This may sound like the worst possible solution, and I understand your frustration at hearing these words. When you barely have the energy to get out of bed, when you don’t want to face the next moment or the next moment, the idea of helping others seems too difficult of a feat. How can you help someone when you need so much help?
The answer is simple. All around you people have tougher struggles than you do. In the act of serving them, you find forgiveness for your particular wounds and begin to see the blessings of your own life more clearly. Your connection to others, however briefly, reinvigorates you and puts you in touch with the divine flow of grace and love from the other side.
During my near-death experience, I saw quite clearly that angels can work through those who are in action. You might feel this heavenly energy or someone else might feel this energy and benefit from it. Whether the energy is recognized or not, know that helping the world become a better, kinder place will give you greater self-esteem. Most near-death experiencers clearly realize that the greatest aspect of love is not what we receive but what we give to the world. The love that you give is a currency more valuable than money because it is a memory you will be proud to relive both in your life and in your afterlife.
Helping others does not mean inserting yourself into situations where you are not welcomed or giving unwanted advice or opinions. Helping others does not mean looking for an attractive person to help simply because you want to be near him or her in the hope that this person might like you. Aim for unconditional, altruistic actions, and do not except anything in return. Your nobleness of character will be your greatest return, and you will experience more love, perhaps not exactly in the way you expected to be loved but love will pour into your life the more you give.
Open your eyes to the needs of others. Perhaps there is a disabled veteran in your area who needs a ride to the grocery store or to appointments. Maybe you could grocery shop for a disabled veteran or elderly person. My sweet, loving grandmother died of Alzheimer’s disease while I was teaching English in South Korea. I hope someone, even a kind stranger, visited her in the nursing home and gave her love. She gave me much love to me through her prayers, unconditional love, and well-wishes. She deserved kindness and connection in her final moments. Consider visiting people in nursing homes and listening to them or simply be with them. Consider becoming a hospice volunteer. Consider volunteering at animal shelters or building homes for Habitat for Humanity.
In my area, Catholic Charities has served over 100,000 different families in need. These families may be struggling in poverty or have other needs. Many immigrants to this country could greatly benefit from someone who might help them fill out forms, learn English, find affordable grocery stores, and learn more about our culture. The antidote to fear of others is getting to know them and help them. You will find amazing stories of great struggle and human triumph in a population of immigrants. I have met several elderly women who are raising numerous grandchildren whose parents have died from diseases or in bombings. One woman I met and tutored was an Obstetrician in her own country. I taught her conversational English so that she could find work in a laboratory cleaning lab equipment. She hoped to be able to return to college and use her degree in the U.S., but the language barrier was a challenge at her at her age. When you understand that many wonderful people did everything right in their lives and only had the unfortunate luck to be born in an area that suffered a great famine or war, your heart expands to include more people and more places in this world.
Be open to your own spiritual and emotional growth, and miracles will occur. You might come across a great business idea or the love of your life while in action. Neither of these things are guaranteed to occur, but the probability is much higher than if you are isolating and not living connected to others. You will definitely feel better about your life in the act of helping others, and feeling better is the first step to creating a better life.
By helping others, you will create more moments of heaven on earth. One of my favorite photos is a photo of my Creative Writing students volunteering to tutor kids in a low-income school district. The smiles on my beautiful college student’s faces mean a great deal to me. I know that they are experiencing the bliss of being of service to others. I hope you might experience this joy as well.
Of course, consider being of service to yourself by finding the most nutrient dense fresh, raw, organic fruits and vegetables to eat. I am a believer in the healing power of food and supplements, and Anthony William’s book Medical Medium recently added much greater healing to my life, but a healing journey is an individual one and different paths work for different people. Search for therapists, healers, doctors, and teachers who can help you in your personal struggle. Search for a place of worship that increases the love in your heart for yourself and for others. Consider a meditation practice. Definitely reach out for help immediately if you are in a place where you are considering suicide. The suggestion to be of service is only a part of a much larger picture that is needed to address any of the causes of an underlying condition.
There is much to say on the topic of depression. I am only suggesting what has worked for me and what I was shown about the power of love in action on the other side. I have addressed the issue of depression in multiple ways for years, but when I look back at my life I know that my greatest joys in life have been the moments when I helped others. Keep searching for what will work for you, and consider ways that you might want to make this world a more beautiful place. I’ll leave you with a blog post offering ten helpful tips for dealing with depression.