Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Center of the Universe

The world does not revolve around me.

I bet to most people, that is common sense; but seriously, I feel like I’ve had one of those life-changing epiphanies that only people in sappy movies experience. The world does NOT REVOLVE AROUND ME. I have always felt that I got the short end of the stick; nay, the SHORTEST end of the SHORTEST STICK EVER. No matter what story or experience someone had, mine was worse. No matter what good things happened to someone, better things have happened to me. I always feel the need to one-up other people, because I am more interesting, more well-rounded, and just darn FUNNER to listen to.

But that is absolutely not true; and it’s absolutely freeing to feel this way. I can feel for someone, empathize with them, without having to have a bigger and better story. Yeah, I’ve been through some pretty crappy times; but not as crappy as others. Yes, my marriage is struggling; but it hasn’t ended. Yes, my faith is rocky right now; but I’m still able to cling to God. Yes, I had a “hard-knock life” growing up… but I was never physically abused, never raped, I never went to bed hungry for lack of available food, or went to school with holes in my shoes. We didn’t have much money, I had some scary experiences, I am a “child of a broken home”; but I’m one of thousands. And I can be strong, and be an encouragement to others. I can use my experiences to grow and to encourage, not to tear down or out-do someone. I can use my life specifically for good; not for pity or attention.

I found a website yesterday that lists volunteer opportunities in your city. I’ve never volunteered much; a few times in high school, and helped out with church stuff, but not in my community. I’m not looking to start now, because I’m moving to China in less than three months; but looking forward, I want to get involved. One specific opportunity tugged at me; just reading the description made tears run down my cheeks (and my cubicle neighbors stared a bit…).

Helping someone write their life story. They are looking for volunteers to work with hospice patients to put together a full book; pictures, experiences, the works. It said that we would interview them and basically sit and listen to everything; war stories, love stories, heartbreak, happiness, history… and that is something that has always been dear to my heart. My grandparents have shared many stories with me of life many decades ago, and of their childhood. I am amazed by the wisdom that comes from age. I would love to be involved in this when I return.

1 comment:

debbyweighsin said...

Amy, this is huge (Realizing The world does not revolve around me.) And the thing is, once you believe that, it frees you up to receive the love that you so desperately desire. (I learned this in Dallas Willard's book The Divine Conspiracy.)

Good for you for working on this hard stuff.