I too am on the same path but arrived at it from a slightly different angle. The religion I grew up in referred to their followers as “servants” and “sheep”. Needless to say, individuality was discouraged and if you weren’t doing something for someone else, you were a self-seeking, self-absorbed naysayer.
I didn’t know there was life outside of what I’d been living — life outside the “catering business” as I like to call it. Needless to say, at 32, I’m just now beginning to awaken and grasp the concepts of me, who I am, and what exactly it is I want. I still get a sense of guilt when I say no from time to time but those are the times I get a little stronger.
I don’t let people demonize the word “selfish” for me anymore. In fact, if that term is ever thrown my way, I’ll curtsy and perform an inside celebratory dance.