Just another way (metaphor) of explaining that it’s not selfish to take care of yourself first, but maybe the only way to be in a position to help others. Think of the people that have helped you the most … your mentors. Were they balanced? Were there lives in order? Mostly likely, yes.
Just as a person mired in quicksand cannot help another until he has himself reached firm ground, our ability to help others depends chiefly on keeping our own balance.
– Andrew Olendzki, “Keep Your Balance”