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Wear Your Oxygen Mask

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One of the most difficult things for many women is to take care of themselves first. That’s right, I said it! I look after me first.

Think back to your last airplane trip. You are on the plane and as it’s taking off the air host/ess shows you how to use a seat belt. Then what’s next? The oxygen mask.

What do they say EVERY TIME? “Make sure you put YOUR oxygen mask on FIRST before you help a child with theirs”. Why do they tell us that? BECAUSE they know that parents, especially women, are predisposed to help their children first everytime. How do you feel when they tell you that? Do you feel guilty? Shocked? The airlines know that women are either conditioned to take care of others first or that it’s in the genetics or where ever you want to assign that belief.

Have you thought about it, really? The fact that they have to tell you?

We get messages growing up about who needs to come first in our lives; we as women are pressured to serve God first but what does that mean? Several communities imply that you should be serving your church first (which is not always the same as serving God) and then husband and family, then your business ,then community, then you come last. So could serving God mean putting myself first? Why not? I know it sounds contrary to Christian theology but think about it. Have you ever seen a list in the Bible regarding who you should serve and in what order? God doesn’t have a list. There’s no finite order. Rather than seeing this imaginary made up list, why not change your vision toward a more rounded perspective. If you have a list of 123s or ABCs you are bound to fail, one thing out of place and everything else topples. Surely if you put yourself at the bottom and something happens to you (which is inevitable) everything else will fall down. (I have a picture in my head of Dr Seuss characters with the one character at the bottom balancing this whole random bunch of things).

If you see yourself as a center of a universe wouldn’t you be able to serve better? I know this is making many of you uncomfortable. If you are the sun in the center of your universe, you could shed light and give life to everything that surrounds you.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.