‘I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver’ – Maya Angelou
I grew up with lessons of giving.
But it wasn’t until I came to practise it that I realised the power in it.
I can try to tell you but I struggle to put it into words.
All I can tell you is that when depression took hold of my life and I ran out of steam, giving to others is all that’s given meaning to my life and the suffering imposed by pain.
I’ve had little money to give.
So I give mostly love, kindness, my time and whatever little I know to help others. Sometimes, it’s just been a listening ear, or my lunch.
Helping someone else’s journey, easing their suffering or being able to be a friend to them is what gives my life purpose. On days when I find it hard to cope due to fibromyalgia or depression, giving of myself is the little flicker in the dark room that keeps me going. Seriously.
This may be hard for some of you to understand. For most of my life I’ve lived for my family. It’s not easy living for someone else when you feel a gaping hole inside of you. It extends time. I’ve lived a hundred years. It feels so. I love my family. And I love my grandparents more than anything in this world. But I realised my love for them wasn’t enough to make me want to live. Somewhere along the way, I also realised the only thing worse than departing prematurely would be to leave everyone else in pain when I have some power to help them. Or at least try to.
Benefits of Giving
Why turn a blind eye if you can help someone else with a simple act of kindness? By giving just a little? What do you lose? Nothing. But you have everything to gain.
As human beings we have so much to give.
Giving isn’t only good for your soul. It’s good for your health.
Several studies have corroborated this, including one where Professor Stephen Post of Stony Brook University found that giving increases certain health benefits in people with chronic illness including HIV and multiple sclerosis.
I’d like to give you an opportunity now to give to a good and worthy cause, one that I’ve also been giving to.
Depression Alliance has provided much support and many, many friends who have lifted me high when depression threatened to hammer me flat. My life and fight has not been the same since I joined them. Meeting other sufferers too made me more aware of the importance of sharing how depression affects people. Not only to address stigma but so that people can be informed and that those who need help can be helped like I’ve been.
Get involved and enter my Depict Depression Art Competition and donate to this impacting charity. If you don’t want to enter you can still donate securely here. Or if you’re in the UK you can donate by texting DPRE50 £5 to 70070 (or whatever amount you choose).
Thanks for giving with a cheerful heart. Bless you and may you reap all good things tenfold.