For it is in giving that we receive. — St. Francis of Assisi
Many people say that they would love to help others in need but can’t because they have to get through their own personal crisis/situation first. How can I give to others when I don’t have much myself? they wonder. Once they are taken care of, then they will help others.
Sorry; that’s not how it works. When you step outside of yourself (and your situation) to help another in need, you will be amazed by what occurs. First, you feel good right away. By simply stepping outside of yourself and helping others, you are putting aside your problems for a moment and gaining perspective on what is going on outside of your world. This alone can shift your mental state to a more positive one.
There are many different ways you can give. You can give money to a charitable organization, volunteer your time, shovel the driveway for an elderly neighbor, or buy a sandwich for a homeless person. Whatever it is, just do something. Set the intention each day to do something good for another. You’ll be amazed at how that will change the way you feel.
Giving Can Save You During Trying Times
Cynthia Kersey’s story is a perfect example of the way giving, especially during difficult times, can transform and shift your life.
In December 1999, 21 months after my first book, Unstoppable, was published, my husband of 20 years and I separated. We had met in college and I fully intended to be married to him for the rest of my life. For those of you who have experienced this type of loss, you know how difficult and painful it can be.
My husband had intended to join my son and me for the holidays at my parents’ house in Florida, but now my son and I would be going alone. The first few days at my parents’ house were excruciating. I was in great pain and had momentarily lost my hope for a happy future. After a few days of feeling sorry for myself, I realized that I couldn’t control what was happening. The only thing I could control was my response to my circumstances. In that moment, I vowed that the next Christmas, I would not be feeling sorry for myself at my parents’ house. I would instead dedicate myself to doing something for someone else.
When I got home, I called my mentor and friend, Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity International (HFH), whom I had met when I interviewed him for my book. He told me that when you have a great pain in your life you need a greater purpose. He had just returned from a trip to Nepal, one of the poorest nations in the world, and suggested I join the next house-building expedition there.
I had never been to Nepal, I’d never raised money for a project such as this before, and I had no idea how I would pull it off, but having that purpose invigorated me — and, most importantly, it kept my mind off of myself and my “problems.” Even though there were many times when I felt so depressed I didn’t even want to get out of bed, I’d think about these Nepalese families who didn’t have a decent place to sleep at night. That put my life back in perspective and I continued to move forward.
By December 2000, I had raised $200,000 and took a team of 20 people to Nepal, and we built the first three of the 100 houses in that project. That experience was truly one of the most transformational experiences in my life, and it was the first time I personally experienced the power of giving. Even more interesting, during that year, I made more money than I ever made in my life, even though that was not my primary intention.
I believe this story represents the essence of the Law of Giving and Receiving. You don’t need to be experiencing pain or loss to feel the immense rewards of helping others. You also don’t need to set out to build 100 homes. Start small. Start with helping to provide clean water for a child or a hot lunch for children who are going without. You can find out about all the different programs you can begin aiding today by going to www.unstoppablefoundation.org.
The scriptures say, “Give and it shall be given unto you.” They don’t say, “Wait until your life is working and then give,” or “Wait until you feel you have something to give before you give.” They simply say GIVE. You don’t need to know how it will all work out; you only need to have faith that when you are committed, you will be supported. When you connect with a divine calling that is bigger than yourself, miracles await you.
Things To Do To Feel Good
Each day, consciously do something kind for another person. Step outside of your everyday routine and do at least one nice thing for another person.
It can be something big, such as depositing money into a friend’s account who is going through some financial difficulties, or perhaps sponsoring a child in a developing country. Or it can be something small, such as letting the person behind you in line at the grocery store go ahead of you.
Just do something kind, large or small. Of course, it has to be done with a pure, loving heart, with no strings attached and with no expectations of getting anything back in return. You’ll be amazed what will come back to you. The Universe (or God, or whatever term you choose to use) works in mysterious ways.
Reprinted, with permission of the publisher,
from UNSINKABLE ©2011 by Sonia Ricotti.
Published by New Page Books a division of Career Press,
Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.
This article was adapted with permission from the book:
Unsinkable: How to Bounce Back Quickly When Life Knocks You Down
by Sonia Ricotti.
A financial crisis, a divorce, losing your job or a loved one, a health scare -- we all face painful, life-shattering events at some point. They can leave us feeling drained and drowning in depression. Author Sonia Ricotti draws upon her own experiences, as well as those of other high-profile self-help leaders, to help you overcome these difficult situations with ease, and bounce back quicker and higher than you thought possible. Unsinkable is not only inspiring, but it offers clearly written, step-by-step tools, strategies, stories, and exercises.
About the Author
Sonia Ricotti is a leading expert in personal and professional transformation. She is also the #1 best-selling author of The Law of Attraction Plain and Simple: Create the Extraordinary Life That You Deserve. Sonia is the president of Lead Out Loud, a company that offers inspirational products, videos, and workshops that transform people’s lives. She is also the creator and host of the popular Be Unsinkable Teleseminar Series, in which she interviews some of the biggest transformational leaders from around the globe. Sonia has also become a YouTube sensation with her inspirational videos, viewed by more than 3 million people around the world. For more information, visit www.leadoutloud.com.