If you listen to popular ‘wisdom’ you will hear a very subtle refrain, almost too quiet to hear: Take care of yourself first, others next.
It seems worthy–I mean, the “others” part is in there, right? I can’t put an oxygen mask on someone else before I put it on myself!

That might mean I would sacrifice myself for someone else…

We can try and care for ourselves before reaching out to others, but caring for only ourselves leaves us feeling always slightly empty, never quite satisfied. We never reach that moment of “Ok, I’m ready. Totally full, ready to give.” In all that time who knows how many people you might have touched?

Perhaps it would be wiser to simply give and care and reach while you care for yourself. Then your cup is never too full and never too empty.

This my friends, is true joy: to touch the hand of someone who needs you and not leave it empty. To hear a soft voice calling and turn to behold the need. To meet an eye with a generous heart. Let us stir the coals of our hearts into a gentle flame that others may gather around and be warmed.

 

Photo Credit: everyday-i-show.livejournal.com