One of the greatest feelings for me comes from helping other people. Whether it be by giving them advice, doing something for them, or just listening to things that they are going through - nothing makes me happier than knowing I've made a difference in someone's day, whether in a major way or not.
And as far as I can remember, I've always been that way. Something within me just naturally draws me to people and wanting to offer some sort of aid to them to make their lives easier and to lighten the burdens they carried. I felt that everyone deserved to have someone who generally cares for them and would want to offer them help whenever they needed.
Now, I don't preface this to fuel my ego like "oh, look how great I am" sort of thing. I preface that because I believe that many of us do this. We have this natural drive to want to be there for others and give them everything we believe they deserve. However, when doing this, I've noticed that two major problems arise when leading this kind of helping lifestyle.
First, we start neglecting ourselves and spread ourselves too thin to the point that we stop trying altogether. When we help others, we are offering a part of ourselves to them, we carry their burdens with them, we share in their sorrows and difficulties - and the problem occurs when we do this too frequently without allowing ourselves to be relieved of our difficulties and burdens. Just as much as others, we, too, also need help in carrying our struggles. Without seeking the kind of help that we give to others, we will only end up tiring ourselves out and that can often lead to frustration and bitterness. We have to remember that we are only human and we can only take so much at a time. In order to be better and more effective at helping others, we have to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves in the process as well. It is all a process of helping one another, so before you continue to offer your help to others, make sure you have someone to help you out when you find yourself in trying times.
The second problem arises when we adopt the belief that we can save everybody. If you're anything like me, you are willing to try to tackle any problem your friends and loved ones might have, no matter how serious or complicated it may be. Yet, this often leaves us biting off more than we're capable of chewing. This honestly has been one of the biggest challenges I've struggled with. I want to help everyone with every single problem they have and the reality is: sometimes, I just can't do it. Perhaps it's because I'm just not experienced enough to handle the problem well enough without making it worse. But often times, the biggest thing we have to accept, myself especially included, is that maybe I'm not the one meant to save them. Maybe whatever problem my loved ones may be going through is just simply not meant for me to handle, but for someone else to. We can't honestly fix everyone's problem all the time. We cannot be their savior.
Thinking like that can result in us feeling inadequate because we couldn't solve all their problems and fix everything. The reality is, we're not meant to fix everything on our own. Some problems are just better suited for other people and that's perfectly okay. That doesn't make us any less worthy or special, it's a further reminder to us not to spread ourselves to thin by placing the entire world on our shoulders without help.
I encourage you, if you don't already, to go out and offer help to others who need it. I sincerely feel that if we all shared this dedication to trying to make everyone's day just a little bit easier, that we'd be in a lot more peaceful place than we are now. There is a great joy to be found in helping others, so long as you remember to take care of yourself and that you aren't expected to carry everyone's troubles all the time.
Stay helpful, everyone.