A blurb on the radio this morning by Joni Eareckson Tada encouraged caregivers to take care of themselves while taking care of others. The illustration of putting in place an oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping others, in the event of airplane misadventure gave a visual to which most can relate.
The religious community presses home the principle of living selflessly and sacrificially. This is especially true when there is something that you can do for them. Another crowd will label you as selfish, narcissistic, hypocritical, and/or blatantly evil should you decide to “take care of yourself” by boundaries, minding health issues and even when applying wisdom (or simple common sense) in chaotic and high drama circumstances.
When loved ones are hurting and are hellbent on destruction, when your heart is overflowing with the desire to help another, that is when it is the most challenging of KNOWING WHEN to sit still, to reach out or to back away in respect to “taking care of yourself”.
For those who know the Redeemer as your Savior, the gift of the Holy Spirit dwells within you. An “oxygen mask” is readily available, whether the skies are blue and calm or when turbulence disrupts the journey. Therein comes the wisdom, the power and the knowledge of when to buckle your seat and bow for the sake of safety, to reach over and help the one struggling or to make way to the exit door. Permission (freedom!) has already been divinely given to take care of yourself; you will be divinely directed of how and when to help others.