Love is like oxygen
You get too much, you get too high
Not enough and you’re gonna die
Love gets you high
-Sweet

Recently, a friend of mine said that he doesn’t believe in giving all heart energy away to other people. Rather it’s just as important to use it on yourself. Fill yourself up with your own heart energy. Or in other words, love yourself.

As much as I agree, it still sounded strange to my ears. In our culture, there is high value placed on giving to others. It creates the fabric of our society. As a teacher, I, and countless other teachers like me, gave our hearts to our students and the job. We lovingly give our heart energy to friends and family, to neighbors and even to strangers through our churches, organizations or volunteer work. We probably all just gave abundantly to others during the holidays. No doubt, giving from the heart feels great!

So, how about giving your heart energy to yourself? I think our own selves are often last in line or forgotten when the love is being passed around. And, how does that feel when we’ve given all of our heart energy and compassion away to others? Maybe drained, depleted? On that point, I remembered some other very wise advice taken from every airline safety presentation: Put on and adjust your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs.

Maybe we should be first in line for our own love and compassion instead of last. It’s not selfish or self-centered. If love is like oxygen, it’s survival. Not enough and you’re gonna die. That includes love of self. Doesn’t it make sense that we need to take care of health in order to serve of others better? In the same way, I think it makes sense to fill our own mind, body and spirit up with love and compassion so that we may love others even better.

It’s not too late to make another New Year’s resolution:

Love yourself.

Sweet. “Love is like Oxygen.” By Andy Scott and Trevor Griffin. Level Headed. Polydor, 1978