Look Outside Yourself

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We’ve heard the expression, “pity party” or “wallow in self despair”.  This article is a little tough love.  It’s kind of been circling around and around in my mind all day, and I figured, with the risk of making someone insulted, I would take the chance and put it down on paper.

“Oh, woes me”.  What happens to us when we think that?  Do we feel better, or do we spiral downward even faster.  I’ve spent a good portion of my life wallowing…. so I believe can certainly talk on this topic quite fluently.  It’s up to us when we’ve wallowed enough.  Then, and only then, can we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move forward.

We can even make ourselves feel horribly – even physically sick – if we want to.  We can give ourselves pain.  I have worked in skilled nursing for many years and, in talking to the residents, there are those who focus on pain or an illness.  They don’t get better. They get worse.  In our book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life” (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com) I noted that “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but it’s also a terrible thing to have”.  Not going to tell you where I wrote that line, you’ll have to read the book to really see how it fits in; but, I can certainly speak on it.  Who makes us feel bad?  OK – so someone might be yelling at you, you might have a bad boss, you might have a cruel acquaintance who gives you a hard time…. But, who makes you feel bad?  YOU do. 

What to do about all this?  Look outside ourselves.  When we focus on the “bad” things get worse.  When we focus on the pain, it gets worse.  When we focus on what’s wrong, things get worse.  Focus on the negative and the downward spiral gets more severe.  We need to focus outside of ourselves. We need to see the big picture, notice the beauty in the world, and find a purpose in life.  See the pain another is experiencing and reach out a hand.  Through helping others we help ourselves, and I believe every one of us has something to offer that can help another.  There are TONS of volunteer opportunities available, or just bring a neighbor who may need a helping hand some flowers or a hot meal.  Trust me, the rewards of giving instead of reflecting on how bad our lives are, are monumental.

Look outside yourself.  Make a friend.  Reach out.  You never know what another person is going through, and just a smile might change their day. 

Last thought:  Grandma used to say how, no matter how bad you think things are for you, there’s someone out there who has it worse.  Be THANKFUL for what you have. Be thankful for who you are.  You are here for a reason.  Sometimes it’s hard to find it, as we get caught up in so much day-to-day distractions which steal our time.  BUT, you are here for a reason.  My mantra is, “people helping people and collaboration = success”.  I know that, as I keep going, as I keep talking, as I keep striving to spread this message, others will embrace it.  Trust me; I know it’s hard to move forward, but I also know, in the end, the reward will be great.

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