Of course, as humans one of our primary objectives is to help others. You are told on an airplane that in an emergency and oxygen is required, when the masks drop down, to put your own on first, before assisting others.
This seems like an obvious thing, but as many people are more concerned about those they care about than themselves they may feel inclined to assist someone else prior to themselves. Though noble and selfless in intention, it is misguided and potentially harmful in actuality.
In your efforts to help, you may run out of oxygen, which not only will result in you being harmed but also the one you are helping, as you may not be able to complete the act of assistance before you suffocate.
If you had just calmly and quickly put your mask on, you’d be sustainably ok, and then safely can provide even better and more comprehensive assistance. We can apply this metaphorically to every aspect of our lives.
If every cent we earn we give away to others so they can live we would have nothing for ourselves to live on. First we must have our basic needs met, and then we can begin helping others in a financial way.
Before you can help a loved one escape an abusive relationship, perhaps you need to find a safe haven from your own. Lead by example.
It is not selfish to practice self-care, in fact it is highly unselfish because of its essentialness to our ability to practice compassion for others, and for ourselves.