There is one thing that I know for certain to be a cure for feeling sorry for yourself: looking outside of your circumstances and helping someone else. Nothing is as effective at making you feel better about your own life than helping someone else. No matter what your situation is, I can assure you that there is someone else in a worse situation. I don’t say that to belittle your pain or diminish the hurt you are feeling, but to remind you that your circumstances will not change by dwelling on them.
When I am going through hard times, I tend to isolate myself. I pull away from friends and family and before long, I am hosting my own little pity party with no one on the guest list but me.
It’s only when I start to look outside myself that how I feel about what I’m going through changes. It’s when I decide to extend even a small kindness to someone else that I am able to feel hope.
My life is forever changed because of time I spent in orphanages in Ethiopia, holding babies, seeing joy on the faces of children who have so little, sitting on the edge of the bed of a dying girl…in trying to help others, I was the one who was most helped.
Being generous with your time, your gifts and talents, your money, and your love will change your life. Generosity allows you to give freely without expecting anything in return and the rewards will be greater for you than they will be for the person on the receiving end.
Ways to help others:
- volunteer at a soup kitchen
- volunteer with a Boys and Girls Club
- donate your used clothing or household items (this will also help in your quest to de-clutter)
- make a meal for a busy mom
- sponsor a child
- promote a business or blog
- make blessing bags for the homeless
- shovel a neighbour’s driveway in the winter or mow their lawn in the summer
- send a card to someone going through a hard time
- donate your time to a non-profit
- sit and listen to a friend
- hold the door open for a stranger with a smile
- share your experience with someone going through something you have gone through
- donate money to a charity
- pick up garbage and put it in a trash can
- drop off baking at a nurses’ station at the hospital
- let one of your former teachers know they made a difference in your life
- encourage others
- extend grace to someone who doesn’t deserve it
- use your talents (art, cooking, dance, writing…) to donate to a silent auction or charity fundraiser
- play matchmaker
- pay for the stranger behind you’s coffee or tea in the drive-through line
- go to a school play or junior sports game and cheer loudly for all the participants
- give someone flowers
- rescue an animal
- teach someone a new skill
- become a foster parent
- cancel a debt owed to you
- donate blood
- do more than your fair share
- leave a large tip
- serve at your church
- start a support group for others going through something similar to yourself
- rock babies in the NICU at your local hospital
- volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center
- go on a mission trip
- tell a mom that she is doing a good job
Generosity changes the giver’s life because it changes their view about the world and about themselves. It deepens relationships, brings joy to others and betters the world.
Your challenge today is to pick something off the list above and do it. How has being generous impacted your life?
Join us this month as I share ways to help you move towards the life you want to live. Join me in the challenge. Ready to jump off the cliff?