I can see/understand how the reality of "no self" inevitably is misunderstood by most here in the West... This is understandable considering none of us were raised in India or Tibet.
Abraham Maslow, Transpersonal Psychologist, says in his book "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature" that self-actualization is a complete/total absence of self-consciousness. There is nothing passive or self-denying about this... rather a self-actualized being is like a top spinning so fast you cannot see it spin.... it appears to be still yet is in constant motion. When absorbed in myself it is very clear how much less is actually accomplished. Thinking of yourself is not BEING yourself... simply put. Therefore real self-improvement and empowerment is only possible where the soul ceases to be an object (an ego) unto itself
As a learned Buddhist will point out, all faculties of human beings... our body, senses, perceptions, cognition and consciousness "do not in truth add up to a self". The seemingly separate and solid individual entity is nothing at all in isolatio. All that I know and understand, enjoy and appreciate, came not from myself alone but through an interdependent relationship with OTHERS...
The reason we are here on this planet is to work on ourselves individually... and whether one has a child and family it really makes no difference... it is still YOUR child and family therefore parenting is also self-centered. Yet we are brainwashed by society everyday to believe we must keep building ourselves up, buy this product, do this workout, etc... It takes a very astute awareness, I think, to see the difference between a spontaneous self-awareness, which is positive and pure, and a self-consciousness which is obviously negative, contrived and awkward, especially when in the social or personal presence of others.
".... still in a room full of mirrors, all I could see was me, so I took my spirit and I smashed my mirror, now the whole world is here for me to see..." Hendrix
**Copy and Paste Link for a totally cool video...