Give of yourself during tough times

When most of us experience tough times, it becomes difficult to see past our own circumstances. We may shut down and feel sorry for ourselves or even angry at others. I think this is a “normal” and human response to our experience of particular circumstances.

Trying circumstances can create tunnel vision where we see so narrowly that our whole focus is only on what we are going through. When our whole mental focus is on what is going so wrong for us, then we begin to feel this experience emotionally as well. Once we are seeing, thinking, and feeling what is going so wrong for us, then our actions follow suit. This is that powerful mind/body connection that I believe is always in operation in our lives.

From this restricted seeing, thinking, and feeling place, our actions might be to “hold onto” the things that are going wrong by speaking about them negatively or blaming others. We might withdraw from our usual activities and immerse ourselves in self-pity and hopelessness.

Have you ever considered though, what might happen if we were to reach beyond ourselves and touch the life of someone else? It takes courage to give past our losses and to show kindness past the cruelty others may have shown us. It takes courage to reach out and lend a hand, when both our hands are full.

How can we have our territories enlarged with our arms folded and our hands gripping tightly only our own wounds, defeats, shame, and hardship? We must be willing to reach beyond ourselves releasing not only our own cares, but also releasing the power of inspiration through giving.

This is such an awesome illustration of the power of giving of ourselves despite what we may be going through. When we lend a “hand” to help somebody else, something amazing happens. Some of our “stuff” falls from our “grip” because we now have only “one hand” left.

Worries about that job and paying the bills; they fall. Worries about that failed relationship and the friends who walked away; they fall. Worries about losing a home and the things in it; they fall, too. When you lend a hand, you are distracted from your own hardship which allows some “stuff” to fall from your grip. Giving of yourself changes you and your experience of your circumstance is changed in the process.

That is the reason, I believe, we feel free and empowered when we give and I believe that it is all divinely worked out that way. Giving of ourselves creates space.

All we have to do is give-our time, our know-how, our energy, our words of encouragement, and our prayers. Suddenly, there isn’t any room to hold onto those worries that weigh us down. Suddenly, we have to climb out of that pool of self-pity and change our tune from the “why me” blues. Suddenly, however, we have the “space” to receive and the opportunity to grow.

Loosen your grip and change your “experience of your experience”. Be encouraged.

Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at ln_dunn@yahoo.com.