I don’t know how many times I have to learn this lesson before I actually get it. Happiness for me is most likely to be achieved when I’m bringing joy to others. Venting and self-pitying have never been helpful. There’s very little difference for me between venting and holding it in. In the end, neither makes me better. Getting out of myself is what makes me better.
Today I was chatting with Sariah, commiserating over our woes. At the same time I was scheduling an appointment for a blood drive. Donating blood in no way solves the problems we were discussing, but it made me feel happy to know I was doing something positive. Suddenly it hit me, the lesson I have to keep relearning because I’m so daft.
I wish I could be a better friend. I wish I could be like Sariah, who can listen to my problems without one-upping me. She just listens. And she knows. I wish I could be like Dana, who can reach out and do nice things for others even when she is suffering.
If I could do both of those things, I would be a much happier person. I wish when I was having a really hard time this summer that I hadn’t spent so much time feeling alone, but that I had reached out to all my friends who were also struggling. It would have helped me. It would have helped them. I might have helped me get better.
For some people venting is cathartic. It isn’t so for me. By putting into words the demons in my mind I give them more power, and I rob myself of strength. I allow those monsters to overcome me. Instead, I need to solve and reach out. I need to do, and not just be.
All this I know. The application thereof is a completely different thing.