Please secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
If you can’t stabilize yourself,
how can you stabilize others ?
/ / / /
Growing up on planes I heard this familiar message hundreds of times. And it would roll on by like the multicolored clouds. He is so funny sometimes - trying to teach us lessons in all the places we go. And even when I wasn’t listening He planted that seed anyway, because He knew someday it would click, maybe with the help of a friend.
So it clicked, I get it now. I can’t help you or guide you if I’m totally lost myself. Of course life is a game of lost and found but it’s the functioning through those lost days that grow you. You’re allowed to get lost, and sometimes you should purposefully blindfold yourself and say, “let’s get lost!”. However - we need you to come back. You gotta find your way through those lost days. Then we want to hear how you did it! Tell me all about your journey through a dark, dark wood and all the rattling you did. Tell me the truths you spoke and the kindness you shared. That’s the oxygen, and you need to breathe yours before you share with me.
When I’m lost, I’ll gently make myself aware of that blatant truth. I’m lost, and it’s time to be become un-lost.
I play a familiar song. Look at old pictures. Hike in His creation. Pray.
I try to find a sense of grounding, remember where I want to go. That’s my oxygen.
Do those simple things that point back to your mask. Your lifeline. And breathe sustenance in, a blend made just for you. Chances are you’ll feel refreshed; a little less lost. When you have your mask on you are more qualified to help others find theirs.
It’s similar in the dance studio. As dancers we know that standing in the front means we are saying to our instructor, “I know the combination”. This promise is not only to your teacher but to your classmates standing behind you. They trust you’re there for them if they find themselves lost amongst the steps, and there you will be, saying, follow me I’ll carry you through.
To lead is to say you’ve been down the road before and you’ve come out okay. Maybe it took awhile. The timeline doesn't matter. Honestly, the more time you spent lost is the more time you spent learning. You don't get to become an oracle by not walking and living the life of an oracle….so keep getting lost. Find your way back from time to time and teach the rest of us how you came through. Breathe your oxygen so you can hand me mine. The world needs leaders, real leaders. Not people pretending they know what they are doing. But the real hardcore rough around the edges been down that dark road before and came out alive kind of leaders.
You're allowed to get lost, but you have to reach for your mask first. And if you see me struggling, would you perhaps lend me a helping hand?
PS. I’ve missed you.