"Undoubtedly to some, the idea of giving so much self love will seem very cold, hard, and unmerciful. Still this matter may be seen in a different light, when we find that 'looking out for Number One,' as directed by the Infinite, is really looking out for Number Two and is indeed the only way to permanently benefit Number Two." -Prentice Mulford
I recently returned from Nice, where I spent a blissful few days alone. The city was buzzing but I was silent, enjoying being an observer of myself and others. I did what I wanted- I read, I slept in, I explored. It was exactly what I needed- a few days to myself to recharge and reconnect. And i didn't feel guilty about it.
It wasn't until last year that I changed my ideas about "looking out for Number One". I used to feel it was greedy and self-serving to always keep your best interest at heart and do what serves you. But then I realized a few things:
A) I needed to change my ideas about what it means to be "self-serving". Self-serving, in this instance, does not mean greedy. To me, it means doing something that causes no harm to you or anyone else, and nurtures you spiritually, physically or mentally thereby benefitting the people around you.
B) When we practice doing what is best for us (in a respectful, harmless way), we will be better partners, friends, mothers/sisters/daughters, etc. Our feelings are contagious to those around us, so when we are feeling fulfilled and happy it spills over into other aspects of our lives.
So, when you put yourself on the back burner and focus on family, friends, work, whatever- you're doing yourself (and everyone else) a huge disservice.
Everyone is different, so a weekend trip might not be the answer for you. Maybe you need something bigger or maybe you need something smaller. Something as simple as carving out time in your day to do something that you love could be really beneficial. Maybe just once a week is better for you- a zumba class you've always wanted to try, for example. Or perhaps just once a month- you join a book club or some sort of social group. Or maybe you need a yearly week-long trip/stay-cation (a vacation at home). Whatever it is you need, you should do. Erase your fears, your anxieties and your guilt. Looking out for yourself is the best way to help others.