Friday, April 1, 2011
Secure Your Own Oxygen Mask First
I was a young mother in my early thirties, with three children aged 4,6, and 8, when I found myself sitting in a counsellor's office weeping from pure exhaustion. I was completely overwhelmed by all the internally and externally dictated demands on me. I felt done. The gift I received that day are words I will never forget. "If you don't take care of yourself, you will not be in any condition to care for those you love." It's as if I needed someone else to give me permission to take care of myself and that was when I began to understand that it wasn't selfish to take time for me, but rather, it would greatly benefit those I cared for. I didn't change my thoughts and behaviours overnight but little by little, day by day, I started living those words. It's like the announcement we hear on a plane when preparing for takeoff - secure your own oxygen mask first before assisting others around you.