Taking Myself Out of the Picture 

Well, here we are, trudging through May.

Somehow, we’re already on the second week, and if you’re feeling like time is traveling at breakneck speed, then get in line.

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I’ve received a lot of messages from thoughtful, lovely humans asking how my mom is doing in her stroke recovery. And, honestly, she’s doing amazing. She is my hero, and has made a remarkable recovery so far.

But reflecting on her journey, since that fateful evening, December 27, I’ve also done some reflecting on my own journey.

I’ve learned a lot of things. Some pretty important – like relearning how to drive a car. Because yes, the stereotype is true that New Yorkers don’t know how to drive. Some trivial, like never to take an Aspirin on an empty stomach.

But if I were to boil down the biggest thing I’ve learned from this journey so far, besides the obvious one of “trust God,” it’s this:

Life exists for more than just you.

Often times, I’d catch myself getting inside my own head. I’d be feeling annoyed or exhausted, or emotionally spent and frazzled with absolutely zero patience left, and God would remind me to step outside myself.

I’d be reminded that life exists for more than just me. Sure, maybe I’m feeling this way, but how is my mom feeling? Think about what she is going through right now, and have some compassion. My patience and my love to her costs me nothing, and means everything to her.

Or, realizing that other people are going through things too, and my actions can actually positively impact another person, who could really need it: Things like emptying the dishwasher or refilling pill containers, or even just a deliberate smile. Little things that no one needs to know, that can help life operate smoothly for someone else.

I’ve learned that I need to take my focus off of myself – even just to ask one question: how do I think _______ feels?

I never really thought of myself as a self-centered person before this. But, it turns out, that when you’re a single, independent young woman with no roommates, living in NYC, your life is pretty self-focused, no matter which way you slice it. Even if it is not your intention. Because, really, aside from work and your boss, you pretty much are free to live your life how you want it.

You don’t have to report to anyone, you’re free to eat what you want, when you want, go to bed when you want. You’re free to watch what you want on TV, be social when you want, yadda yadda yadda. You get the picture.

Taking myself out of my central focus changed things. It changed me. Changed my heart.

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Because every time I’d respond to one of those “out-of-myself”-moments, and check in with my mom, she’d say something so simple and profound, and I’d walk away having a totally different perspective on things.

I’d walk away realizing fully that life really does exist for more than just me.

But what’s more, is that when we live with consideration for others, God really does change our hearts. He gives us a peace and joy that only comes from loving others. Because after all, whatever we do to even the least of these, we do to Him. (Matt 25:40)

Loving others, and keeping others in our minds – it’s a form of worship. Service is worship, because in giving of ourselves to others, we are giving ourselves to Him.


It turns out, all of the living-for-myself that I was doing in NYC – all the ways I thought I was free – are merely a superficial placeholder for true freedom.

The true freedom that Jesus calls us to is a counter-intuitive notion. Because the freedom He gives is the freedom that comes from obedience.

And what did He call us to do?

Use your freedom to… serve one another humbly in love. “ (Gal 5:13)

Turns out that freedom is not the lack of a curfew. Or the control of the Netflix queue.

Turns out its giving of yourself without fear.


Kindness is free. Compassion costs nothing.

And in giving, we end up receiving the greatest gift of all.

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

247 thoughts on “Taking Myself Out of the Picture 

  1. Life is a balancing act between the self and helping others. Totally ignored, both sides suffer greatly. Totally indulged, the other side is being ignored! You feel with your heart for a reason…the mind can’t do all the living 😍

  2. Moving in with a new roommate also revealed to me how self-focused I’d become. I had to put my head down and walk right into it, intentionally. But it happened. Keep it up.

