I think we can all agree that it’s pretty much the norm to live our lives only for ourselves. We do this within our relationships and ESPECIALLY outside of them. We want things for ourselves and pretty much operate solely for that purpose. My church has been doing a series called “Not Normal” and through this series it’s challenged us all to think about what is normal in society and challenge us all to be “Not Normal.”
I was trying to think of ways I’m NOT normal and I think when it comes to selfishness and selflessness I’m more of the latter in many ways but there’s ALWAYS room for improvement. I find I’m mostly selfless when it comes to the people I care most about. I will sacrifice myself tenfold to let those people closest to me have what they want and make those people happy. Sometimes I think this is a little bit of a bad thing (when it’s in excess and I forget I have needs too), but it’s just who I am and largely part of the way I grew up. The thing is, I need to learn how to use that part of myself and branch out and do more for people I don’t necessarily know that well or even for complete strangers. I want to be that thoughtful type of person. I want to be NOT normal in that way.
I just thought about all this as I was busying myself finishing up a crochet project I’m making as a gift for someone special. The amount of time, effort, thought and love I have put into this project and the thought of giving it to the person I made it for just fills me with this intense JOY. Ever noticed that? When you give to others and see the difference you’ve made or the smile you put on someone’s face doesn’t it give you joy in return? There are a lot of people in the world who are feeling unfulfilled in their lives and are maybe even chasing after the wrong things trying to find fulfillment. Interesting that all we have to do is give a little of ourselves back in order to receive it! We all have something to give. It could be money, time, special skills/talents or maybe just a little bit of love or even a smile or an encouraging word. I think we’d all find that in giving OF ourselves instead of TO ourselves we will find more contentment in our own lives!
So I think that’s going to be one of my Challenges for 2014. I’m going to challenge myself to be “Not Normal” and try to find ways I can give more of myself to others this year!