Dali Lama on Anxiety & Being Needed

When I read the article written by the Dali Lama today in the New York Times entitled, “Behind our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded,” it struck me, maybe I’ve been too hard on myself for feeling “limited ” in my capacity to serve. What struck me the most was this statement:

“We should try to start each day by consciously asking ourselves, ‘What can I do today to appreciate the gifts that others offer me?'”

He continues: “We need to make sure that the global brotherhood and oneness with others are not just abstract ideas that we profess, but personal commitments that we mindfully put into practice.”

Sometimes it’s hard to feel as though I’m contributing to society and needed since I’m still dealing with chronic illness. I forget that I can and do in fact serve others in many ways every day. I’ve simply had to redefine what that looks like. I think I’ve been too focused on what I can’t do instead of realizing the things I can do and know it’s more than enough.

I don’t have to save the world. Maybe I can just lend a supportive ear to a friend, be a good listener, make a nice meal for my husband, open the door for someone, smile and brighten someone’s day, inspire others or simply just accept and appreciate the gifts that others are giving me. How beautiful is that, to know that by receiving and being grateful, I am serving.


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