We must learn to take care of ourselves first. We’re reminded of this each time we fly in the airplane safety debriefs—secure your own oxygen mask on first. You can only be of assistance to the person next to you if you’re not compromised and you certainly can't help anyone if you’re passed out.
Sometimes people are not present enough or able to give us the kind of love and caring that we may feel we need when we need it. Busy, distracted, and consumed by bustling affairs and agendas, people are taking care of business, getting their needs met, and keeping things afloat as best they can.
Michael Brown, author of ‘The Presence Process’ says, we must first give to ourselves the resonance of that which we most desire. What does that mean? It means that whether you crave feeling treasured, feeling admired, or feeling valued, that you must learn to give that to yourself first. Want to feel heard? Listen to yourself. Want to feel special? Provide that experience for yourself. Marinate in your own care and generosity.
When we nourish ourselves, we fill the well of our own wholeness. Once our own well is topped up and we begin to operate more from wholeness we tend to be more discerning about the people we interact with and let into our lives. When we aren’t desperate to get our needs met we can afford to be choosy.
It’s like making available to yourself an inner banquet of yummy things to feast on. When you’ve got that going on you’re a lot less likely to jump at the sight of crumbs being thrown your way.
The truly beautiful thing about filling our well though is this: when we step out of the ranks of the ravenous we begin to have ample love and compassion to give. In our fullness, our interactions become more about giving than getting. We have our oxygen mask well-fastened and it creates the freedom to serve.
When you have it to give and when you start looking for it, you see cries for love all around you. This world needs your care and kindness more than you can even imagine. Give to yourself first so that you can give to others. True ‘getting’ is all about the giving anyways.
© 2014 Marie-Ève Bonneau