Walk, don’t run to the nearest exit
Put on your oxygen mask first, then help others
Don’t take anything personally
You can’t hurt anyone if you are authentic
So do you think all these are true? Some of the time? All of the time? For me, I think only the second one is true all of the time. I think you really can’t help anyone if you’re not ok, if you’re not breathing or eating or caring for yourself. That’s why martyrdom doesn’t have much going for it in this life, once it’s in place it’s like bottomless quicksand.
I’d say for the most part the rest of them are awesome attributes and goals. They just can be out of place sometimes. Like I wouldn’t walk to the exit if my Red Bull were pursuing me. I once had a bull walrus chase me. I had flippers on and I thought I was doomed. I had been told not to make noise or create a disturbance around them. So when this mammoth hunk of anger came at me – I was too near a female, not that I had noticed – I flapped and fluttered and skipped and flounced and finally swam away. Safety was just across his invisible and very personal space.
In the end it didn’t matter what I did or said, what mattered was I made it out of there as fast as I could. No time to take my perfectly fitting flippers off. No time to take on the mantle of walrus deportment. I did what I had to do so I could write about it now, though that was not part of my thought process.
Not much is when we are in a panic. Which is why it’s so important to have made a few plans, a few habits that don’t have to be thought about. I help several people with panic attacks. They don’t have planned attacks, more like the walrus, the panic comes out of the blue, although in hindsight often a line has been crossed.