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Secure Your Mask First

Before every plane takes off, a flight attendant performs a safety presentation that always include instructions about what to do in the case of decreased oxygen pressure. If this happens, panels above each seat will open and drop oxygen masks that must be manually inflated. Each passenger then hears: “Be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others.”

Hmm…adjust your own mask before helping others? Logically, we understand this because the risk of passing out is increased if you are helping others without first securing your own mask. However, this notion is definitely more complicated to live out down here on the ground.

Doesn’t it seem backwards that society glorifies multitasking, being busy, leading many projects, etc.; however, the practice of self-care and recharging is often frowned upon? We live in a time that does not prioritize mental and physical health. We run ourselves into the ground for others forgetting to first ensure that we have everything we need. Well, what happens when you give and give until you have nothing left?

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

When we don’t take care of ourselves, we become depleted causing stress, impatience, mood swings, etc. This overextension leading to burnout is considered being an “empty cup”. There is no way for you to genuinely and effectively help others when you need help yourself. This dilemma then arises the question… what are you being filled back up with?

You can only produce what you take in. If you are filling yourself up with gossip, meaningless encounters, empty tv episodes, etc. then what will you pour out? We must be mindful of what we are consuming through our senses, because it determines the thoughts and actions we display.

It is only when you are full of love, joy, peace, etc. that you can share and pour into others. It is no good to heal everyone you encounter while you are dying inside. The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every relationship that you have with others.

So, go replenish your spirit, pencil self-care into your schedule, and get some R&R so that you may overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

You must tend to your physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs. Besides, it would be a shame if you and your neighbor both passed out because you didn’t first secure your own mask.

Mark 6:31-32– ‘Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.’

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