“The best gift you can give your children, spouse, friends and family is a mentally, physically, spiritually healthy you.” -Amy Larson, amyjalapeño.com
Self-sacrifice is any easy pitfall for most of us.
The easy, convenient reaction is to give all we have for the ones we love – without second thought, without considering ourselves and what we need to survive after their needs are met.
Essentially, we give them our oxygen mask (because we “love them so much,” which is bullshit).
When we deprive ourselves of nutrition, of personal passions, and the exercise we need to stay physically, spiritually, and mentally sharp, we perform a disservice to ourselves. Our minds become dull, our stamina wains, we are not even capable of “showing up”. At least, not powerfully.
If we become puppets of the unconsciousness and physically sluggish, how can we possibly be better parents, siblings, lovers, sons/daughters?
Hell, I’m guilty of it. I am forty-three years old and even though I have been aware of the importance of “putting the oxygen mask on first” for some time, it has only been this last year that I have been able to even understand what that means. And only then, because I have surrendered to circumstances outside of my control (which I resisted and accepted after mentally kicking and screaming) for it to even be possible.
I have found that (for me) the only way taking care of myself works (like a Bikram yoga session) is when I make it a ritual like making dinner, brushing my teeth, or the hugs and kisses I give my kids whenever we part.
When I make taking care of myself an accepted part of my day without question, then it works, then it is a priority, then it becomes a life-style.
Sure it takes a chunk of time from my day, but it also adds to the quality of my life and ensures that I will be a better friend, parent, sibling, and lover.