The strongest people make time to help others, even when they are struggling with their own problems.
This reminded me of one of my favorite aphorisms…. I have learned that even when I feel I have nothing left to give, when someone I love reaches out, I will always find the strength to help.
It is one of the quintessential definitions of “second wind,” the phenomenon athletes feel when they push against the exhaustion and suddenly their bodies accelerate as if the exhaustion no longer exists.
Are both of these examples demonstrating to us that our mind is willing to accelerate or decelerate predicated upon what we think? There was an experiment with rats in which they were put in a position of almost drowning and the rat would tread water for about as long as it could, and around 20 minutes in, just as it was about to give up, the lab assistant would pull it out of the water. Later, the same rat was put in the same predicament and when the normal 20 minute period ended, the rat was still vigorously swimming. In fact, the rat continued to swim for many hours. The scientists came to the conclusion that once the rat was aware that it was going to be rescued and not drown, it found a vastly larger supply of energy and confidence, because it knew it was not going to die.
We never know what battles another is facing. I have never met another who is not facing an internal struggle of either emotional, mental, physical, financial or other form that was partially debilitating them.
So if we start with the precept that everyone is fighting a struggle we are not aware of, when we turn to another for comfort from our problems, it comes with an interruption of their battle, in order that they may help you with yours.
The power of overcoming our own struggles, so that we might assist someone we care about, is a divine gift. It partially orginates through parental upbringing and family values and extends throughout the entire animal kingdom. It is in part instinctual and part learned, but in both cases, stems from a genuine goodness in the heart of the creature. Social media is populated with visuals to support this. The tiger mom that is nurturing a baby deer, and so on. Huge contradictions of genetic programming on the survival scale appear in the face of compassion, empathy, tenderness, nurturing and acceptance. These are much more than human traits, they are traits of sentient beings.
Many humans have this trait. In fact a large majority do. Some are entirely indifferent, and others are the antithesis. Their internal code thrives on the exact opposite and that is what makes them so dangerous to society. We hope and expect that the next person we encounter is civilized. It is a natural expectation, but it is not necessarily so.
When you find your second wind, and reach out to help someone in need, your higher self is revealed. In that option, you are continually hoping that your efforts bring relief in one form or another to someone in pain or jeopardy. It is a selfless act, and each and every time we go to that length, we are hoping that our efforts are rewarded in seeing some of our energy bring comfort to another. Sometimes we do not receive that visual, verbal or emotional satisfaction from the receiving party. Sometimes they are in such misery that with any effort we are able to expend on their behalf, they are unable to express any gratitude. In that moment, we are tempted to feel cheated. We might feel that they are ungrateful and we might even question why we went to such lengths to be kind and nurturing if they do not even see it.
In those circumstances, I would remind you that your actions are for your own internal gratitude, not theirs. In being of service to someone who is struggling, you are elevating your own being to higher levels of vibration. You are resonating deep within your own internal life cycles and shining in ways that are truly indescribable. So you must find your own feelings of satisfaction and not hope that it will be rewarded by any form of appreciation on their side, for no one needs a smile more than someone who has none left to give.
This Easter/Passover weekend holiday, I invite you to try an experiment. Wherever you go, make it a conscious effort to genuinely smile at people everywhere. The parking lot attendant, the person serving your table, the person you pass as you walk into a store or in the aisle of a supermarket. Nothing overt, just smile from your heart. Smile especially at the people who do not expect a warm smile from you. Watch how many smiles you collect in the process. Feel the warmth of spreading some intentional joy where none was required.
Every one is battling those problems we do not see. You can add some warmth and healing to their situation with the simple expression of joy appearing on your facial muscles. Is that so difficult?