I forgot about myself today: And it changed everything.

I opened my eyes today before the sun even came up.

It was before I would realize that the sky would be gray today. That it would rain so much that the sewers in the road would overflow and get my pant legs wet. It was before I knew I’d be cut off in traffic and be a pinky nail away in distance to the guy’s freaking bumper.

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But when I woke up I decided. Today, I’d forget about me.

It might not seem like such a big deal, but oh it was. Today marks the one-month of my Dad being gone and I’ve seen it coming all week. But before I went to bed I spent time going through e-mails from people all over the globe who were reaching out for a friend–advice–someone to understand. And I knew, as soon as I threw myself into helping people or simply listening, that I was losing myself in the process. 

And not in a bad way either.

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We all need “me time”, no doubt. So I’m not discouraging that here. I’m one of those people who re-energize during time alone in the bath after a long day at work, or curled up reading a book under a lamp or out on strolls. My husband can attest to the amount of times I throw my hands up and say, “Okay, I seriously need to go sit in some bubbles right now!” 

But I find that the times in my life where I’ve felt the best–the times my pain falls to the wayside or my stress simmers from a full-out boil to cool stillness–is when I just forget about ALL of it and focus on others instead and what they might need.

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So today, on a day when it could be spent throwing a “me” party, I woke up and decided–in a sense–the sun would shine today. 

I packed my husband his lunch at an ungodly hour *I am NOT a morning person so this is quite a feat* and I made some phone calls that I should have made a while ago to people who were on my heart but I never had the time. And then, I logged on to my blog and to my e-mail and spent a while helping some people out who were facing eerily similar circumstances as me and who just didn’t know where to turn, but decided to shoot me a line. 

And bit by bit, through losing myself and forgetting about everything I needed, I was somehow helped. Somehow, I forgot it had been a month to the day. Somehow, I forgot that I needed anyone.

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President Gordon B. Hinckley, a former president of my church who has since passed away, once simply stated: “Forget yourself and go to work.” 

When he said that he was referring to missionary work. But why not apply it to every day?

Forget that you need comfort today and go comfort someone in the same way you need it. Forget that you deal with insecurities, and go make someone feel beautiful. Forget that you’re dying to have someone come up to you at church and welcome you–and go welcome someone yourself. If you are feeling lonely–then get out of the house and go visit that woman who just lost her husband. Just go lose yourself. And odds are you’ll end up finding yourself in the process.

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I don’t care for the saying that says someone else always has it worse than you do. I think that has a tendency to make you feel like you don’t have the right to be sad. Or hurt. Or in need. But I DO believe with all my heart that someone always needs you just as much as you need someone. And that the times when you feel you have NOTHING left to offer–that’s when you tend to have the most.

A common scripture in Matt 25: 36 states, “I was naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick , and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” 

And I was thinking about that a lot today. When I’ve read it in the past it always took on a different meaning. It talks about the homeless and the naked and the hungry and the imprisoned within the same chapter–people who seemingly have it SO much worse than the one who is commanded to do something about it.

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But the Savior never states to them, “To the one who has a big house–take in the homeless. To the one who is full to the brim, feed the hungry. To the one who has layers of fine apparel–clothe the naked.” Nope, it isn’t read like that. He just calls out for US–in every walk of life– to serve. To feed those who hunger when the hunger pangs ache in your own stomach. And to comfort those who cry even when you’ve spent the entire night before wetting your pillow.

It’s something I’m trying to be better at and I think it’s a daily journey because it’s hard to not let your own life consume you. But it’s something to simply strive for because we’re all brothers and sisters.

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And today, it was my goal. And it changed everything.

And in the process of forgetting about me, I think I remembered Him a little bit better.

 

 

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20 thoughts on “I forgot about myself today: And it changed everything.

  1. I stumbled across your sweet blog this past week and have to say thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! I am so sorry for your loss…my dad passed away 7 years ago this coming March. For the first year I cried every day. He was the first thing I thought about when I woke up and my last thought as I went to sleep. I miss him so much and even tho I know I will see him again….and that he will forever be my dad…its still so hard. I loved your post today and appreciate that you were able to forget yourself and serve someone else. I hope you feel the peace you need to get through these days and such a great loss. Hugs ❤ Debbie

  2. Kayla, you are wise beyond your tender years. Thanks again for sharing. Your grief will slowly dissipate, but your love for your dad will endure.

  3. I just joined your site yesterday, and am touched by your blog entries. My sweet momma I loved so much has somehow been gone a year next week. So I understand how hard it must be for you. Thank you for your transparency and being willing to share your journey and the wisdom you gather, or happen upon, on the way. It helps. God Bless, Susan Hamner

    Your post today remind me of a church sign I once saw:

    *JOY*/* = J*// /(Jesus) */O/*/ /(Others) /*Y */(Yourself)

  4. Hi Kayla, I came across your blog today because a facebook friend of mine placed a link to your blog post, God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it. Wonderful post, and it really hit home. You see, I lost my father a year ago last November 30th, and the year has not passed by easily, not for me, or my brother and sister, and certainly not for mom. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how prepared you think you are, this loss is devastating. Over the last year 14 months, I’ve written several times about my dad and how his loss affected me. Most recently, I remembered him in my blog on the anniversary of his passing. I thought you might enjoy reading it … if you’d like to, you can find it here

    http://davidpagan.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/on-anniversaries-pieces-that-remain/

    Blessings to you, Kayla, as you go through this difficult time in your life. I think you made a wonderful decision today. Never do we feel as good about ourselves and our lives as when we look outward and serve others.

