The Sanctity of Selfishness or The Art of Virtuous Selfishness (Yes. There is such a thing.)
We mostly speak of selfishness in negative terms.
Selfish: arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others <a selfish act>
-- MerriamWebster Dictionary
I would submit that there are times when a bit of selfishness is necessary for spiritual survival.
My own makeup would make it easy for me to fluctuate wildly between extreme, though mostly unintentional, selfishness and self sacrifice to the point of martyrdom. With awareness though, a beautiful balance can be found between the two where giving and sacrifice result in pleasure but not to the point of self neglect and destruction. There is nothing wrong with being concerned for one's own interest.
Let's review the definition again, particularly the "disregard of others" part. How many stories have we heard of those who were trying to live an extraordinary life, at some point before their breakthrough, having to close out the voices closest to them? What if they had considered the "feelings" of those around them who wanted them to do or be something different? What if the "feelings" of others lead them away from their truth and thusly their own evolution? What if submitting to the "feelings" of others results in inner conflict and turmoil? So "others" would need to be defined. Are the "others" in the best interest of the person, or just believe themselves to be? Have these "others" considered this person as a soul on a journey, or just a person connected to them? Which is truly selfish?
Harmful selfishness certainly exists, but even it sometimes has its place. It may be the journey the soul has to take in order to learn a more harmonious way to be. After all, we all have to exist here together, and living in consideration of the well-being of cohabitants is an admirable trait indeed.
For my own journey, I have found that the more I have stuck to my truth, the better things go for me. Even in the midst of difficulties, there is a certain harmony to my life that could only come from being authentic.
I believe when I am authentic, even if it is clumsy, even if it is unorthodox, even if "inappropriate" (I can be the most inappropriate person ever. Lol), it gives those who interact with me the space and courage to be authentic as well. In this amazing exchange which happens sometimes beyond the sight and the mind, they can come to their truth. Sometimes in coming to their truth, they may have to seperate from me, which is actually quite a beautiful thing. Their path takes them elsewhere, but it's their own, and should not that be the point of it all?
If your "selfishness" protects your spiritual journey and consequently helps others to find and stick to theirs, is it always a bad thing? ☺