The Airplane Theory – Help Yourself, First.

A few years ago, I went through a complete life remodeling.  I was in the middle of a divorce with my wife and throughout the breakup, had lost the majority of my possessions.  I was in my last semester of college and was working for the family business while desperately looking for employment in my line of study.   Due to the economy being in the toilet and my lack of experience, I wasn’t having any success.  My emotions were running the gamut from fear and anxiety to depression and self-loathing.   I wasn’t sleeping more than a few hours a night and was becoming increasingly less healthy.  I couldn’t focus on any particular thing and was constantly feeling overwhelmed due to the myriad of emotions and trials I was facing.  I was stuck and had nothing in regards to an exit strategy.

This was of course, until I met my best friend (who has been my girlfriend of over two years), and she shared with me a premise that changed my life.  We call it “The Airplane Theory.”

Now, most of us have been on an airplane.  Before the flight takes off, there is usually a short instructional movie or a presentation given by the flight attendants that explains basic airplane protocol, acceptable behavior and what to do in the event of an emergency.  One of the topics covered in the presentation is what to do if there is a change in cabin pressure – an oxygen mask will drop from the overhead panel.   It is always encouraged to make sure to secure your own mask before trying to help anyone else with there’s.  This same practice is applicable in life.

As a human being it is nearly impossible to help others when your own life is in disorder.  If this is the case, it is imperative to take the necessary time to get yourself healthy and well.  This is not a selfish act; in fact, it’s the best thing that you can do for yourself.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing yourself to become stable once again.  A problem in our society these days is that we spread ourselves too thin and don’t allow for the necessary time to completely recover.  It is important to love and care for yourself and to remember that regardless of everything else, you have to put yourself first.

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