  3. I’m a very self centred person a lot of the time sometimes I don’t care but sometimes I feel it a hate it I know it seems to be taking forever to go but I should trust god is going to change my heart for the better, I love those photos of you you’re possibly one of the most beautiful humans I know inside and outside that smile and those eyes never fail in making me smile and heart go mushy 🙈🙊 I love your friendship so much, sometimes it breaks my heart knowing we can’t meet like your a few hours away, really hope mum is doing OK she has such an amazing daughter but I’m sure she knows that ❤

    1. Hey Benjamin! Thanks for sharing that. I think you’re right – trusting God does change the heart. And wow what a kind thing to say. Thank you. And I agree! I’m so grateful for our friendship! Have a beautiful week! Big big hugs

  4. “Loving others, and keeping others in our minds – it’s a form of worship. Service is worship, because in giving of ourselves to others, we are giving ourselves to Him.” That is such a beautiful thought.

  5. Ok, first being a single, independent person does not make you a self-centered one. I’m sure you did service work and helped others before your mom became ill. There are many married, coupled, “roommated” people out there who are very self-centered…Trust and believe! Just because there is not someone for you to “answer to” does not make you or anyone self-centered. Many people don’t really understand what it means to be self-centered. Taking care of yourself does not make a person,self-centered. Being uncoupled or childless (God forbid) does not make you self-centered. It makes you uncoupled and childless..that’s it. The definition of self-centered is: concerned solely or chiefly with one’s own interests, welfare, etc.; engrossed in self; selfish; egotistical. If that fits you then own it. If not, don’t claim it.

    1. Thank you, Tammi, for sharing this powerful perspective. You’re right, ones position in life and their roommate situation does not necessarily make them self centered. That was not my intention. I’m sorry if I offended you. Lots of really great food for thought. Thanks for sharing that:) big hugs to you xox

      1. Totally wasn’t offended. As a busy single person I hear all too often how selfish single people are just because we’re single. It’s insanity. But I wasn’t offended in the least. It’s all good.

  6. I believe that self-centeredness (if that is a word) comes naturally to us and is usually only tempered when we have someone who truly depends on us. And not always even then.
    A beautiful post.

  7. This triggered something: I’ve been following PMu, and she had a doodle with a quote from Frank Herbert: “Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find true liberty.” As you celebrate it here, unconditional love is the greatest discipline.

  8. Brilliant piece – a wonderful reminder of how to be ‘lost and found’ and how very important it is not to look upon ourselves as the center of the universe – an easy pit to fall into, even subconsciously!

  9. Yes (: Empathy, awareness.. sensitivity. I tend to be empathetic and I can be very sensitive to people physically around me but I’m not generally sensitively empathetic–as in if there’s anything going on under the surface I’m probably not going to pick up on it unless it’s obvious, maybe Father will develop that further, but I think just being more intentional about having that sensitivity could help a lot of those of us stuck in our own heads.

    The biggest thing that comes to my mind, of course, is we were created for community. We were created to share in the ultimate community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so to live outside of that community takes our potential away from the community and the community’s potential away from us. We all have so much to give, and we all have so much that we could receive by simply…engaging in what Father created us for. That’s the heart of serving in love, being one with each other and being one with Father. And when you say worship… it kind of just dawned on me. Worship is speaking love to Father, nothing less. Anything we do (and what we desire to do) in worship is part of our love language, how we speak love–and not only to Father but also of course to the people around us, to our community, to our family–because let’s face it, family is the ultimate community. Weeoww 😀

    Ah, your post sparked so much today even in spite of my over-tired brain 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Hey Carson! Yeah intentionality is something I definitely need to work on too. And amen! We *are* created for community. Yes! We hall have so much to give to one another and so much to learn from another too. So so much good content in this awesome reflection. Thank you so much:) big hugs xox

  10. A wonderful post on growing in the Lord. He teaches us through experiences things we could never learn ourselves. The people around us, annoying people, rude people, sad people or sick people. They all have something to teach us about being a follower of Jesus. He has his share of people too! I look to him to see how to treat others.

    I remember the day I held my first-born in my arms I realized I had only been living for myself. Now there was a life depending on me. It was a powerful revelation to me at 19. For the first time, I was thinking of someone else before myself.

    1. Thanks so much Belle. You’re right, He is always teaching us, especially though our circumstances. Wow what a beautiful gift motherhood is. Thanks for sharing that to me. Big hugs xox

  11. True, we were not created to sit in the Himalayas and seek a selfish truth, we were meant to interact in society and bring benefit to those around us as we can. Sometimes that may only be a cheery smile! 🙂 In the process we in turn are blessed.

