June 25, 2017|
This past week has been traumatic, stressful and overwhelming. What I hadn’t forecast as we were moving house, unpacking and trying to set up our new home was that I would totally fixate on myself and my own feelings. As I thought more about myself, my feelings and my actions, the more I became extremely overwhelmed and excruciatingly sad. Yes, I realize moving house is a stressful thing to do - I don’t underestimate that. Yes, there are very stressful times in one’s life when we are overwhelmed, burdened, out of our routine and comfort zone. But I was just so desperately unhappy, flat and empty. The more anxious and worried and overwhelmed I felt the more I focused on myself. The cycle continued and only became worse. Finally, one night, I just burst into tears and I didn’t stop crying for about an hour. When the sobbing had subsided I was very reflective about the cause of such an outpouring of tears.
I was asking myself the question, “What has been so different about this week?” The answer is quite simple - I have not been focusing on others. In my everyday life I truly set out to be a blessing to everyone I meet. I intentionally find ways to help other people. Life as a teacher, mother and wife is all about helping people with whatever they need help with, whenever they need it. Instead, this week, I’ve been totally focused on getting my jobs done, how tired I am and about how overwhelmed I feel. What a different experience I have had. It has truly opened my eyes to the negative effects of being so self oriented.
For me, in troubled times I do tend to go inwards. I think these are the times when most people go inward. We focus on ourselves and what is happening in our own world. It consumes us. Although it is totally understandable and normal, it is probably the worst thing we can do in times like these.
May I be bold and make a suggestion? If you are stressed, if you are strung out, if you are really anxious perhaps the best and most powerful thing you can do is take your eyes of yourself, and what you’re going through, and put them on someone else. This is not easy to do, I know. However, I really believe in my heart that if you stop thinking so much about yourself and you start thinking about other people you actually help yourself. By doing so you often become acutely aware of your many blessings and that other people are perhaps going through some pretty horrible stuff. It has been my experience that you help them and you also alleviate some of your own pain.
Save yourselves the tears, heartache and feelings of being totally overwhelmed by simply switching gears and asking the question, “Who can I help right now and how?” Then get busy brightening up somebody else’s morning, evening or day. Intentionally take your eyes of yourself, look around and seek out someone to help. Be a blessing to someone today. You will feel utterly sensational.