If you feel as if you’re in a tiny fishing boat, alone in a vast, dark and stormy sea, and there’s nothing you can do to help yourself, look around, do something for someone else to make you feel better.
And the best thing is it works.
Your own troubles will seem less dark, you’ll feel good about helping someone else, and who knows? Perhaps you’ll be someone else’s distraction from their own dark and stormy feelings. Trust karma.
Jane Eyre knew all about the positive effects of helping others:
My help had been needed and claimed; I had given it: I was pleased to have done something; trivial, transitory though the deed was, it was yet an active thing, and I was weary of an existence all passive.
These are Jane’s reflections in Chapter XII, after meeting and helping an unknown gentleman who had fallen off his horse on a cold, dark afternoon in January, when the days are very short and dark in Yorkshire. Jane had offered to take a letter Mrs. Fairfax needed posting to Hay, which was a two mile walk away.
Jane had been feeling sad and lonely after spending the first winter months at Thornfield, and yet, a kind gesture led to a second kind gesture and her first meeting with Mr. Rochester.
Jane overcame her passivity and ventured out of her comfort zone, to help others, and in so doing she opened new avenues by meeting the man who would change her life.
If she had satyed at home wallowing in her loneliness and misery, they would probably never have met. Mr. Rochester probably would have had no interest in meeting his ward’s governess under normal circumstances.
Don’t don’t overindulge in your own problems, if you can’t do anything for yourself, do something for someone else!