Last Thursday I had another Animal Phys. exam that I studied my butt off for. I ignored every other aspect of my life (except hygiene) to study for this exam. You see, I made a 42 on my first exam. And I used to be ashamed to admit that, but not anymore. I studied as best as I could and I learned the information…after having a few exams like this in other classes, I have come to the conclusion that I am a terrible test-taker. When my professor slides my test in front of me, it doesn’t matter how many hours I studied or how well I know the information, my mind goes completely blank. My heart races, the words jumble, suddenly I feel as if I’m reading Japanese. I’ve prayed to God for my study efforts to please pay off. I stopped praying that though and now I just pray for a calm heart and peace of mind.
This Thursday I took my second exam in the class. The same thing happened- words jumbled, my mind went black. I took some deep breaths and really tried to focus. I finished, turned the test in and left feeling defeated. I walked to my car wanting to cry (I cry a lot 🙂 ) As I was driving, I started thinking “God, why? I hardly spoke to my husband this week because I was immersed in my textbook. I woke up early to learn this stuff, I put in the effort, Lord.” And my thoughts spiraled into a complete pity party. In the midst of all of my whining and self-loathing, God said to me “You don’t even know how you did yet. Calm down.”
It’s so easy to think up false situations for ourselves. To become wrapped in something, a reality, that doesn’t even exist! Isn’t that crazy?! I don’t even know if I did bad, and I’m sitting here wanting to cry. It’s so ridiculous. But this is what happens when we spend too much time in our heads.
As I kept driving, I thought to myself about how crazy and dramatic I was being. I decided to switch gears. I told God that all I wanted to do that day was to make someones day. To do something nice for someone else.
My last post offered 10 ways you can get happy, but I left the number one thing out: If you really want to be happy, get outside of your head (your problems, your wants, your needs) and focus on others.
A friend of mine were talking about happiness the other day and she said something that really rung true to me. She said “The reason we get so depressed is because we are too focused on ourselves and not focused enough on helping others”. I find this to be true.
I had a conversation with two ladies (different instances) who’ve expressed that they feel they aren’t being fulfilled in life…like there is something more to what they’re supposed to be doing. They want to help others but don’t feel as if they are in a place to, or they don’t know where to start.
I think a lot of people think this way, like you have a certain something to start helping others, whether it be money, time, a gift, a calling… whatever it may be that you feel you are lacking. This is not true! <–And I say this with excitement 🙂 You have everything you need! Isn’t that great?! The told this to the woman I was talking to, and she nodded and said “Yeah, you’re right I do.”
So you, reader, also have everything you need to make someone’s day. This blog is supposed to be about how I let my light shine during all of this life change and busyness, so now I will tell you 🙂
Be aware of your surroundings-always.
This means that no matter where you are- grocery store, driving to work, walking on the greenway- you are always looking for an opportunity to help others. How will you know there is a homeless man digging in the trash at Wal-Mart if you are only looking for a place to park? You can be the 50th person to drive by a person who is having car trouble, or you can be the one to stop and help. You can see a turtle in the road and drive right by, or you can take the time to go back and move him out of the street. Kindness extended to animals is still kindness.
Get out of your comfort zone.
Because that is still about you, and this life isn’t about you. I used to be the kind of person to shy away from someone who needed my help. It made me uncomfortable, so I didn’t help them. This is so silly! Do you think Jesus didn’t help others because he didn’t want to intrude or he felt uncomfortable? No. Talk to people, find out more about them. Give them an encouraging word or a smile. Look them in the eye. You’d be amazed at how many people, especially those less fortunate, just want someone to talk to. They just want to be heard.
Don’t make it about you.
So Thursday, after I made a goal of doing something nice for someone else, I drove to the Wendy’s drive-thru. I wasn’t hungry, I don’t even eat fast food, but I got in line anyway (right before the speaker where you tell them your order) and I sat and waited for someone to pull up behind me so I could buy their order. I sat there and sat there. Surprisingly, no one showed! So I laughed and drove home. I saw a fuzzy caterpillar moving across the driveway, so I stopped to get out and move him into the grass. My husband, whom I hadn’t had a lot of time with, wanted to watch football, so we did. I spent the rest of the night lying across his lap and saying things to make him laugh. For example, every time one of the teams scored a touchdown he had to say “Doo-doo fish cheese bread”. It’s stupid and ridiculous, but it made us laugh. His mood had changed from when he came home from a rough day at work. He seemed happier…so I think I made his day 😉
Here are some ways that I let my light shine, I hope they inspire you!
Hug/say ‘thank-you’ to those that do you a service (for me, I make sure to acknowledge the janitors in the Biology building)
Befriend the quiet person (in my case, it’s in class/lab, it could be in your mommy’s group or a neighbor, anyone!)
Realize that a life is a life –move caterpillars, worms out of heavy walking areas. Move turtles out of the road. Take a stray in if you can. Respect nature.
Feed a hungry person- the man digging in trash at Wal-Mart is a true story. He enjoyed McDonalds that day 🙂
Make someone laugh- no matter what it takes. Sometimes I make funny faces or do funny dances to make others laugh, and it puts me in a good mood too!
Be thoughtful– if your neighbors father dies, send cookies and a note expressing your condolences. Let someone in the store in front of you, even if they have more than you do. Hold the door for others. If you see a person struggling carrying something, drop what you are doing to help them.
Help others– any way you can, without being prompted. Help someone jump start their car, help a person in a wheelchair make it over a curb, give give give.
See your family– don’t forget about your me-maw that is in the nursing home. I take my me-maw magazines and nail polish when I visit her. When I can’t get to the city to see her, I write her letters describing things that are going on in my life. She doesn’t write back, but my mother tells me “the letters light up her life.” and that is awesome. Don’t forget the old and gray, they are the true treasures of this world.
These are just some ideas, you can shine your light any way you want. And you have all of the tools necessary to do so. Go! Get out there and make someone’s day!
Here is to our growing hearts and to spreading the love ❤