I have heard it said to give of the overflow. My experience has been that this is an excellent way to avoid some problems.
When you give of the overflow, you don’t deplete yourself. You give from your excess, after your own needs have been taken care of.
This doesn’t mean you don’t put yourself out and give a lot. It does mean you keep an awareness of your needs and take care of yourself first. By doing this you are able to be at the ready to help take care of others. By depleting yourself, you are much less use to anyone.
It’s like on airplanes, if you are with someone who needs assistance, take care of yourself, ( put on your own oxygen mask first.)
It is also useful as a criteria for saying no. I’m envisioning a world where it is as acceptable to say, ‘self first’ as it is to say ‘family first.’
© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.