I was recently involved in a conversation about relationships. How important it is to put others first. The other party shared that they felt I was guilty of putting my own needs first in a relationship.
That got me thinking. Maybe I was. I always thought of myself as someone that put others first. That I loved too much. Maybe not.
I worked at American Airlines for many years. Whenever you travel on an airplane, the flight attendant will direct you in the preflight announcements on the importance of putting on your oxygen mask first.
Aha! This seemed like the perfect analogy I needed for my debate.
Here’s their speal:
The cabin pressure is controlled for your comfort. However, should it change radically inflight, oxygen compartments will automatically open in the panel above your seat. Reach up and pull the mask to your face. This action will start the flow of oxygen. Place the mask over both your mouth and nose and secure with the elastic band as your Flight Attendant is demonstrating. Tighten by pulling on the ends of the elastic bands. Even though oxygen is flowing, the plastic bag may not inflate. If you are traveling with children, or are seated next to someone who needs assistance, place the mask on yourself first, then offer assistance. Continue using the mask until advised by a uniformed crew member to remove it.
If we are to help others breathe, we first have to make sure we are equipped to do so ourselves.
That’s where my life is right now. As I face the changes I desire in my life, I’ve had to back up and take the time to put on my oxygen mask. And just breathe. I live with my 85 year old dad. I have to assist him with his from time to time. I can’t just put mine on and go, not thinking of those around me. I thought I could, but I was wrong. That would be selfish. And I can’t put the masks on those around me first. Help them first without securing my own or I will soon run out of oxygen myself. And then where would I be? Then who will be there to support them? I’m a caretaker by nature. I truly love helping others. It’s where i get my value. It’s who I am. It’s where God wants me. I think?
My plan is, to for the first time in my life, get MY life together! Not everyone else’s as I’ve been so accustomed to doing over the years. No husbands or kids these days. Just me. Time to mind my own business. Time to be the very best I can be with no interruptions. Find my passions. God’s true path for my life. Not my own. Get my value from God not people. Help those God has placed in my path to assist.
Then, and only then, will I be equipped to just breathe. Room air. Be healthy. Be centered. Be on target.
How about you?
Are you securing your oxygen mask first before assisting others?
Don’t burn out. But also don’t selfishly go about breathing up all the oxygen for yourself. Give and take. It’s the balance of nature. When in doubt, always give more than you take. And always leave it better than you found it. And never forget, that’s what Jesus did for us.
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16
Love and laughter,