  12. Might be a duplicate, if so please delete one. Your love and beauty is affecting the lives of other people as your compassion shines. You are living out a powerful and affirming testimony. You are living out Rick Warrens book, It’s Not About Me. I will continue for you to be anointed and blessed as you comfort those in need. God may be preparing you to be a pastor. Only the few who are Holy and anointed are guided down that path of service. So proud of you!

    1. Thank you so much Rick. Wow that’s so kind of you to say. Oh neat! I’ll have to check out that book. I am truly humbled by your generous words, my friend. God is good. And I thank Him for your friendship! Hugs and love xox

  13. Oh my word, what a convicting post. I never thought of myself as self centered, except now that I have been experiencing mental illness first hand for months now, I am realizing how much I am in my own head, not really noticing how my own problems are affecting those around me. I’m so stuck in my own head to even think about how my kids and hubby must feel. Thank you

    1. gosh, thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection. Yeah, I’ve really been forced to step outside my head in these past months, because I’m right there with ya! Thanks for stopping by! big hugs xo

  14. You won’t be surprised that I read this post thinking about how this connects to your desire for a husband. Looks like God has created a space in you life and heart that would welcome one and allow you to focus outward and inward both.

    1. Thank you much 🙂 awww, Elizabeth, you have such a wonderful heart. Yes! Wouldn’t that be incredible. I do believe and trust that God is preparing my heart for a husband right in the moment. That and I have three different people trying to set me up with three different guys!!! haha thanks again for stopping by! big hugs xox

  15. I had the same thought as Elizabeth. Letting go of expectations (of yourself and others) and removing yourself from the center of your world can create a space big enough for more love.

    1. Wow, Madeline, I love how you put that. You’re so right – it can create room for love to blossom. Gosh, that gives me so much hope. thanks for sharing that! big big hugs xox

  16. Glad you made it to the bakery OK with your driving skills!! Or lack of!

    Listen, kiddo, don’t be too hard on yourself with the “self-centered” tag. You show your readers a lot of kindness. You’ve been kind to me. I think it’s a matter of…training. Living alone, you are trained to just look out for you simply because no one else is there. Can’t be helped. The only time you really should be labeled “self-centered” is when you don’t figure that out in a timely fashion. But you seem to have done that, so…

    More at Patreon…

    1. Hey Jeffrey! hahah yeah, my driving skills were *rough* when I got home. hahah thanks for this encouragement. I like that: training. It’s all about training. And yes, a timely fashion. Looking forward to reading it 🙂 big hugs xox

      1. Not familiar with “spear chucker?” As in, “I had a non-speaking role in Julius Caesar; a soldier. Carrying a spear. Waaay upstage.” In film parlance, a “background artist.” Henry V – He is likely the greatest king in England’s history. His tomb is in Westminster, above and behind the coronation throne. At least when I saw it years ago. I researched him for my master’s thesis as I did the wooing scene toward the end. Henry has just kicked the French King’s rear, and now he wants to marry his daughter. It really is a fun, cute piece. If you look for a movie version, just stay away from Kenneth Branagh’s version; he wasn’t strong enough to pull it off. We will continue to work on your Shakespeare education and movie history! JK New assignments: Much Ado About Nothing with Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves, then Hamlet with Mel Gibson and Glen Close. Watch them with your mom, eh?

        Listen; you are a good person, not selfish at all. If you were selfish, you’d still be in New York and not with your mom. Just keep doing what you do…especially being that prophet we all appreciate so much!

