Shifting Your Focus To Serving Others

by Laura

A simple lesson that my dear mother taught me years ago, proved itself quite well recently. The most beautiful part was that it was proven through the person who taught it to me!! My mom always said:

“The surest way to feel better when you are depressed is to take the focus off yourself and put it on someone in need of help..You’ll quickly forget your own problems, and remember that you play a larger role in the world, that can make a significant difference”


Growing up I remember my mom telling me to help others and stop focusing on myself and my needs, as young people normally do. Kids are the center of their own universe, and if we are not careful, even adults can be as well. I admit that I fought the demon of this self focus “living in a bubble” like attitude, as an adult, but only when in a depressed state. Depression can be like a snake that tightly wraps itself around you, and isolation is the tendency that accompanies this snake’s habitat. When we are down, blue, emotional and even sad, the last thing we want to do is reach out to others in any way, much less offer them assistance. From my own personal experience I can tell you I confuse my loved ones, family and friends as I need their love and support at that time the most…yet I push it away.

Life has away of offering lessons, or healing opportunities, whether we are ready, open or even willing to accept them. Just before Christmas, I got a call that my mother was suddenly very ill, and would most likely pass away within a few weeks. My own welfare completely went out the window at that point. All that mattered was getting to California to be by my mother’s bedside. Though in pain, I could hear my mother’s voice telling me “it’s time to take the focus off yourself, and be of service to someone in need”…and that I did.

My daughter and I got on the next plane and got to her granny right away. For the next two weeks we took 3 hour shifts during the night, administering morphine to her, and never leaving her side. The energy I needed was simply there as I called upon it, and has been ever since. I seem to have a renewed strength, attitude and outlook. You just never know what experience will pull you out of the dullness, and into the brilliance of regular everyday life, with all its glorious simplicity. I am grateful for this lesson, and thank my mom for teaching me something so powerful.

Creative Commons License photo credit: roseakantha

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