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Put Your Oxygen Mask on First
By Victoria Osteen - May 07, 2009

"If you have ever flown in an airplane, you've heard the flight attendant's pre–flight instructions informing passengers about airplane exits, emergency lighting, seat cushions that serve as flotation devices, and oxygen masks that fall from compartments above your head. Then the flight attendant says something like this: "Place the oxygen mask over your nose and mouth before assisting children or those around you."

Why is that? Because you can't take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself first. I heard someone say you have to show up for yourself before you can show up for others. And that is true–so why do we feel so badly about doing nice things for ourselves? We are God's creation, and we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves as well as others.

I'm the type of person who likes to make lists. I start with the main things in my life and then add on from there. What are the things that matter most in your life? Could that be family, job, friends, church, yourself….Oh yeah, did you forget to put yourself on the list? Do you need to move yourself up higher in priority? Most of us try to take care of everyone else but ourselves, but I've found I can't give my best if I don't have my best to give.

I have a friend who has a great husband and three beautiful children. She is a good wife and mother, but she was telling me that she feels so guilty when she goes and gets her nails done. She feels like she has to rush when she is taking time to get her hair done. She said "I sit in the chair at my salon tapping my feet nervously just counting the minutes; I can't seem to relax. I feel like I don't have time to take care of myself."

It's funny because I am sure the only time she doesn't feel guilty is when she is doing things for her family. But the truth is her family probably wants her to take time for herself so she can be her best for them. Don't fall into the trap of putting yourself last on the list or not even putting yourself on the list.

I encourage you today as you are busy handling all the responsibilities you have in life, find some way to invest in yourself. It can be as simple as taking a relaxing walk or picking up that book you've wanted to read. Do things to encourage your personal growth; take a class, listen to some teaching tapes, or join a gym. Sure, sometimes it costs some money, but you are worth it and the return will far outweigh the investment! You might be surprised at how just a few deposits in yourself can pay off in a big way and increase your effectiveness in every other area of your life!

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