Help Another to Heal Yourself

26 Jan

“The best way to heal emotional turmoil is to do something for someone else,” my grandma always tells me. In recent years, it has become fashionable to be egocentric. Phrases such as “Spoil yourself”, “Give yourself a treat”, “Go on, you deserve it” and “Me, me, me” have become extremely widespread in the world of advertising. And worst thing is: we buy it.

Doing things for other people is now viewed in a negative light. Family life is seen as a sacrifice, rather than the greatest gift; doing chores for friends and relatives is seen as a favour, rather than a pleasure; helping out a stranger is seen as a burden, rather than a natural act of compassion.

The most common cure for emotional turmoil has become ‘taking some me time’: going shopping, treating ourselves to a nice dinner, taking a week-end away to cool off. However, in doing something for ourselves in order to get a worry off our minds, we are channelling energy into ourselves. And because this energy is fuelled by a negative primary thought, the energy inside us gets clogged up, never blossoming into something positive. It creates the opposite effect to what we desire: we become more obsessed with our problems and even more frustrated because our ‘cures’ haven’t worked.

If we do something for another person at a time when we’re in emotional angst, the result is completely different. Firstly, our thoughts move from ourselves to another person. We not only stop thinking about our troubles, but we realise that everyone around us has problems of their own…and that ours are often ridiculous in comparison. Secondly, when we do something positive for another person, we do it out of genuine good will. Our blocked negative energy transforms into positive energy. Thirdly, we return to a loving way of perceiving the things around us: we see the wonderful effects of our positive actions on the lives of others and we realise that love is more important than anything else.

Doing something for someone else can be as big or as small as you want it to be: doing the housework for your parents, cooking dinner for your partner, helping your younger sibling with their homework, doing the shopping for your elderly neighbour, doing the dishes for a flatmate who’s late for a date, completing work for a colleague who has fallen ill, replying to the long-forgotten e-mail that your friend sent you. When we do even the smallest things for someone else, a weight is lifted off our chest: we see that there is more to life than our internal world and there is more to life than the problems running through our heads.

When we feel frustrated, anxious or confused what we need the most is to put things into perspective. And the best way to do that is to remind ourselves of the bigger picture: we are surrounded by people who love us and who also need our love. Unfortunately, just reminding ourselves of this is often not enough to dispel the agitation that our minds get into. But actively doing something positive for someone else is not only a sure cure for our own emotional turmoil, but quite possibly a cure for someone else’s too. After all, doesn’t it make our day when someone does something nice for us?

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3 Responses to “Help Another to Heal Yourself”

  1. Pia 01/02/2011 at 08:29 #

    Your Grandmother was certainly a wise woman and a beautiful person, and so are you. I think I will write your Grandma’s quote on my noticeboard to remind me of whats really important in this world. Hugs to you. 🙂

    • l0ve0utl0ud 01/02/2011 at 18:39 #

      Thank you for your beautiful words. My grandma has taught me an immense amount, all of which has helped and shaped my life. I will no doubt use more of her wise words in future posts 🙂

  2. Meredith 06/08/2011 at 15:45 #

    Well said! I couldn’t agree more.

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