9. “Look around at how you can make the world a better place. Instead of just passing through, make a positive contribution to life. If local or world tragedies touch your heart, listen to the call. It will make you feel alive.”
This is when I felt in my element, when I helped people. It required emotional strength to do this though, and to have a love for people. No matter how good your intentions in helping are, they won’t go far if you don’t have love for yourself. We were created to both receive and give this beautiful emotion. When we don’t feel love for ourselves, we become weak emotionally. It becomes hard for us to accept the love of others. Walls go up, and it affects our relationships and our ability to reach out. I found that as I sunk into depression I was no longer reaching out to help others. I never thought that starting to like myself, would affect me the way it has. I use the word “like”, because I don’t yet love myself; but it feels way better than self hate! I look at others with a deeper appreciation and my sincerity in helping has been refined. It truly does make you feel alive when you connect with others and share hope.
10. “Decide that you want to be a better person. As we all know, that daunting task starts with you. As you make yourself better, the lives of those around you will improve as well.”
I’m all for becoming a better person! No one can say they have no room for improvement. I was all too aware of what I wanted to change within myself, but not what I “needed” to change. I couldn’t see how my negative thoughts hindered me from making any progress. I had to let go of everything that wasn’t helping me by sharing it. This was hard to do, but it was even harder to keep suppressing them. The pain, sorrow, anger, and grief that came with sharing painful experiences, are no longer there to dominate my mind. I feel like I have room in my lungs for deep breaths, where as before it was for crying or sighing.
These changes within me will hopefully begin to touch the lives of my family and friends. We need each other to make it through the tough times. We were blessed with a support system, but it won’t be of any help if we don’t tap into it.