If I have a hole in my roof and I can see a rain storm coming I become "roof centered." If I have a hole in my tooth and it is causing me pain, I become "tooth centered." If I have a hole in my spiritual being and it is causing me pain, I become "self centered."
If I am self centered, I must do selfish things. I must think and act selfishly. I have no choice. It's easy to say "tomorrow I won't be selfish." But as long as I have this hole in my being, I'm gonna be selfish and I'm gonna be continuously disappointed with myself if I think I can act any other because I am powerless to do so.
For thirty years I tried to fill this hole with alcohol and drugs, with a successful career, with possessions and all manner of other things. I did get some temporary relief, but it wasn't real and it didn't last very long. Soon I was back to feeling emptier than ever looking for the next thing to fill me up.
I'm coming to believe that the only thing that will fill me up is God. When I have the willingness to consistently try to apply the 12 steps to all areas of my life, I seem to make a space for God to come into my being and work His magic. I create the channel that St. Francis talks about in his prayer and I experience peace. With God in the center of my life instead of me, I no longer have to act selfishly because I already have everything I need.