When Giving Doesn't Serve


“Oxygen masks will drop automatically, should the cabin experience a loss in pressure…put on and secure your mask before helping others.”

Every flight we’ve ever been on or will ever gone on will mention some form of this phrase. Hopefully, we're never in a position to have to actually put the instructions to use.

But, I can assure that you will be.

Not on a plane. But, in life. Everyday.

How often are we putting others before ourselves. Our kids. Our coworkers. Our partners. Our parents.

We put what others want or need before our own needs.

We’re so busy putting on everyone’s oxygen masks, that we are suffocating.

When we sit back, we can rationalize it and say, “I love to help others.”

That’s usually true. And, it can be ok to put others ahead of ourselves, at times.

We feel like we’re making the world a better place by giving and giving and giving.

In reality, we’re submitting to fear.

One breath at a time, we submit to the fear that we aren’t good enough.

We don’t deserve that. Our kids/partners/parents need this more.

When you look at it like an airplane mask, we see, it simply is NOT true.

We ARE good enough and deserving of air to breathe.

Once we strap on that bad boy, we can help the people seated in our row, the row in front and the row behind. If we wait, and the cabin depressurizes, we’re going to run out of air after we help a couple other people.

Every time we stop and check in with ourselves, and nourish ourselves, we have more to give others.

In a world where fast burgers are king and we are eternally connected to one another with handheld super computers, it’s easy to forget. Go. Go. Go. Go.


Slow down. Breathe.

When we over give, we are left feeling depleted, tired, and resentful for all that we are giving.

Guess who is in control of this?

We are.

How empowering to realize.

We don’t have to respond to every notification on our phone. Better yet, we don’t even have to HAVE notifications on our phones.

Our kids don’t need four different after-school activities a week that leave us sitting in traffic longer than we sit at a desk.

Our partners will survive if we declare “leftovers” for dinner night once a week.

Whatever it is that is leaving us feeling tired and depleted shows us an opportunity to take in more oxygen.

When we look at these opportunities to step back, sit with ourselves and take care of ourselves first, we’re ready to crush our to-do lists (rather than adding them to the talking points with our therapists).

We’re in control. All the time.

We get to decide if we do something for ourselves, or something for others.

I don’t know about you, but I’d 1000% rather just put my weird little mask on and be able to help all the people in my row, than croak because I insisted on running up and down the aisles helping others while I hold my breath. 

And, I know I deserve it.