My Dear Friends...
When I was a child, I was told that love means thinking of others first. Then Conversations with God said I should always put myself first. Could this be right? How could I reconcile this with my earlier life teachings?
The answer is that everything has to do with intentions. If it is your intention in life to live the grandest version of the greatest vision you ever held about who you are, and if that vision of yourself is that you are loving, caring, generous, kind, compassionate, and truthful, then you will behave towards others in a way which could look like you are putting them first. The difference is that you will be doing this not for others, but for yourself...because this is simply who you are.
When we do things for others (or imagine that this is what we are doing), two insidious attitudes can appear: Expectation and Resentment. We may begin to expect that those for whom we are doing things now "owe" us, and we may experience growing resentment if they don't "pay up."
On the other hand, when we do things for ourselves (even if that results in nice things happening for others), it will be difficult to move into Expectation, and virtually impossible to build up Resentment...unless we clearly do not understand the nature of what is occurring. That is, unless we ignore or deny that we are doing something for ourselves, and actually convince ourselves that we are doing it for another.
In truth, everything you do, you do for yourself, because every act is an act of self-definition. All of life is a process of deciding Who You Are. Your purpose is to experience that, and to recreate yourself anew in the next grandest version of it. This is called Evolution.
So think of yourself first at every moment of decision. Think of Who You Are, and of what you are trying to become. Make the highest choice about that - paint the greatest picture you could ever imagine of Who You Are in every place and circumstance - and all the rest will take care of itself.
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.