What to Do When You Despair

Good morning all! I am back on a brand new computer and will not be having crashes any more! Yay!! Thank each of you for continuing to visit while I was down, and my computer was at camp, getting new data imported from the dying one.

Face of Despair

I am drawn to the search term “what to do when you despair,” and would like to offer  the image to the left to depict our wail when we are in despair. Do you see the face, the mouth opened in an utter wail? The hands covering the eyes, hiding tears being shed? This image is from my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, which is available for purchase online under the “products” tab.

Ah, if you are in a place of despair, I feel with all my heart for your situation, having been there myself many times in the past. It is a place of utter pain, of inability to move forward… a place where one feels hopeless, feels that things cannot get better. For me, it was a place of giving up. It was the time that I start praying to God to let me die, because I was too afraid to kill myself, afraid I wold fail in the effort.

What do we do when we are in despair? Well, what worked for me was to discover a way in which I could use my despair to be useful to another person. It happened quite by accident, actually. I heard a man share at a meeting of my alcohol recovery support group, and he was suffering form the same despair I was feeling.

So, I went up to him and offered him the names of books I had read which were comforting to me, and I offered him the name of my therapist. He was so grateful, he almost started crying. After that happened, while I was walking to my car, I realized the things I was despairing about were the things which had been useful to him.

I had been of service to another simply by sharing of my despair and what I’d discovered that was comforting, even though this comfort did not sustain me. I suddenly realized that by taking action and sharing of the few simple things I had done, I was useful and in doing so, I felt worthwhile.

Boy, I suddenly had a purpose for my life… to share my story and small solutions with others so that they, too, could find comfort in small things. My despair left me at that moment of realization and it has never returned. That was in 2007.

So, what can you do when you despair? Well, take action. Any small step you can do to help another human being will do and you will begiin to see your life has a purpose, that YOU have a purpose! All it takes is a small revelation you have discovered. If you think hard enough about it, you will likely find one such comforting thing you have discovered and you can share it with another.

What action can you take today to be of service to another, based on one comforting thing you have learned? Have you read a book that was useful to you, or had a revelation about something in your life that brought you joy? Share that with someone else who is in despair and I almost guarantee you you will feel better about things. Allow that to be your “aha!” moment, when you can be useful to another.

What was your aha! moment that you shared with another? Leave a comment and share it with us.



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