“In case of a loss of cabin pressure oxygen masks will automatically appear. Place your OWN mask over your OWN nose and mouth FIRST. Then help others who require assistance.”
Sooooo…what you’re saying here is, ” EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF!!!” ?
What a selfish, self serving, lousy set of instructions.
That’s what I used to think anyways…until a few weeks ago…and I don’t know if I saw it on tv, heard it at church, read it in a book, or just thought about it on one of the 4 flights I took this month…but I’ve been thinking and thinking about it:
Put on your own mask first THEN help others.
Put on your own mask first then help others….I think I finally get it. If I can’t even take a breath how will I be able help anyone around me? I won’t be able to! It will be impossible. I need to put myself in a position to offer aid and to do that I need to put my own mask on first.
It’s not selfish…if I want to help others I need to have the strength and the ability to do it. It seems so logical and yet I’m just starting to grasp the concept.
Recently I’ve noticed some things about myself…the number of hours I sleep has diminished…the number of meals I eat a day has diminished…the time I spend taking care of myself has diminished. I’m not complaining, it’s just how things have been. And I’ve been fine with it but as much as I’d like to deny it…it’s taking a toll.
I’ve forgotten to put on my oxygen mask…and now I’m paying the price.
I think sometimes as women we wear a lot of hats….mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends, teachers, neighbors, church members, professionals, coaches, homemakers, etc. etc. etc. There are so many people who rely on us…there are so many needs to be met…its easy to forget that we need to put fuel in our own tanks if we want to keep going.
I have no action plan. No neat little chart to share explaining what putting on my mask will look like. I just know I need to do it. Not only for my sake but for those around me. If I want to take care of those I love best I need to take care of myself as well. I need to be able to breathe…it’s not a selfish luxury, it’s a necessity. Now, if only I can figure out how to do it….
Thanks for posting this. I am working on the same thing and it sometimes feels like everyone has figured it out and I am late to the party.
Mary Jo says
Your post is so true. I have a friend who is an oncologist and many years ago she expressed this same thing…if you don’t take care of yourself and overdo you are not much help to those who need you!
So true! I also had a friend explain it this way: an oxygen mask must be an uncomfortable and even scary thing, especially for a child. But if they see you have one on first, they see it’s ok to wear. Personal responsibility is an essential skill to helping others!
I struggle with the same guilt. But if I can’t love me, how can I truly know how to love others.