If you’re feeling helpless, help someone

November 12, 2012 — 13 Comments

I was stuck somewhere between a crow and a lizard when I was finally able to focus on something besides the extreme pain that was beginning to set in. My mind was shaking almost as much as my legs as I tried to rationalize why I seemed to be the weakest one in a room full of all types (and sizes) of women. I tried my hardest to keep a mental and physical grip on the mat as my hands started to slide out, fighting the sweat.

If you saw my Facebook post last week, you know I was headed to a Yoga class on Friday evening with my wife. It turns out it wasn’t for beginners. I should’ve realized it was going to be tough when the middle-aged woman behind us was doing an unassisted headstand as easily as I was sitting!

In the middle of the class, I was distracted by a song that came on between chants. The most memorable line, “If you’re feeling helpless, help someone.” If you’re feeling helpless, help someone.

I have to admit, I’m guilty. I’m guilty of believing in the importance of charity and giving, but not helping as much as I should. There’s always an excuse to not contribute money to charity – whether it’s the car repair bill, the medical bill, or the next financial goal. However, I’ve been too good at making excuses lately.

We’ve all experienced times in our life where we feel like the world is against and nothing is going right. Why is our life so dang hard? Why does it seem like everyone else is so dang happy?

The easiest way to get out of this rut: If you’re feeling helpless, help someone. It helps us realize that we’re all in this together, and we all have real life problems. In fact, it often helps us realize our problems aren’t nearly as big as someone else’s.

How can I complain about my cable bill when someone in my home town of New Orleans just lost their young son to gun violence. How can I complain about my tough work week when someone else is working three jobs just to feed their family.

If you’re feeling helpless, help someone. I’m not telling you to help someone, I’m telling me. I’m telling me because I’m in a nice bubble comfortably isolated from many others who are having big-time struggles in life.

Don’t feel guilty if you haven’t done enough lately because most of us are in the same position. It turns out the full story behind the song strengthens the entire message – it’s definitely worth a listen.

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13 responses to If you’re feeling helpless, help someone

  1. Thank you. Thank you for giving me the jolt I needed today. Reaching out to help someone can change our life and theirs simple by offering a simple hand of hope. I did just that after reading your post and it made all the difference for that person at that time. I am blessed to call you my friend. 🙂

  2. When you are feeling down just look at someone else and what they are dealing with. It will make your circumstance look like a walk in the park. When you feel helpless, helping someone else is very empowering. However you want to say it, helping someone else is just the right thing to do. It can be as simple as doing something for them they cannot do for themselves, like raking the leaves for an elderly neighbor. Do something because you can and you will make the world better one small act at a time. 🙂

  3. Interesting happenstance of how I read both your post today and then this one as well (http://www.drivelikeagirl.ca/automaters-ante-up-in-wake-of-storm/#comment-140). In troubled times, we should not forget that we are not the only ones who have troubles. It is through community that we are able to push through and find our way out.

  4. Helping others not only helps the other person but it also helps you by making you that much more happier. Random Acts of Kindness are the best of all and you can easily build it in your routine. it is not always about helping others via money. It can be something as simple as helping someone cross the road, volunteering your time or skills. Thanks for this post.

  5. In my own experience learning to help myself was the best lesson I ever learned. I was always taught to help others and I was told that it *would* feel good, but it only sometimes does. Once I learned to help myself, I was able to give to others. But only once I took care of myself. If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

    Good luck with your own feelings – hope you sort them out in a satisfactory way.

  6. Isn’t it a coincidence that i wrote about this on my blog as well today? I think Jon Jefferson mentioned it above, so I won’t duplicate. Every time we look at the headlines, someone is in trouble — usually worse than whatever is facing us on any particular day. We’re so lucky to live where we do, and there are so many ways of reaching out, in our communities, heck – sometimes right in our own family. The best part? As you’ve so aptly noted, everything that goes around … comes around.

  7. Good words that I’ll admit to not doing my best to live up to. After a full year of transitioning out of the classroom I can’t use the excuse that the hours required to be a good teacher are definitely the equivalent of helping others. Now I find myself stuck with finding something to commit my time to. Perhaps this post will act as a kick in the pants to be me more focused.

  8. There are always way to reach out in every community across the world. I like to stay close to home. There are needs everywhere you look – from the library to schools to food banks to the animal shelters. We just need to find the niche that works for us and make it work. Even an hour a week can make a difference or a few dollars.

    Hope all are inspired by this thought-provoking post, Dan. Nice job

  9. Hi Dan,

    You are given the sunshine award for bloggers. To know the details of the award, please visit http://bindu.ca/wordpress/the-sunshine-award-for-blogging/

  10. Awesome post. I truly believe in the power of helping others to make yourself feel better. Even if it is a tiny act like helping someone carry in their trash barrels as you walk by, it makes you feel good to make someone else smile. Our problems often seem overhwleming until you really compare them to some that others are having. Thanks for shedding some light on the subject.

  11. Thanks for the reminder. I got myself in a funk for a while and i could have benifited from this advice. Well said

  12. This is a very good blog to read/listen to as we go into our Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for the inspiration to look outside myself this season.

  13. One of the greatest things we can do is to help someone who is in need, without them asking for help. Anytime you give in advance, you receive more in return. I have done that many times and every time, I felt like I was the true winner. Thanks.

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