I march through life trying so hard to be aware of those around me, absorbing what their sadness might be, what their needs are, and trying to find ways to help. I do this because I want to – and I have to. It’s part of who I am, wired into my psyche and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Being a good human is of tantamount importance. So much so, that often I forget about the human inhabiting my own skin. I need to be good to her as well.
But it’s so easy to turn off my own needs when I’m wrapped in a world full of people who need so much more than I do. My own needs start to feel selfish and greedy when I think of them. Do I really need it? For me the answer is generally no.
I am reminded of the message we all hear when we strap ourselves into the seats of an airplane. The flight attendant instructs us to use our own oxygen mask first, and then help our children and those around us. Sage advice for more than flying. Advice I seldom heed. Once in a while you have to take a moment and refresh yourself. Give yourself a break. Thirty minutes of quiet time for contemplation and soul healing. Read a good book. Go for a walk. Paint a picture. Do something to soothe the jagged edges of your soul. It isn’t selfish. It is self preservation. When you feel rejuvenated the good you’ll do for others will increase tenfold.
Go, do something kind for yourself. You deserve it. I’m going to work on it, too. It’ll help us to be better humans.