Please Put the Oxygen Mask On Yourself First

Today we spent the day with Scabs in Arizona filming some new and exciting things for Bloom. As we were preparing for takeoff, the flight crew was going through their usual preflight razzmatazz. Suddenly, it was as if everything slowed down and I heard very clearly:

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If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.

I have heard this phrase so many times before that I don’t even hear it anymore. But for some reason it forcefully entered my preflight reverie. So often we are socialized to put others ahead of ourselves. When we are faced with a deep internal crisis, we feel like we can’t take care of ourselves because it would be selfish. But here are the clear instructions, from a government agency no less.

“Secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.”

Most of us don’t know how to trust ourselves anymore, but our bodies and souls still know what we need. It is expected and needful that we put our own oxygen mask on first. We can’t help and love others if we are dying from lack of oxygen. This truth sunk deep into me as we took off for Arizona.

Lately, I have been dealing with my own personal crisis. When the first warning signs hit, I realized that I was reticent to let people know I was struggling because I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t want to cause them pain by talking about my pain. But it hit me pretty quickly that I was figuratively walking around the entire airplane putting everyone else’s oxygen masks on for them, while I was slowing dying of asphyxiation. When I talked to my therapist, he told me that I needed to stop worrying about everyone else and just worry about myself for once. Not only that, I needed to worry about me until it was clear that I was through this crisis safely. I stared blankly at him. “I don’t even know what that looks like.” He smiled and said, “you will. But it’s going to take some practice.”

The new video for Bloom is all about how we set out on the road of life with all that we think we need, and then we run into the potholes, detours, and construction that have the potential to really hurt us. We lose track of our personal compass and where we want to go. And at one point or another, we are going to end up on the side of that road with tears streaming down our faces while feeling really lost.

But the amazing and wonderful thing is, we can reconnect with our internal compass. It knows where we need to go and what we need to grow. It is our hope that as you keep moving forward through all that life throws at you, that you can learn to trust that compass again. We hope you can learn to put on your own mask first, and then help others. It isn’t selfish. It is essential. Keep breathing my friends. We are going to make it through.



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