Thursday, February 27, 2014

Life lessons from a plane


Life lessons from a plane

Most people are familiar with the flight safety instructions that are given to commercial air passengers before take off. A commonly stated one is that in case of a loss of cabin pressure, the passenger should always put on their own mask before attending to any passengers requiring assistance with theirs. The premise is that in order to help other people, you must first help yourself.

I think that's one of the hardest things for many of us to do. Self-care is a necessary but too often neglected concept for several reasons, time being one of them. But it's something we have to learn to prioritize.

In addition to self-care, we have to also self-advocate. It's important that we look out for our own needs as well as those of the communities we serve. You never know when things are going to go awry, and you need to be able to fight for yourself as passionately as you do for everyone else!

Several months ago, I was reminded of this. I was invited to speak at a local function, and one of the speakers (someone whom I greatly admire) reminded me of an instance a few years prior in which I was in need. I was very fortunate that when that situation occurred, I had several people who went to bat for me. But I also stood up for myself. Even though it took a LOT of spoons. Even though I felt intimidated. Even though I wasn't sure if I was wasting my time, and if the whole thing was a losing battle.

I used MY weapon of warfare--my words. Something I never run out of!  I wrote about it. I talked about it. And I also prayed about it, and cried about it.

In that case, I "won." I don't always have that type of outcome, and neither will you. But since you never know what the end result will be, you HAVE to still fight. Even when you're burned out and tired. You have to make the effort. Don't give the naysayers the satisfaction of silencing you!