Doing what you know is good for you is actually good for others as well
When you do what is good for you, it creates a particular energy that seamlessly spreads through you and flows outward towards someone or something. In other words, when you are deeply aligned to what is good for you, there exists the capacity to reach and radiate goodness. This way of reaching out is not conceptual or formulated, it’s a natural extension of relating to the basic Dearness within you.
In Buddhism, this kind of basic Dearness for self and others is called “Bodhicitta.” Bodhichitta is the heart-mind that is free of obstacles. It’s an enlightened mind that sees and knows a greater reality. It’s the feeling of being free from ego-grasping and the fear of loss. It’s the sweet heart that is so good for you.
Being a martyr to the belief that you have to take care of others at the expense of your self is a misunderstanding of basic goodness. Remember that the first person you need to care for is you. Instead of being falsely accommodating to others only to later have resentments, do what is good for you. You must stop helping people who will not help themselves. Stop trying to help where you don’t have the capacity to really support someone: this kind of action is how our so-called good intentions do more harm than good. An example lies in the Mother who is chronically rescuing her adult son from the consequences of his poor choices. She may have only good intentions, but the attachment to “do-gooding” cheats her son of the necessary lessons he needs to learn. There is also the “do-gooder” daughter who is chronically trying to please her parents but comes to find that nothing she does is ever good enough. She finds herself exhausted and depressed because all of her do-gooding doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
The do-gooder identity does things to seemingly help other people, although the other people might not find the actions helpful. The do-gooder gives unsolicited advice and freely shares opinions when not requested or required. Unsolicited advice-giving is a trespass, so best to be like a mute until the do-gooder in you has the wisdom of discernment to know when and what to offer. Keep in mind that the harm you do not do, is the good that you do.
Recognize that when you take on the identity of the “do-gooder,” what could really be happening is that you are trying to prove your self worth and lovability. This kind of do-gooding therefore is self-centered.
We get so afraid and upset when other people do not behave in a way we think is best. We get so frustrated and angry when we feel we cannot control the outcome of a situation. This feeling of being out of control sets in motion an attempt to control others. We try to change people to fit into our notion of what is good for them, but we don’t really know what is good for anyone else if we don’t know what is good for our own self.
If someone looks at us “the wrong way,” or does not react in a way that makes us feel comforted, our ego may invite the perception that we should take it all so personally. Maybe someone has a stern face and we immediately react as if it is all about our own self. Then all the thoughts race in, we feel judged, the story is created, gossip rears its head, and now we feel awful about our self and have to compensate. We start trying to do-good to balance our feelings of self -centeredness. This insane pattern can go on and on and on. It is not good for you.
By being in touch with and cultivating what is basically good in you and for you, you recognize that you don’t need to “fix” or “control” anyone else. You do not have to spin a story that leads to unwholesome thoughts and activities. You can stop taking everything anyone does personally and start to focus on your own reactivity and responses. By focusing on clearing your patterns you are doing what is so good for you!
While there is nothing wrong with “wanting to do good”, if we are too attached to “wanting it”, we are not being it, since wanting is self-seeking and not derived from what you already are. By resting deeply, free of the “do-gooder” identity, you begin to get in touch with what is genuinely good for you. You don’t have to fake being good, you are good. The goodness of you is so much more real and deep than any of your salt and pepper beliefs, thoughts or feelings.