I’d like to speak to each of you individually, as if we were sitting down together on your living room couch.
We all know that our Heavenly Father gives us opportunities to grow through trials while we are on the Earth. Some of these trials are quite difficult, as they are intended to be. Through our efforts, sacrifice, and learning, we become stronger, more empathetic, more Christ like. However, these trials are not intended to push us to the point of self-destruction…and a life of misery and sadness.
I have spent my entire carrier in healthcare, over 30 years. Never in my lifetime have I seen so many people who have been overcome with despair, hopelessness, discouragement… and many who have lost all hope. We are all in a very difficult period of time.
The adversary has been unleashed upon the earth in these latter days. His job is to confuse the divine purpose of these earthly challenges, with the whispers that our “Father has forgotten us”, and that “He has left us all alone to suffer”. The light has suddenly dimmed for many of the righteous. Can you relate to what I am saying?
So this being the case, what can you and I do… today, right now to overcome the feeling of despair?
To use a simple analogy, when we come into our homes at night, and the room is dark, we flip on the light switch. The dark scary world filled with the boogie man is immediately changed into a peaceful setting by a simple task. LIGHT!
So it is with are own lives. We are all experiencing shadows, darkness, despair. During these times, we look for the light switches to invite the light to overcome the darkness. The adversary has the power to nip our heals…But the Savior has the power to Crush him!
It is essential to identify to source of despair. Do not allow those internal discussions that seem to quickly enter our minds when we are discouraged. “God doesn’t care. He has forgotten about you. You are living such a good life, why does He let you suffer like this?” Thoughts such as these gain momentum, leading to a greater depth of despair, sadness, and the loss of hope. Stop entertaining them in your mind.
Our mental focus needs to be directed to the LIGHT. But how? It’s time to shift our focus from ourselves… to others.
In the study of human beings, it has been determined that we all have two very deep seated needs… To Love, and to be Loved.
Despair can be identified as one who feels unloved, overwhelmed, unloved, sad, unloved, unloved, unloved, unloved… (Are you getting my point?) We might feel unloved from God or others, and that we have no control over them loving us.
The solution is disguised but simple. Stop focusing on your expectation of others loving you, and look for opportunities for you to love others. Every time you give love, you are immediately rewarded with the feeling of being loved… loved by that person, loved by Heavenly Father, and most importantly loved by yourself.
“Lose yourself in the service towards others.” I’m not talking about assignments. But when you are in a moment of despair, to think and pray… who needs my love? Who is calling for help? Who is in despair? You will be prompted with who needs your help, and what you can do for them. God will call on you, and put you under His employee to be the one answering a prayer. There is no better feeling to know that you have made a difference, and were there for someone during their trial. I was there during another’s difficult time, and they love me because of it. I love God for calling on me to help. I love myself for answering the call from God.
It seems almost backwards, but is incredibly effective. Don’t sit back and wait for something or someone to assist you with YOUR despair. YOU can make a difference in your own life by applying this principle.
It doesn’t have to be complex. For example, do you know someone in your neighborhood that seems to always be ignored? Stop at the store today and buy a liter of root beer, and a gallon of ice cream. On the way home, stop by that person’s house and just say… “I was just thinking about you today, and thought that you might enjoy a root beer float tonight. THAT’S IT!
The receiving person feels elated that someone was thinking of them. They will think of you all night while they scoop their ice ream. And you… oh yeah! YOU are going to feel a feeling of love that has been distant for a period of time. Today YOU made a difference in someone’s life. You were a contributing factor of someone overcoming despair. And, ironically… your very own despair has been affected in a very positive way because of what you did…. Not by what someone did for you while you were waiting.
A simple text, email, phone call or note telling someone that you are thinking about them is all that it takes. You can even step up your game by entering situations that you might feel uncomfortable in. People who are ill, have difficulty with a disobedient child, have lost a loved one, etc… THEY need love. As you approach them, you do not need to have answers to their problems. Remember, your intent is to show them that you care, and love them. All you need to do is first reach out to them and then just listen.
I invite you to forget yourself for one week. Spend time seeking God’s guidance in helping others. Follow your promptings no matter how silly they might seem to be. And then… take a moment to see what affect it is having upon your feelings of despair.
Our time of earthly struggle is short. We have an eternity filled with joy, happiness, beauty, and rest. Our charge is to help one another through this short time. You can make a difference today for others… and yourself. Go get ‘em!