When life hurts, we can come to question everything about the life we have been living. The hurts’ sudden blow can make us question our assumptions or try to make a lesson of it. But sometimes it is too early to understand our assumptions or understand the lesson. First we need to gain perspective and find some emotional distance.
This can be very hard because of the way that emotions feed on themselves…and us. Emotions become very self-serving, leading us down into darker realms. But you know that. Life hurts often enough to see that. (When Life Hurts, Part 1.)
So, this is not to tell you, as much as it is to remind all of us, that one of the best ways to gain emotional distance is to go help someone else.
There are many examples and you may know of some right next to you. There are always lonely neighbors, harried moms, ailing seniors and business owners trying hard to make ends meet. Even writing a card to a relative that hasn’t been in touch is a meaningful act that can change perspective.
Helping someone else raises our endorphin level. It can make us grateful that our problems are at least something we know about. It shares the load that life dumps from time to time. And the way it can change our attitude is almost magical.
While you may have known all this, it is not bad to be reminded. And it is good to be reminded that when life hurts, it isn’t true that there is nothing we can do about it.
Part 3 follows.