Sometimes, people ask me what they can do to help me.   They hear my story. They respond by asking what they can do to support me.

The most important thing is to help ourselves before we can help anybody else. Otherwise, what we offer is a useless help.

Sorry to be so straightforward. For us, for me, for you and me, we cannot help anyone if we do not work on ourselves first.

I cannot love anybody if I do not love myself. I cannot take care of myself if I do not love myself. I cannot take care of anybody if I do not love myself. So, how can I take care of my son if I do not take care of myself? Right?

I mean, so, it is like when you are on a plane. If you are about to crash, what do you do? Do you put on your life vest first? Of course! Then, you put the life vest on your kids. Those are the rules.  That is what they tell you every time you get on a plane.

Why is that?

Right! It is because you must start with yourself.

So, for me, the best help you can do for me is to put in practice the Dharma. You know, His Holiness the Dalai Lama talks about this.   Lama Zopa talks about this. Ling Rinpoche talks about this.   Geshe Gendun Choephel talked about this. Geshe Tenzin Namdak talks about this. All these amazing gurus, teachers who embody Dharma, that is what they are talking about.

So, to follow a lifestyle that is not only helping you to improve but is creating the cause and the circumstances to be an example for other people to, also, improve in their life, for me, that is the best help you can do. You know that is how I see you, helping yourself so you can help others.  I know you can do this.

I am grateful that I am here.  I am grateful that I can communicate with you like this. It is an honor but I do not follow very well what I am saying. I am still searching.   I am still trying to understand. I am still trying to know myself.

Meanwhile, I am, also, trying my best to be of service. So, I am happy to be here with you. I am happy to be able to be part of this beautiful conversation. Thank you! 

Just remember, to be of benefit to anyone, you must start with yourself.


  1. Andy Wistreich

    The only place we have any right to make changes is in our own mind. When countries invade other countries we criticise them. When people intervene unrequested in other people’s lives, we call it intrusion. Even when we want to help someone, we can screw up badly. But if we work on ourselves, the way Osel says here, everything will come good for ourselves and others. In the beginning, middle and end, the arena for transformation is ourselves. Even transforming the world emanates from there!
    Thanks, dear Osel, for sharing your wisdom. I should say, so humbly too. You are a good example of how to work humbly on oneself..

  2. Scott Noteboom

    I love and agree with your premise here on a macro perspective, but would like to point out a sad truth: countless parents (mothers, especially) unable to love themselves have been able to be effective in loving their children— as well as have meaningful positive impact on their lives. I think attributing this unfortunate but common situation to being useless might dig a little too deeply. That word “useless” burns… maybe it needs to, maybe it doesn’t.

    My opinion is influenced by experience. I was raised by two parents who lived difficult lives and unfortunately still are unable to claim love for themselves. However, the help they provided to me and others was much more useful then useless. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today… loving myself, you and others 🙂

    OK…. Now that i’ve finished being defensive of many parents, like any good boy should, back to your true intention here: LOVE YOURSELF! I’m with ya…

    Much love sent from California….

Submit a Comment

More Posts

See Osel’s talk in Kopan

See Osel’s talk in Kopan

Tenzin Osel Hita gives a talk at Kopan Monastery, April 18, 2023, several days after the parinirvana of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.   En français:   En español:

Retreat with Ösel in Mexico

Retreat with Ösel in Mexico

Ösel will be leading a retreat in Mexico from Thursday March 30th till Sunday April 2nd 2023. For more information please visit the website of the event.

Subscribe for new posts

Get notified when a new story has been added.

You have Successfully Subscribed!