LOOKING OUT FOR ‘NUMBER ONE’–IS IT SELFISH TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF?

Dealing with life's trials and tribulations can often involve making decisions that pit our
personal well-being against those of others.  How much should we 'sacrifice' to help those around us?  Should we think more about the needs and desires of others than our own?  At what point do we exhibit selfish behavior?  At what point are we merely protecting our own needs?

Needless to say–this is an incredibly complex and difficult question to deal with.  But we must. 
It may occur on a monthly, weekly even daily basis.  But it is a profound metaphysical issue which deserves consideration and discussion.

A recent article [OCTOBER 14th NY Times, Science and Health Section] dealt with the question of 'who cares for the caregiver?'  Those who have read my book META-PHYSICIAN ON CALL FOR BETTER HEALTH may recall how this issue assumed life and death proportions in my own life.  My own Father nearly died from pneumonia because he had assumed the role of caregiver for my elderly Mother who was dying of dementia.  He had refused help at the time, believing that he could 'handle' the situation.  Unquestionably, his own immune system was ravaged by the stress he had been under.

The difficulty in dealing with this issue is clearly one of balance–how do we find the balance needed to care for those we love and who need us, and our own physical, emotional and spiritual needs? 

Clearly we need to be aware of the dangers of NOT considering our own health.  My Father could not help his dying wife while he was dying himself.  We need to be 'strong' in a truly holisitic way [mind/body/spirit] if we are to help others.

The analogy of flying in airplanes is relevant–'place the oxygen mask over your own face before trying to help others'.  You are of no help to anyone else if you are incapable of being fit yourself.

The challenge in life is to maintain that extremely difficult balance.  I believe that we must understand the significance of protecting ourselves from 'dis-ease' while being there for our loved ones.  Understand that it is not being 'selfish' when we pay attention to our own holisitc needs.

No one said it would be easy.  Life is what it is–replete with perpetual opportunities and challenges.  But awareness of life's metaphysical realities is the first step in dealing with them in a way that will benefit all involved.

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