      2. Hahah yeah I definitely need to work on my Shakespeare education. I think I’m revealing to you more and more how lacking my knowledge is on things that truly I have no excuse not knowing! Haha that’s a great idea. Classic movie night with mom 🙂 thanks again Jeff. I am humbled by your kindness. Hugs and love xox

  17. Good reminder.

    Sometimes when I get discouraged about not having a family of my own, I remember that, as a teacher, I have had the privilege of influencing the lives of hundreds of children. That definitely feels like taking the focus off of what I want and on to what I am doing for others.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that. Gosh, teaching is such a noble and beautiful profession. You are positively impacting so many kids. That is such a gift you’re giving them. Big hugs to you xox

  18. This is an eye opener for me in the way I treat others. Service is worship and if I claim to make worship my lifesytle then service should be my lifestyle as well.

    1. Oh my gosh, good! I’m so glad we’re both on the same quest for that answer 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by ((again!!)) 🙂 hope you have a beautiful evening! hugs xo

  19. You don’t sound self centered at all- you sound kind, caring, compassionate, generous, and kind you have such a beautiful heart. So glad to hear your mom is doing well! I’ll be praying for you both! ❤❤

    1. Hi Robyn! Thank you so much for your generous words. Gosh, that is so kind. and thanks for your well wishes and prayers for my mom — that means the world 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  20. Beautifully written 🙌🙌!! You are so right…we don’t exist just for ourselves. It’s so easy to go along with the trend of self-focus nowadays.

    1. Hey Wayne! Thank you so much! I know! It is so easy to fall into that me-first trap. I appreciate you stopping by, and thanks again for passing this along to your readers! big hugs xox

  21. Hugs!!! Love your spirit and am so happy you get humbleness. It is huge!!!!! You continue to amaze me and I smile that our journeys happened to cross. Love and am honored that you share with me. 🙂 XO

  22. You are such a Beautiful Beloved! So honored to have such an amazingly talented, gifted and inspirational Sista on the east coast. I pray God continues to expand your writings all over the world; they need to be heard.

  23. Oh my God, such a heartwarming post. Loved it! The quotes are so inspirational! I think I’m gonna have them on my wall.

  24. I think you touched on a belief there about millennials. The me generation. I sat in Flagstaff working on my truck and the mechanic just looked at me and asked how I knew this stuff. It took him years to learn. Necessity. We cannot ask for what we do not know but can we blame ourselves for that, also? That kind of guilt is what kept my generation in check. We were told it was our fault for our situation in public school. Ridiculed for free lunches and bus tokens. Allowed access to university but no one could afford it. haha. Oh well.

    These gaps are everywhere in life. I’m glad the next generation had it easier. So much that it appears its all about them. Life, is short. I’ve worked hard all my life it makes no difference and no one owes me more or less for my efforts. Its just, life. When we stop measuring life we start living our own. Sure, I won’t see a lot of things, oh well.

    1. This is such a powerful Perspective. Thank you for sharing it. “No one owes me more of less for my efforts…” that is a very eye opening way to look at things. Thanks again. Hugs and love xox

      1. No on can be you. I feel, like you’re moving toward something very different and it’s more inclusive of others. I do feel like you discredit your own efforts but self deprecation can be, attractive. Living inside your head isn’t all that bad. I would not have much of a life, otherwise.

      2. I know your goal is a future husband but, do it for yourself. When I look at my ex wife, I remember what we had but I know who I am now. We had different needs; I needed nothing just love and a family.

  25. Thank you for this post. It’s very timely and I needed to hear this from someone else. I needed to take the focus out of myself and and into other people.

  26. I have to intentionally move my center away from self daily. Nothing is less satisfying than living for self. Even if a person does not believe in God, building a life around self is missing the mark and contentment will evade them. For me, centering life around God and attempting to see what he sees in those I interact with, gives me joy in life. It also defines purpose in life.

    Still, I am prone to gravitate away from that joy and withdraw into myself. So, daily, sometimes hourly, moments of honest reflection and a willingness to move away from a world with me at the center, are crucial for my recovery and for having a meaningful life.

    1. Hey Mike! Thanks so much for this thoughtful reflection. You’re so right, it’s a hollow existence when you’re the only one you’re living for. Same here. It’s a daily thing for me to shift away from thinking about me Me me 🙂 thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  27. Thank you for this post. I’ve been doing that myself–i.e. focusing on me. As the sole caregiver for my mom, and working a full-time job, I’ve been finding that time is so, so scarce . . . for me. Your post has made me refocus, at a time when I REALLY need to. Thank you for putting life (me and Mom) into [better] perspective. God Bless!

