Helping Others by Helping Ourselves

Witnessing firsthand and personally experiencing too many of those aforementioned harmful effects in my life manifests deep pain and empathy for people, which is a pivotal reason for choosing to help others. A dominant universal goal regarding all spiritual realms is to mitigate pain and suffering. Caring for individuals working as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse constantly makes me question, “Is there something we as a community, society, nation, and global enterprise can do to help prevent these tragic fatalities?” Tears of compassion and frustration well up and trickle down an anguished face, while contemplating the horrors that families of these loved ones face and endure.

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized that I was somebody” (Lily Tomlin). Can such tragedies be averted? Young teenagers and adults are too often admitted for heroin overdoses with irreversible anoxic brain injuries, while ventilators keep their bodies alive as the brain swells, crushing parts of the cerebrum or spinal cord ending in brain death. All four extremities spastically and uncontrollably jerk up and down with both eyes transiently shooting open seemingly bulging from their skulls as their necrotic viscera pour out. Paralytics are administered because families do not need to witness such horror. Others drink themselves silly, which leads to irreversible pancreatitis or hepatic destruction, culminating in multisystem organ failure and subsequent death.

Even today, visualizing and feeling the glowing warmth, energy, kindness, and friendly smile radiating from a fellow high school classmate’s face 20 years later is poignantly palpable. His abundant energy, radiant countenance, joy, and ability to make others laugh was contagious. He made the tragic decision to try heroin one time, which ended his short life. Let’s decide to help others make better choices by making them for ourselves first.

Doing Our Best

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mark 8: 36 NLT). Moreover, harmful effects can ensue due to excessive gambling, extreme shopping, gluttonous eating, pornography, smoking, mind-numbing alcohol intoxication, and illicit drug use. Several poor behaviors mentioned above have ruined countless marriages, relationships, and even ended in fatality. Do you frivolously love and yield to bad habits more than you enjoy living in victorious freedom by loving and caring for your own mind, body, spirit, and soul? Let’s not stoop down to a level below our absolute best.

Practice Living the Good Life

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler” (Henry David Thoreau). People discover their potential from knowledge acquisition combined with practical application. We become forward growing the moment we develop the courage to acknowledge and admit our faults, while seeking solutions to our problems and taking massive immediate action toward solving the underlying harmful culprits. The more competent, confident, and autonomous we become at life equates to a good life at whatever we choose to do.

Living Well Spent

“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us” (Charles Bukowski). Continual growth and progress are pivotal keys toward living fully, therefore dying full, yet spent. You can’t spend your way to monetary wealth, only long-term joy fulfilling wealth. Remember to start where you are with what you have. No excuses, blaming, complaining, self-pity, regret, shame, or procrastination allowed. Get intentionally busy filling yourself up with greatness so you can spend yourself in an extravagant, yet selfless manner.

Memories

“God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December” (Sir James Matthew Barrie). Think of a time when you went someplace, such as a carnival or ball game. Remember the scents, sights, sounds or shouts of excitement, tastes of delectable food, and feel of the seats or warm gripping hands that were held. We can consciously think of positive things and program our subconscious to accept them automatically, thus creating peak mental states to operate and live in. Smells are especially persuasive and easy to recall in our memory banks. These mental pictures or movies we create can act as an anchor to ground us back to a calm, cool, and collected state of mind when uncomfortable feelings or frustration arise.

Peace

“Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people” (Jawaharlal Nehru). Not much in life beats a made up mind filled with passion, peace, optimism, confidence, determination, persistence, and love that is shared with many. Choose to be peaceful, while creating and giving peace to others through spoken and written words, silence, and intentional kind actions.

Defeating Anxiety

Any anticipatory anxiety or fear of future events can be mitigated and abated by facing them bravely, head on. For example, rather than trying to avoid making a specific mistake during a speech, go out and try to create this blunder and it probably won’t happen. At least instead of worrying about a future slip up, which likely will not occur, you can now rest peacefully, living fully, today. Practicing this strategy for most worries may just lead to no more foreboding. Additionally, stop looking at storms of yesterdays in the rear view mirror, lest depression set in, stealing moments, hours, days, months and possibly years, which otherwise could be abundant joy and laughter. The past is gone—it will never return, the future is full of glorious wonders, and the moment is tranquility, love, and peace because you choose it so.  

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense” (Buddha). We live vibrantly and courageously or die dastardly, mostly because of habitual choices we make. Let your thoughts, attitudes, words, behaviors, and environments lead to fuller, more joy-filled lifestyles. To each their own—nihilism or usefulness, meaning, and dignity. We must decide for ourselves the best path for our own unique journey through time. Insight, advice, principles, other peoples’ experiences (OPEs), beliefs, and suggestions from others can help formulate what we ought not to do or must do to acquire all the splendors this wondrous world offers. Live without regret, guilt, resentment, blame or shame by owning your own discerning decisions, while not judging others. We can choose our actions, but not the consequences. Learn to smile and laugh during any situation, for suffering and death are only parts of life, which help us feel—knowing we are alive with breath in our lungs, while transcending and transmuting fear, anxiety, and depression into forgiveness, joy, peace, and love.

Brave Independence

Be brave enough to try new things, go new places, form new relationships, and forgive—letting go completely, while loving more deeply. We can learn much by doing, instead of passively sitting on the side lines of life, becoming more futilely dependent upon others for our happiness and everyday personal responsibilities. Passive dependent personality disorder is not uncommon. The character flaws can be remedied through acknowledging they exist.

Awareness is the first step in all healing. Let’s take responsibility for our own lives, not enabling others’ dependence, only encouraging autonomous greatness from within—by doing and believing our part. Acts of service for others are wonderful modalities toward remedying fretful maladies, in turn, becoming more grateful through the process. Live free from anxiety and worry—enjoying who you are and what you have. Think not of lack or deleterious envy, only abundance of blessings in your life.