I think Jesus missed the plot when he said “Do unto others what you want them to do to you”. That or his disciples did not remember everything he said and quoted him incorrectly.
In my experience the golden rule should be “First do unto yourself what you want others to do to you”. This is in line with “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Which Jesus quoted from the Torah.
In my nature I am a caring person. I find a sense of self worth when I can be of service.
A subconscious expectation that someone in return will take care of me was exposed one morning when I annualized my mind maps around the anger I felt making my wife some breakfast.
We feel anger when we perceive an injustice or unfairness. These perceptions of unfairness are either real or imagined. Mine was imagined because it rested in this false expectation that if I take care of enough people. They in turn will take care of me.
The effect of this inefficient belief system is that I have an external locus of control regarding taking care of my self. Resulting in me being overweight, unfit and drink chronic medication for all sorts of things.
Seeing this false expectation made me realize that I am responsible for taking care of myself and brought home the truth of do unto yourself what you want others to do to you.
I acknowledge that this is my process and respect that yours might be different. I share this because I belief there is a universal truth that must be spoken. The truth that you must love yourself in the same and equal manner you love other people.
Let us have a clear definition of love. In my mind love is a verb, an action. It is that what you DO for the one you love that will leave them better of.
It is a beautiful interconnected truth.
Narcissism and selfishness does not fall under love. Selfishness cuts us of from people around us and it is healthy for us to have people in our lives. Narcissism locks us up in a small world of only ourselves and in this world the psychology and maturity of a two year old rule. It is not good for you.
This truth interconnects healthy relationships with other. Relationships where boundaries are clear and porous. Clear, because we have a understanding of who we are apart from others and porous because we also understand that we are because of other people.
This beautiful (and I agree sometimes difficult) dance of being ourselves for other people can only be done harmoniously if we keep to the beat of “First do unto yourself, what you want others to do too you”. Be true to yourself, if you want others to be true to you. Love yourself first, if you want to be loved by others.
This also implies that you are clear about who you are and what you want for yourself.
Reminds me of the story of the two monks washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung.
The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know its nature is to sting?”
“Because,” the monk replied, “to save it is my nature.”
So I still make my wife breakfast. Not because I expect her to do the same for me, but because it is in my nature to do so. I am therefore true to myself.