We have all been programmed to believe selflessness is a good thing. While it is true that helping your fellow man is a virtue, it is also true the selflessness has the potential to be harmful as well. For me, the difference between the two lies in the ability to connect to and follow the guidance of your heart. Often, some of the actions our hearts tell us to take seem selfish initially!
Doing no harm is a good thought. The problem is, thoughts occur in our minds. While our minds can be helpful in making decisions, they are not our hearts. They do not have access to the full spectrum of wisdom and knowledge like our hearts do. Decisions made based on the wisdom of the mind are always limited at best.
There are times when doing something for yourself first is preferable. For example, have you ever flown on an airplane? When they do the little safety talks before the plane takes off, they always mentions what happens if the cabin becomes depressurized. Little air masks drop down for people to breathe through. This is because air is extremely thin at certain heights and oxygen becomes so scarce it is easy to pass out and die. In the safety instructions, they always tell you that if you are flying with children to put the mask on yourself first. Why do they do that? Wouldn't most people want to do the selfless thing and save their children first? They council you to do that so you are still thinking clearly before you pass out!!! If you are not thinking clearly, you may not be able to help your children and you could all die!!!
When you are selfless, your main thought is other people. You will do anything and everything you can to help your fellow man. This approach will often leave you empty and broken yourself though. If you spend all your time caring for others and not replenishing yourself, you will soon have nothing left to give others.
When you follow the guidance of your heart first and foremost, it will tell you when it is appropriate to help others and when it is appropriate to help yourself. There are times it will tell you to do the selfless thing. There are other times it will tell you to do the selfish thing. The point here is to listen to your heart when it tells you to do something!!!
Wisdom has never been about being selfless or selfish. These judgments don't even come into play! Wisdom lies in following your connection to Oneness, your heart. The heart knows how your actions will play into the whole. Your mind, with its limited understanding, may not understand the long term consequences and make poor choices.
It is time to get off the "selfish" bandwagon. Taking care of yourself is not a bad thing if your heart tells you to do it. Free yourself from judgment and allow yourself to be cared for and nurtured by the One. In doing so, you become part of the big picture. You become part of the solution.