I Don’t Want To Fail Her

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(Lose the Net by Rasmus Faber Courtesy of Epidemic Music)

It’s amazing how well good questions lead us naturally to good answers, and how beautiful questions lead to even better answers! When we open ourselves to the things we don’t know, we open the doors to discovery and greater understanding.

I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a weekly consideration of things that matter every day.

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We put so much pressure on ourselves to take care of other people, but are we overlooking something in the process?

Join me this week as we take yet another look at taking elegant care of ourselves. Stay with me.

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A few years ago, I provided clinical training for a remarkable team at a private mental health hospital. It became quickly obvious to me that the team was made up of people who were committed to creating an environment of compassion and professionalism for the people they were serving.

As I came to the subject of self-care and how much it matters when we’re serving others, something happened that touched the hearts of everyone in the room, including me.

One of the young counselors talked about how strongly his schedule had been altered since he and his wife had their first child. He laughingly described their two and a half-year-old daughter as “a living energy machine that never stops,” and went on to say that because he enjoyed taking care of her, he often didn’t get to bed until eleven-thirty or later. He explained that he was always having to juggle his time so he could spend time with her and with his wife.

“Because I’m on the road several hours a day traveling to and from work,” he said, “there’s never enough time.”

When I had the others share their thoughts about the strength of his commitment, he became quietly tearful. I asked about his reaction, and he said, “I don’t want to fail her. I’ll do anything to give her what wasn’t there for me when I was her age. More than anything, I want her to know that her father loves her.”



After several of his peers praised the strength of his conviction, I talked about the imperative of self-care. As a reference, I reminded them of the oxygen mask dialog that every airline has its flight attendants deliver before take-off. We’ve all heard it. “Please put on your own mask first, and then attend to small children, or people just acting like it.” (Thank you Southwest Airlines for that last part!)

As you already know, the logic behind that is elegantly simple. If we don’t focus and take time to put our masks on first, we’ll run out of air and won’t be able to help anyone else. While we understand that at a rational level, I regularly hear from people who feel constantly depleted or exhausted because they put their own needs last. When we dig into that a bit, the excuses I hear are consistent ones.

“They deserve it more than I do.” “I want to give them what I never got.” “I’m just made that way.”

You aren’t serving anyone by putting yourself last, and you won’t fail someone else by taking exceptional care of yourself first. It isn’t selfish. It’s self-honoring and self-loving. You’re not taking away from someone else by flossing your teeth or making your bed or getting better sleep. No one else suffers when you spend time being quiet every day or speak kindly to yourself or drink more water. It actually works the other way around. The more intentional you are about taking care of yourself, the more you have to offer the people around you.

It’s just that simple.

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So, that brings us to this week’s three Beautiful Questions.

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Question One: In what ways have you been neglecting to do healthy things for yourself?

Question Two: What do you know about what caused you to make self-care a lesser priority in your life?

Question Three: Choosing to take better care of yourself, what things will you put into place first?

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After you’ve sat quietly with these questions, write and tell me what you experienced. I’ll be happy to hear from you.

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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I’m glad we can engage this way every week as we consider things that matter and what to do about them. If nothing else, I hope you feel inspired to look more deeply at ways of caring for yourself. You deserve that.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And each week at thebeautifulquestion.com, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. We’ve also included an archive of all previous podcasts, including guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, I encourage you to share them and tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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