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This year, I’ve made it a big priority to slow down, plan ahead and work on my emotional stability. Often, I find myself jumping from one anxiety to the next, and when I look back on my year, big moments are remembered by the stress they caused, not the positive emotions or moments shared. It would truly be disappointing to go through the rest of my life with nothing to show but stress and anxiety.

I often find myself pondering just what my purpose on this earth is. Am I living up to it? Sometimes doing that can be a stressful thing, but it’s an important idea to think about. I don’t want to go through life on auto-drive. So what is my purpose?

A few years ago, I decided to volunteer at a soup kitchen in downtown Los Angeles. Everyday, thousands of men, women and children poured through the doors for a bowl of warm soup, bread and a friendly smile. As I worked hard, setting up the soup booths, serving the soup and interacting with the people, I became so immersed in the needs of others that my personal stresses, fears and anxieties, at least for a little while, seemed to subside. Looking at the faces, the hard wrinkles, the tired eyes, the runny noses of these impoverished people, who despite their circumstances still managed to smile and give warm compliments, put many of my anxiety’s in perspective.

Nurturing Who You Truly Are

I recently read a blog post from a woman who had fought and overcome cancer. I think she said it best when she wrote, “Your purpose has nothing to do with what you do, your purpose is about discovering and nurturing who you truly are.”

Jesus walked this earth, teaching, performing miracles, healing the sick, but it wasn’t those things that made Jesus who He was. It wasn’t His external attributes that made Him shine. It was His inner glory, His tender heart, and His desire to help others.

Tying our worth to external doings and efforts can be a lot like riding a roller coaster. Some people will appreciate what you do, and others will not. Putting your worth in that, is just going to lead to anxiety and stress. Instead, build a meaningful relationship with yourself and God, and you will find that you feel more compassionate towards others and their needs, and you will feel more inclined to focus on giving.

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By Benjamin DuBose. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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