The cliche of taking care of yourself before helping others is replayed on many different levels. With the warning given to airline passengers to “first attend to oneself before helping others,” there is a consistent theme of the sequence we should take. With myself, it is easier to give this advice than to embrace it.
Recent events remind me of the downside of ignoring this advice. As I work to rebuild my energy and reserves, I find myself reconsidering how I should apply this advice in the practical reality each day brings.
It starts with a look in the mirror acknowledgment of the need to start from my inner self. Even more basic than the why, how, and what of the priority to start within are the lesson reminders of what happens when I do not. Looking positively, I have an opportunity to embrace the promise “God the Father has his eye on each of you and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!” (1 Peter 1.2)
Lessons are more than acknowledging and listening. Lessons are realized through a decision to embrace and practice. Embracing what Divinity has and is doing for me opens the opportunity for me to be a catalyst of good in the lives of those around me. Accepting forgiveness leads me to a doorway of forgiving others and removing any barriers I may have created which block their acceptance. Asking others to slow down and consider is meaningless until I am doing the same in my life.
There is more to learn, space in which to grow. I have come to value the ways Divinity speaks through every individual as well as the faith systems s/he has embraced. As I learn from their lives and practices, I find myself seeing the Divine presence in my life with more clarity and understanding.
Today is my opportunity to build on life’s lessons and grow as I work to make a difference, first for myself, then for others.