Looking Outward

I consider myself to be a loving person.

I consider myself to be someone who cares.

Someone who listens.

However, I feel that lately I have been more absorbed in myself instead of focusing on others.

I’m not ignoring others, but I feel that I have been looking inward more. And that is not always good.

We should always be looking outward.

Tonight I had a conversation with a friend who told me something very personal that they are going through. Earlier I had made a comment based on a judgement (due to something I thought I saw). What I didn’t do was stop to think about the reason behind what I thought I saw.

You see, everyone has a story. Every person you meet has their own problems. Their own struggles. Their own accomplishments and highs.

The problem is that we only see a part of that. And because of that, we tend to judge or make assumptions based on what we can see.

We live in a world where everyone tries to put on their best face. You see the best pictures on instagram. You see the fun posts on facebook. But what we can’t see is what happened before or after that picture was taken.

I felt so sorry for the comments I had made to my friend before he told me his problems. I felt bad because I know what he is going through is hard, and I felt bad because of all the people to be judgmental, I should be the one who isn’t.

I know what it is like to go through something hard.

I know what it’s like to feel like it will never end.

To have your good days and your bad days.

I know what it’s like to feel like something is wrong with you because you haven’t yet achieved what you want.

I know I never want people to judge me or jump to conclusions.

And here I was assuming something that wasn’t true about my friend.

What a slap in the face.

A big ball of humility placed on my lap.

Be considerate of others.

We don’t always know each other’s stories. We can’t be too quick to judge. I know that I have had a few experiences lately where I have been shown that I can’t judge others. But what I can do is be there for them when they need me.

I need to refocus my life on others.

There was a time in my life when I was in Nicaragua for 18 months serving a mission for my church, where I learned to think about others 24/7. In fact all I wanted to do was help others.

It got to the point where I didn’t care if I had to give up my umbrella for someone if it meant I got wet.

It meant I LOVED washing clothes for people.

I loved to help cook.

It meant when someone I loved told me they had a problem smoking or drinking, but wanted to stop because they wanted to follow God … I embraced them. I didn’t judge them when they messed up. I picked them up again and loved them even more.

Now I know that lately I have been that person that has fallen down. And recently people have shown me that it’s okay to let others be the one to embrace me and pick me up again.

But now, I think it’s my turn again to be the one to help others stand up.

It’s my turn to be happy again. And the way to happiness is by serving others.

I want to be the one who holds my umbrella out for others.

We all have a story.

Each is different.

Each is unique.

Each is special.

We are who we are because of it.

I hope that I can start thinking outside myself again – and that as I do, I will be able to help bless the lives of others like they have blessed me.

God is real. God sent His son Jesus Christ. Christ loved everyone. He was constantly serving those around Him. Constantly thinking of others … even when He was on the cross.

Even during my difficult times I want to be the one to help lift others. I hurt when those I love hurt. I smile when those I love smile.

I want to be as Jesus is.

And so it begins with now.

Now I start looking outward.

Love,

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