Your first responsibility is to yourself

Before we can be of service to anyone else, we have to take care of ourselves. I call this keep ourselves intact. This includes: taking care of our emotional needs; taking care of ourselves financially; attending to our health; not allowing others to mistreat us.

I like to use the metaphor of the mother lioness. What is the first thing she does when she kills dinner for her cubs? She eats her fill. She knows that if she is not strong and healthy, she cannot hunt or care for her cubs.

Being selfless is great. Uplifting others and making a difference in other people's lives may be our highest calling. But how can you do this effectively if you do not take care of yourself? Otherwise it just turns into martyrdom- which eventually ends up not being healthy for anyone.

We all have emotional needs. We have things that recharge our batteries. We have to attend to these things on a regular basis. This ultimately gets down to living a balanced life.

Yes, life can get busy. If you are raising children, it may feel like there is no time for yourself. But there has to be. If you do not take care of your emotional needs, you will start meeting them though interacting with your children. This creates confusion and emotional issues for your children. If you are in a helping profession, the same thing applies. You have to meet your emotional needs- outside of your clients or students.

If you are in a crisis, take care of it. But return to your balanced state and recharge your batteries as soon as the crisis passes.

Because... there are people counting on you. If you do not take care of yourself, how can you possibly be there for them?

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