“Yesterday at church our minister talked about serving the community, but I barely have enough energy for myself at this point in my grieving process. Am I being selfish?” Molly, New York
No, not really. When we grieve, it takes a lot of mental and physical energy. We often feel that our energy has been zapped from us. We need to take time for ourselves to rest and reflect as we walk through the grieving process.
But “serving” can be accomplished in a number of ways. You might not be able to help build a home, or fill a local food pantry, but you can give a few dollars to help out the cause. You can give a hug to someone when you see them in distress. You can listen when someone is hurting. You can send a card with comforting words.
What might surprise you is that magic happens when you help someone else even when you are dealing with your own pain. For just a little while you forget about your problems and you focus on someone else. That is the gift to you of giving of yourself.
And as you heal more, you’ll be able to contribute more. And eventually, someone will cross your path who might have the exact same type of grief that you’ve walked through and you will be able to comfort them.