Oxygen Masks (Filling Your Own Bucket)

Sacrifice is a significant word in our vocabularies.  One of the biggest challenges for many people is how to take time for personal leisure and relaxation without feelings of guilt.  We live in a workaholic world with multiple stresses.  Too frequently, even our children are not even allowed to be carefree kids anymore but are continually being taxied from one activity to another.  We are expected to please others without any regard to our own health and happiness.   In order to meet the demands of family, work, and community expectations, we keep dipping into our personal buckets to dish out love and support and encouragement to all of those around us.  The problem is that our bucket only holds so much.  Therefore, every time we dip into our own bucket to dish out something to meet someone else’s need, our bucket becomes one cup less.  If we continually dip out of our bucket without taking the time to refill it, the bucket soon runs dry and empty.  Then there is nothing left to give.  In order for us to keep filling the buckets of others, we must be able to replenish our own bucket.

Anyone who has ever flown knows the mandatory speech by heart.  The stewardess is required to tell us about the emergency procedures like locating the exits and what will happen if the plane loses its air pressure.  The most crucial line is what to do if we are traveling with children or someone who is elderly or handicapped.  You are to put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help someone else apply theirs.  Anyone who does not follow these direct instructions runs the risk of passing out before he/she has been able to help anyone else.  It is crucial that you tend to your own needs or else you will be useless to anyone else.

Taking time to refill your own bucket is the same concept!  You must take care of yourself before you can effectively take care of anyone else.  The healthier we are, the better equipped we are to love and support those around us.  Taking care of yourself is good advice for everyone!