Are you feeling a bit anxious with all the news and changes bombarding you from every direction? Feeling overwhelmed from other’s expectations? Do you need a lift today?
I’ve found that one of the best antidotes for this syndrome, other than asking for help yourself, is to extend your hand to another.
Just like in our opening quote in which John Holmes says that when you turn your attention to lifting up another, your own problems seem a little less troubling.
You see, this disruption of myopic thought helps to put things in perspective resulting in a mental and physical reset. So, by helping someone else, you end up helping yourself in the process. I love this boomerang effect!
Last week I challenged you to identify one family member that you felt could use some help but to do it without judgment or conditions.
I asked that you reach out and extend help or depending on the circumstances, offer it without them knowing it was you.
Whether it was accepted with gratitude or not was not the point. The objective was to extend genuine help from a place of care and compassion anyway.
How did it go? How did you feel when you did it? What was their reaction?
In keeping with September’s joy habit – Be Helpful from Chapter 32 of my book Being Joy™, your challenge this week is to help a friend in need. Use the same principals as in last week’s challenge.
One way to help a friend who may be going through a crisis is to just be there to listen. Not to comment or try to fix but to just hold space for them as they verbalize their feelings.
This is actually one of the hardest things to do.
We are often so conditioned that in order to show empathy we must tell the other person about our own experience and how we solved the problem. We revert to trying to fix them.
The interesting thing though is that when I’m silent, I actually feel more peaceful within myself because I know I’m being of service. That’s probably what Gandhi meant when he said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
With practice, I’m getting better at showing compassion without becoming engaged in the other person’s drama. But I have to be mindful that I don’t let old societal habits creep in, that whisper that if I’m not “taking their side” or commenting “yes”, “uh ha” every time they say something, that I’m not being a good friend.
Afterall, it’s their story, not mine. And the most helpful gesture of open-heartedness I can show is by just being silent and listening. Try it next time you’re faced with a friend who just needs to be heard.
Buddha got it right when he said: “If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.”
You see, no one can successfully make it through life by themselves. We all need each other because in fact, we are all connected anyway. So, when you are in service to someone else, you are actually in service to yourself as well. You end up lighting your own path as it reflects off the light you are shining for someone else. That’s just how it works.
I’ll close this week with a message from my Joy Medicine Cards for Day 32 – Be Helpful that says: “Find your purpose by putting on your super-hero cape to help others. There is someone you know who needs your strength. Let your heart be your compass for knowing the best way to help. As you extend your compassion, your soul will help guide you to the changes you need to make in order to live on purpose.
Helping is healing. It is the best gift you can give yourself or others for joyful living.
Love from your Joy Mama,
P.S. Why not be helpful to a friend by gifting them a copy of my book Being Joy™. This 40-day practice of replacing old self-defeating beliefs with new empowering joy habits will help to shift their energy to a place of peace and harmony so that they can remember their own joy. You can order a copy here!
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Image courtesy of Pixabay.