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How Your Pain Can Help Others

What you learn–and share–from your struggles can help make someone else’s life easier.

How your pain and struggle in life can help others.

I met up with a friend whose 17-year-old daughter is struggling. I hadn’t seen C.C. for a while, and since the purpose of getting together was to talk about her difficulties, not mine, I gave her the elevator-pitch version of my life in recent months.

“Oh my goodness! Why are you even here talking to me?” she gasped.

I grinned impishly. “Uh… Busman’s holiday?”

Seriously, I don’t want life to be all about me and my problems.

One redeeming quality of my struggles is that I can apply whatever nuggets of wisdom I learn to make someone else’s life easier.

I can help others in new ways: I can be a better friend, a better listener. I can ask better questions, and I can empathize first before jumping into problem-solving mode. This gives me something constructive to do with my pain.

Read More: 8 Signs of Depression

I find that the world becomes very small if it’s all about me. My likes and dislikes become more pertinent, my preferences rise to dictator status. We all need a life bigger than the circle of our pleasures and woes, a world where we can contribute kindness as well as receive it.

This goes beyond needing to be needed, because we genuinely *are* needed. Someone out there needs your ear, needs your hug. Someone out there needs a half hour of your attention, or maybe two or three half-hours. I daresay they need it regardless of whether you’re happy or sad, and they certainly need you more than you need to watch a TV show or play a mindless game on your phone. You’re likely to feel better after helping, too. Or at least that’s how it goes for me.

Read More: 5 Ways to Comfort Others in a Crisis

C.C. and I talked for a long while, and at the end of our occasionally tearful, occasionally laughing conversation, we hugged. She thanked me for taking the time to meet up with her. I said, “It’s a real pleasure to see you. Always.”

For sometimes the reason it’s better to give than receive is that when we give of ourselves we receive a certain kind of gift we can’t get any other way.

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All God's Creatures 2023 Devotional

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A Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers. This inspiring devotional brings you 365 touching stories of animals who appear at just the right moment providing comfort and bringing us closer to our faith.

Plus, enjoy four FREE beautiful, custom-designed note cards and envelopes with any print edition purchase.

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