Selfish or Self-Preservation?

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, with the holidays and personal life crisis’ I haven’t had much time to write, but I am back with some interesting questions. I have found over the past couple of months that there is a mutual relationship with being selfish and self-preservation. Now when we hear the word selfish we immediately associate that would with something bad like only caring for one’s self instead of the needs/wants of others. Well I’ve been thinking. Is that such a bad thing? Is it so bad to want to focus on your own need and wants over someone else’s?

I think not, They say on airplanes during the safety briefing “Please fasten your own mask before assisting others” meaning you can’t help anyone if you don’t help yourself first.  I think in order for us to grow as human beings we all have to be a little selfish, for example the mom who hides in the bathroom just so she doesn’t have to share the cupcake with her screaming kid on the other side of the bathroom door or the spouse who just wants to take a drive just so they can have some alone time with their thoughts. I think in order for us to keep our sanity and to survive we all must be a little selfish. We everyday are faced with making choices that could either benefit us or benefit someone else and in the midst of that we generally make the decision to make someone else happy instead of ourselves.

Why is that? Are we incapable of our own happiness? Are we so afraid of offending someone by declining a favor, or going out to dinner, or listening to someone’s problems for hours on end? Are we afraid of losing favor with someone if we don’t bend to their will? That to me is insane, how am I as a person, supposed to be a loving wife to my husband, a good employee to my job, and a caring friend if I can’t take care of my emotional needs first? It’s not possible for us to give every bit of ourselves to everyone else and be left with nothing in return. Now I’m not talking about doing someone a favor and getting nothing in return, I’m taking about having nothing left in our emotional arsenal to defend off our own attacks of self-worth and emotional distress.

If we have nothing left for ourselves how are we supposed to defend off attacks to our own personal well-being? We all have to be a little selfish for our own self-preservation. We all need that alone time to just gather our thoughts, we need that emotional down time to scream, kick and curse just to let out that steam of pent-up frustration. We need to all be a little selfish, so we can continue to be the best wife, friend, partner, mother we can be. Some people might not understand it and some might not agree with it, but it’s something we need. So don’t feel bad if you need a break from your kids or your wife and don’t feel bad if you choose to ignore that phone call from your friend. You can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself first.

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