March 19, 2006

Securing your own oxygen mask before assisting others

If you've been on as many airplanes as I have, these words are lodged in your subconscious. We hear them over and over. Never had the opportunity to put them into use, mind you, and thankfully - but they are out there, and in here.

So I was jolted with the realization of how much I concur to hear them used in an essay that touched on taking care of oneself. For too many years I was trying to save the world while my own life spiraled into chaos and woundedness. And today, I watch others lashing out at the powers that be, and struggling to save everyone on the plane as they themselves gasp for breath.

It took me a long time to learn this, but I am glad I did.

Edit: And this morning (3/20) on WAMC (quite possibly the roundtable) during an interview with a woman named Judith Lederman, who wrote a book about dealing with a child with bipolar disorder, she used the same "...secure your own oxygen mask..." analogy (in terms of parents making sure to take care of themselves). Weird.

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