  5. Lovely post once again! When my daughter died I thought the world was a dark dark place and I would never see the “sun” again. It was through talking to others who had been through similar situations that I was able to heal.

    Now my own father is on his way out. “Listening” to your story has brought many tears to my eyes. But my heart rejoices for the knowledge I have and the dad I have!!

    Life is pain. Life is also joyous!

    Albert Einstein put it well when he said, “Only a life lived for others is worth living.” True dat. 😀

  6. Thank you so much for reminding us of that great and important principal. I am happy when I am inservice of others.

  7. Excellent! I remember when I was going through cancer treatment, I would see others who were worse than me and my heart did go out to them but when you are home again and suffering it still hurts.
    But you are right, we are all called to bring Christ and His love to others!

  8. I’m so fortunate to have discovered this blog. It will be one month on January 12th that my mother passed away at the age of 64. While my emotions have been unstable, I have been “forgetting” about myself to focus on my father. My words of encouragement to him have helped me as well. So, I definitely agree with your words and look forward to working through this process with you.

  9. Thank you for all you share. I’m a blogger and I know how hard and courageous it is to put your heart out there. My brother suddenly died 7 weeks ago and my world forever changed. My heart goes out to you. I know the pain that comes when a loved one is lost. One of my readers shared your blog with me and I’m so glad they did. You have given me so much encouragement. I thank you so much for that. I’m sorry for your loss again and you’re in my prayers.

  10. Thank you Kayla for your early morning post from another non-morning person.

    My counsellor is encouraging me to get in my boat and row through my ocean of grief. I think my rowing involves exercise, talking to those close to me and helping others around me that God puts in my path. Really I want to hide in a cave, but I am rowing away.

  11. Thank you for all the things you share! I joined your blog a couple days ago when I saw a post on facebook of one of your blog entries. And I was surprised of all the things you wrote ..things that I needed to read and to start making changes in my life ! Sorry for your loss…may God give you the strenght and peace to go through it!

  12. Your blog was shared on Facebook, and I loved it. I was helped by your words. I have a friend who has been helping her husband battle cancer this year, and it does not seem to be going the way they hoped. She has been feeling less positive, and angry. I had been praying for her, and not knowing what more to say to her. and then I read your post! Thank you so much.

  13. I loss my husband seventeen years ago I hatred god for taking him from me we have only been married eight months and then I loss my parents seventeen months apart but now I have learned in life god doze everything for a reason so I have gone back to church and now I trust in god! Amen! 🙂

  14. Reblogged this on thebritishamericans and commented:
    wow, Great Blog, I’ve never really understood what it meant to ‘lose yourself’ and this was a pretty great clarification. I also love how this writer says she does not care for the term, ‘someone always has it worse’ . Just a GREAT read, Thanks for posting 🙂

  15. In 2007 my wife had abdominal surgery. When she was in the hospital getting prepped for surgery I noticed the unsanitary conditions and told doctors, nurses & hospital staff about it. I told them they were infecting patients by going from room to room without making sure they weren’t transferring c-diff bacteria spores. I was told to mind my own business. Even though I objected they put my wife out of the hospital the next day without having a bowel movement. The next day she had a large black stool so I called the doctors office & was told it is natural. I told them it indicated a severe blood loss, c-diff infection or both. That went on for 7 days. She finally got so sick she had explosive diarrhea & projectile vomiting. I called and told them & they suggested I take her to the ER. I had moved her by myself till she couldn’t help move herself. She weighed 240 pounds & I weighed only 140 pounds. I had torn up both shoulders and my lower back and couldn’t move her so I called 911 to have her transferred. I had pleaded for a week but they refused. She died two days after being re-admitted from a severe c-diff infection that ate up her colon & dumped toxins into her system. Her body was so toxic we couldn’t donate any organs to help others. I didn’t sue, I chose to educate them as Jan had asked me to do so others wouldn’t suffer the same. I gave presentations to hospital staff, doctors & their staff, civic organizations and anyone that would listen. I was dressing a neighbor lady’s infected incision & she kept telling me I should go to the healing service at her church. She was thinking about my deep sadness or depression. I went and Christ not only removed my sadness, but He healed everything that hurt or didn’t work. THAT IS THE GRACE OF GOD. We can’t earn it. We don’t deserve it, but He does help us through all circumstances. He may not heal all, but He is always there for us. I too got c-diff from my exposure to her stools. The hospital used some of the treatments I had given to them to save my life.

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