 12 years, I pray that you will find the peace that comes with letting it out and also letting it go. (I need to take my own advice)

    You have many people that will support you, cheer you on, and will let you lean on them at times such as this. I am so sorry for the added pain and stress that you have to struggle with as you mourn your loss of your Miss Margaret.

    It’s not always white picket fences and happy families for everyone, is it?
    Teresa recently posted..Meet Me On Monday

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