Have you ever had a revelation? A moment when suddenly things make sense? It can feel like someone smacked you on the head and your brain begins to work again. Puzzle pieces that confused and frustrated you before now slide into place as things become clear?
I had a revelation a few nights ago.
It happened while I was reading a book called Kisses from Katie, which is about an American girl who moved to Uganda after graduating high school. Her intention was to only stay for a year, but she fell in the love with the country and the people, particularly the children. She ended up buying a house, and starting an organization to send children to school, as well as feed them. On top of that, she took in and adopted 13 orphan girls and instantly became a mom.
It’s an amazing and inspiring story that I recommend reading. This book has helped me in my faith, as well as providing the revelation I experienced the other night.
Things have not been great with me the last few weeks. In one week, my grandfather passed away and my closest friend in Windsor moved 3 hours away. And I admit that I have had a difficult time recovering from both of these things.
As time went on, my mood continued downward. I was tired and unmotivated to do anything but get up and go to work. I was stressed and lonely, and dangerously close to falling into a depression. I tried hard to fight it by doing all the things I am supposed to do. I made plans to see people and spend time with family. I ate healthy and tried to work out more. But I could not lift my mood.
My mind raced at night with various frustrations and worries. I was restless, but at the same time constantly tired. However, sleep evaded me many nights.
I was doing everything I could to make myself feel better. I wanted to get back to my positive, ‘glass half full’ self. But it felt like it was just out of reach.
Then came the revelation last Wednesday night.
Suddenly I knew exactly why I was feeling down and couldn’t pull myself out of the slump.
I realized that for the last two months I had been living just for me. I was focused on myself and my worries and my stress and my hurts and my disappointments.
I wasn’t doing anything for anyone else.
Life was all about me.
And that’s why I couldn’t pull myself out of my down mood.
I am someone who loves to help and loves to serve. I love to take of others. That is when I feel fulfilled. That is when I am happiest. And I haven’t done that in months.
No wonder things don’t feel right in my world.
I need to get outside of myself and out of my own head. I need to focus on others.
Just to be clear, I am not saying there anything wrong with taking some time to focus on yourself. It is extremely important to take care of yourself and remain healthy. And we all need time when we can step away from the craziness of life to explore our own thoughts, emotions and ambitions.
However, getting completely wrapped up in yourself for too long takes a turn to unhealthy. Being trapped in your own head can cause anxiety and stress, and can lead to things being blown out of proportion.
And focusing on only “me” will result in a feeling of emptiness and loneliness. The more focused I was on myself, the less motivated I became to do anything to improve my situation. I got lost in my own head and couldn’t see beyond my own thoughts.
For example, one of things I have been struggling with is finding good, deep friendships in Windsor. That has left me feeling lonely and desperately wanting to meet people. But I haven’t been doing anything new or different to try to meet people.
What I need to do is pull myself out of my longing for meaningful relationships, and find a organization that I can volunteer for. Chances are, as I focus on helping others, I am naturally going to make new friends with people who are also volunteering.
Once I start co-leading a women’s Bible study at my new church (which is happening in a couple of weeks), I will meet new people and have opportunities to form friendships.
I know once I refocus my attention and pull away from myself, things will begin to fall into place.
I know God hears my prayers and is ready and willing to answer them. I just need to remember the part I have to play to receive my desired answers. He’s been throwing opportunities at me and I’ve been missing them since I was so focused on myself.
I am incredibly grateful for the revelation I received 5 nights ago. It was a wonderful reminder of who I am and why I am here.
I am not here for me.