By Eileen Majors

nursing home

In an age when the importance of “I” and “me”, are promoted heavily, one may ask themselves,  “Do I tend to others’ needs more  than my own?” Are you too nice?

I recently read an article which posed just that question. It reported that passivity for one person had led to emotional supression, resulting in tension and weight gain. I had to respond, as in my opinion, the author, a clinical hypnotherapist, had given advice that may not necessarily be in the best interest of her client and other readers of the article.

While I have no degree in clinical hypnotherapy. I do have some experience in conquering emotional suppression and depression. After  a decade of loss which included the death of each of my parents, followed closely by the unexpected death of my sister (also my best friend), and then my husband, I was a mess. My feelings of deep sadness had resulted in feelings of despair, delivering assurance of the impossibility to improve my situation and even to continue day to day tasks in a way that  might improve my life. It was frightening.

I definitely understood a myriad of uncomfortable feelings, none of which were a result of being too nice. In fact, one of the best pieces of advice I got was from a friend who is also a pastor. He said, “when you’re feeling bad, go see somebody in worse shape. Go to a rest home.” He added, “Just listen for those gentle nudges from God; you’ll know what to do.” Those words rang more true than any other advice I had been given. I had not been recognizing others’ needs and when I landed in the company of others also in pain, I found I was not so alone. I suddenly began to see my own ability to “get better.” the “why me?” attitude quickly began to fade, and I actually helped someone else feel better too.