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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.