“The best way to find yourself is to loose yourself in the service of others”
— Mahatma Gandhi.
The path through recovery is all about self-discovery. Learning about life and the things you enjoy to do. One thing that played an instrumental role with me was community service. There was something so genuine when I could do something for another person and not wanting anything in return. We forget sometimes how the smallest things could have the largest impacts on another person’s life.
Early in my recovery I volunteered at a homeless shelter serving food to people who came into the soup kitchen for a hot meal during the winter months. I remember being tired from starting my day at 5:30 in the morning and watching people come through the line happy. People were smiling and were thanking me and telling me stories of travels and the hardships they had faced. I was so pleased that I could help these people, but I also felt very sad that they were suffering from homelessness.
This experience gave me appreciation for life and for my situation. It showed me another side that I had not seen before. I learned the value of giving my time to something or someone that helped people and not wanting anything in return. I continued to volunteer there for almost two years and I loved meeting the people that came through that soup line. It was through this experience that I learned the value of service to others and this aided in my path of self-discovery.
Later I began new initiatives volunteering to help other people outside of that shelter and soup kitchen. As a college student I helped many others fill out college applications and apply for grants to seek higher education and I also volunteered at the college I was attending by being a mentor for those entering college. It was through many other experiences of volunteering that I discovered what I wanted to do with my future and as a career. I want to give a voice to the voiceless, and help those that are unable to speak and tell their stories to people that need to hear it. If it was not for my experiences with community service, I am not sure if I would have found something that I am so passionate about.
I think that sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget that we can change the trajectory of someone’s entire day by saying a kind word or giving him or her a smile. When we have the opportunity to invite others into our life we open our minds to other ideas and perceptions that were once unable to articulate. If you have the time to dedicate to volunteering, I promise you will not be disappointed! If you do not have the time, there are many other ways that you can help others, sometimes all it takes is a moment of your time and a kind ear to listen.
Life of Purpose Treatment
3848 FAU Boulevard, Suite 100
Boca Raton, FL 33431