Yesterday was a brutal day for me. Pretty much moving from one piece of crummy news to another. I would no sooner get myself put back together and start to lose the red rings around my eyes than the next phone call or the next piece of news would come down. It was one of those days that should have put me into a total and complete tailspin. But it didn't.
Something very odd and unexpected happened in the middle of my day. A person who I have barely known a week sent me an e-mail. It started with "I don't know why I am telling you all of this but somehow I feel like maybe you can help." The story went on and as I read I knew where she was coming from and the response came flowing out without any fight or doubt that it was the right answer for her and where she was. When I was done and hit the send button, I sat back in my chair and...smiled?
That didn't make any sense! I was having one of the worst days in several months and I should have been absolutely miserable. I should have been angry that someone dared to need me. I should have been hopeless and should have had a response along the lines of "You think you have problems! Let me tell you MY story." But it wasn't there. Never for a minute did it occur to me to think, "Good. I'm not alone in being miserable." Instead I just wanted to encourage and help that person with what they were going through.
For ten minutes I was free of my own issues and I was helping someone. And it made me happy. It made me remember my purpose.
I know that my problems are still here and I know that they aren't going to go away just because I'm ignoring them and distracting myself with encouraging others. But they are somehow a little easier to handle when I don't wallow in them.
In my message to my friend yesterday I wrote things that spoke to me too. Maybe if I take my own medicine, this journey will be a little easier.