Okay, the plane isn’t really going down, but if it were, what is the first thing you would do? I hope you answered put your oxygen mask on because if you said order another drink, you would be dead now. My point in using that as a reference is simply this…….put yourself first, then help others. It is a seemingly simple concept, except I know many people who aren’t able to apply. Why is that? Is it ego? Is it denial? Maybe it is a combination, but for me, self-care gives me the ability to be of service to others because I have cared for myself first.
You know them. There is the friend that compromises their health in order to care for others. Or, the person that takes on other people’s problems in an attempt to “fix” the situation. The struggle is real and most of the time, there is a layer of denial covering the issue. Good Lord, I am not saying don’t be of service to others, but what I am saying is to deal with your own stuff, take a time-out, be a listening force, and above all, know that you are not that powerful to “fix” other people’s stuff. Stop using other people’s problems as a way of deflecting from what is going on with you.
I have been that person. So willing to go out of my way, I compromised my health and my sanity. I wanted people to love me. Sprinkle it with my ego, you have a recipe for disaster. “Isn’t Allison so nice?” “Allison always puts others first.” The dialogue goes on, but at the end of the day, I was in pain, broken, and most of all losing a part of me being so involved.
Today, I don’t think twice about caring for myself first. I grab that oxygen mask with gusto, take some big deep breaths, and always remember, that putting myself first isn’t selfish, it is lifesaving.