Don’t Forget To Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First

September 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Years ago I heard for the first time the flight instruction of “put on your oxygen mask on first in case of an emergency before helping others” applied to “normal” life.  Since then I have thought of it often. 

At first there is the reaction, ‘How selfish! Saving yourself before others” but than the realization comes that if you don’t save yourself you can not save anybody else.

Mastering this concept and walking the fine line between it and actually being a selfish person is a life time effort.  We are often pushed into situations where exercising our rights and space is put to the test on a regular basis.  Let me give an example of an extreme case, like illness.  Someone we love is sick and needs us.  How much of our time and energy do we give before we have nothing left?  What about “if you love someone you should be willing and able to just give and give”?  The first thing a social worker tells a caretaker is to make sure they take care of themselves because if they don’t they will run out of steam and won’t be able to care for their loved ones.

And what about in our daily lives when we’re not in a state of emergency and its not so clear how much is too much?

If you are like me, you think “I’m really strong and I can take more than most people, so it is easier if I just make it okay for the other people while I take on whatever needs to be dealt with”.  My thinking might sound noble for about half a second because in this thought process what I’m leaving out is; what about respecting myself?  What about the fact that eventually I’m going to burn out?  And what about that for sure sooner or later I’m going to start resenting the people and/or the situation?  What about what I need?

I don’t think there is any fast and bullet proof equation to deal with this conundrum except to listen to oneself.  Quiet down and if something doesn’t feel okay it is because it probably isn’t.  If you are on a quest for a deeper more meaningful life your inner self will always give you the right answer.   And guess what, as you feel more content you will be able to impact others around you in a much more positive way than if you were exhausted from saying “yes”  and “what can I do for you?” all the time.

So join me on respecting the law and putting on our own oxygen mask on before putting it on others.

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Self Love…

May 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Last night I had a small interaction that reminded me of when I was first putting this site together.

I asked a few friends of mine to write essays or post blogs for this site.  I have many friends that are writers and I thought it would be wonderful to launch with these very well written pieces. 

They all said yes but as the deadline approached, I started to get the “I’m sorry but I’m so busy can I write something next time around?” or the “I tried but I just had no inspiration to write about love”.

At the time I was reading Arianna Huffington’ book about blogging and one of the things the book describes is the process of reaching out to others to contribute to the blog. She was able to get commitments from many people including some of high visibility.

So I thought is the subject of politics more interesting or important than the subject of love? Or is Arianna more important than me?

Right about now you reading this could say that I have a complex of inferiority – maybe.  But the point I’m trying to make is that if I was highly successful it would be easier to get others to want to do things with me but I would still be the same person just with more money and maybe more self assured but basically the same person. What would be different would be outside of me. 

My point in discussing this seemingly small point is the fact that we/I can’t have a sense of worth or self love based on others as their interaction with us/me sometimes is based on things that are outside of us and not really about whom we truly are as people.

I for one will try to keep remembering that the truth of whom I am and my own value as a person is independent from how others see me and react to me.  And to those friends who have contributed to the site, to my life and love me for whom I am my deep thanks.

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To laugh often and much…

May 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded!

Ralph Waldo Emerson,  (1803 – 1882) whose original profession and calling was as a Unitarian minister, left the ministry to pursue a career in writing and public speaking. Emerson became one of America’s best known and best loved 19th century figures.

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