Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't Self Abandon

When you're in an airplane, the emergency directions state you have to put your mask on first before you put the mask on anyone else.


It's logical, but hard to swallow right? Something inside might yell, "No! Help Them First." But if you have denied yourself air to breathe, how will you ever help anyone?

photo of an ad at Grand Central Station

In an interview I did for Blogadera over a year ago, I said the following in response to the inquiry as to why I started blogging:

"I started thinking about ME for the first time – my wants, my needs, my happiness. The moment I made ME a priority, this shift started in my life... I posed the question “how could I be of any real help to others if I was not helping myself?” From that point on, I learned to set boundaries and to stop putting the needs of others before mine. This ...made my world completely different. "  read more.
It still holds true and it's something I strive for every day (especially with my weekly LushLunes reminders). But it's easy to fall into patterns. You have to set boundaries and stick to them because the most important relationship you will ever have IS the one with YOURSELF.

It's OK to have a lifestyle that puts your needs first (did you hear me?!). It's also OK to feel good about helping others (did you hear that too?!). But as with anything, it has to be in healthy doses. If you put yourself aside, you will crash on the border of bitterness and resentfulness, because you gave up on your wants and needs.  And no one wants to land in that desert, where the only role to be had is as the martyr for naught.

And if you're like me (i.e. wanting to help the world) that's wonderful. Just be wary of whom you decide to help and how much of yourself you fork over. There are many that like to take-take-take, whether they are aware of it or not. And like Buttercup once said, if during the time you need help and they're response to you is "hang in there and, uh, I'll talk to you later" don't be dumbfounded; just know that they have revealed who they are. Learn from that experience and move on.
As giving as you may be, you must not abandon your needs for those of others. I remind myself of this every day. Follow your nature. Do what makes you happy. Those that are worth their salt will understand. Those that don't...well, their nature will be revealed. 

Allow yourself the right to breathe. Give life to the light inside of you. Because you will never truly be capable of helping anyone if you don't take care of YOURSELF.