Updated: Aug 31
I ask myself that question because I am naturally a giver. I love to give and to make people happy and to see them smile. And in the not-so-distant past I have sacrificed in giving at the sake of myself. Even one time I gave of myself to the point of losing so much weight even I didn't recognize myself and I was smaller than I even preferred. And the weird thing was I couldn't eat, I would even get sick when I thought about eating. How is that possible to do that?
I will tell you when you look outside of yourself for your worth and you don't realize your own value. Its when you look for your happiness from outside circumstances rather than from yourself. It's looking for others to validate you versus you knowing the beauty you have inside. It's not knowing the beauty you have inside to the point that you try super hard to please everyone and when you don't please others you beat yourself up even more and do things against your own self and survival.
Why is it so hard to realize that you need to put your oxygen mask on first? Because it means that you would take care of yourself before any human being. It's sounds so cruel when you think about it. But, is it cruel? Or is it very appropriate?
Years ago I would have questioned this and even said well NO-- I will put the oxygen mask on my daughter first, or my husband first, or my parents first, or a close family member first. And now I say I would have to put it on myself first. Why? Because if I don't put my oxygen mask on first, I wouldn't be around for anyone else-- it's only in that split second on a plane that you would have to choose life or death. In an instant, an oxygen mask would mean survival or not.
During those moments when I wasn't eating, I was choosing sickness and death. You can only go so long without food. Why would anything cause me to not eat? That's scary to think about, but I realize that it was the reality for me at one point. What's really the point of saying all of this?
Well when I think about how some of us sacrifice ourselves even to the point of our desires, wants, goals, etc. because we say well I can do that later when my child grows up or I can do that when I get to a certain place with my job. Or we say once I meet this financial goal then I will focus on myself.
How many dreams, goals, activities, or other important things have we put off for the sake of fulfilling someone else's dreams? Where do your dreams and desires live? Are they lost in your mind with a fantasy that will never be fulfilled or will they be tangible goals that you will get to in the near future?
What is holding you back from living the life of your dreams? Is it looking to help everyone else, but yourself? How can we help others if we don't help ourselves? Maybe it seems trivial because who really cares about what you care about? Well if you don't care no one else will care that's for sure. If you put off your dreams, so will everyone else. No one cares about it more than you do Period.
To live our best lives, I truly believe that we must go after our passions, desires, visions, dreams and goals in a way like our life depended on it. I believe it's just as important as putting on your oxygen mask on a plane. Why?
Because its one of the ways that you can share your gifts to help someone else. It is also one of the greatest ways to give back sacrificially is to know the worth you have on the inside. This way you realize that because you have such great value it is foundational that you focus on the things that matter to you deep on the inside of yourself.
What are those areas that matter to you more than you let on, more than you ever even speak about, more than you share with those you care about, more than you allow yourself to even focus on? That thing that you just thought about, that passion or hobby, that dream that makes you smile and would be fulfilling, will you go after that and not sacrifice another moment for anyone not even yourself?
I challenge you to look deep on the inside and see your beauty, know how worthy you are flaws and all, and realize that you matter. Your thoughts matter. Your dreams matter. You matter most of all.
I had to come to this reality of knowing my worth regardless of what anyone else said or thought. It's what I think about my value. It has taken me sometime to get here. I fight for me everyday because I am important and valuable and so are you. Will you put your oxygen mask on first? I triple dare you to try it and see what happens.