  28. Such a powerful message and one that hits home right now. Since my Mom moved in with me a little over 2 years ago, I’ve been focusing on all the changes this has brought to my life, focusing on what I miss about my life before she moved in rather than the positive change of having her close all the time now. Mom’s a healthy and spunky 71 year old. That’s something to be thankful for in itself…and reason enough to come out of my own head and shift my focus to the world around me.

    1. Thank you so much Lisa. I really appreciate you sharing your story. Wow what a beautiful gift you’re giving your mom. That’s a powerful perspective. I’ll definitely keep you and your mom and family in my thoughts and prayers as you adjust to the new normal 🙂 big hugs xox

  29. These are marvelous thoughts on the discipline of service. By and large we are taught by everything in the world around us that we are number one. Care of self is the only thing that matters and that self help is the purpose of life. But Christianity is counter-intuitive at its root. The greatest among us is the servant of all. Now if trying to practice that statement doesn’t crucify the sin nature inside of us nothing will. Can I reblog this?

    1. Hi Joseph! Thank you so much for these kind words. You’re so right- it is counter intuitive at its root. How true is that?! Absolutely. I would be honored if you were to reblog this! Hugs and love xox

  30. Hi dear. It’s been such along time since I was able to read and enjoy one of your blogs. I’ve had a slew of sicknesses that came into my family, besides my daughter battling Ovarian Cancer for 10 months. But I love this post.

    My daughter went back to work yesterday May 8, 2017. God is truly great. She has changed from this ordeal, but that’s good, too. I hope that your mom is getting better and better. Keep us in your prayers. I pray for you whenever I think of you. Have a great day.

    1. Hi friend, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. gosh, I’m so sorry to heart about your daughter’s cancer battle. I will definitely keep her and you and your whole family in my thoughts and prayers. And thank you for your prayers. you are a blessing to me 🙂 big hugs xo

  31. Beautiful post! We must die to ourselves to have life in Christ. And what a beautiful life that is! I’m so glad your mom is doing better.🙌

  32. My dear friend,

    To arrive to the conclusion that there is more than just I is a good way to find the answer in life what really matters: if we focus to ourselves, we only see ourselves, we surely do not have this compassion as if we serve others in their needs. There are two ways: One way goes to oneself and the other goes to others. There is not really help when going to ourselves (ego-turned) but when helping others we feel the mirror picture of ourselves, as the other is part of us – so we get to know ourselves by the reflection of others. Some holy Saint said: “The deepest knowledge lies in the fact of serving man” – and service to man it service to God, is service to mankind and country. On this road of helping other people in need we also have to be careful that our own pride will not come to shine in foreground – then we say: “we have done somethings and are proud of it” But in all humbleness not to expect even a thank and do the work of without wanting anything in reurn – this is the real noble work of a selfless help. These things are becoming more and more subtle and we have to give attention to it that our mind will not eat the fruit of our service done to others. Then all thank and credit goes to God.

    Thank you very much for sharing it and I am happy for your help to your mother 🙂
    Hugs
    Didi

    1. Hi Didi, thank you so much for this beautiful reflection. Wow i love that : we get to know ourselves by the reflection of others. how true is that! And you’re so right, we have to seek humility in service as well. thanks for this beautiful food for thought. big hugs xox

  33. Your post is inspiring and very well said. Thank you for sharing it with me. I hope that your mom continues to recover and will be back to her old self before too long. God bless you both.

  34. “But what’s more, is that when we live with consideration for others, God really does change our hearts. He gives us a peace and joy that only comes from loving others.” Wonderful insight because that is truly what happens. God does change our heart so that we are more like His Son. The Holy Spirit is transforming us into the image of Christ, and that truly does bring us closer to God. I am so thankful that your mother is doing well, and I am quite sure that it her recovery is aided greatly by your compassionate care for her. Blessings to you today as you live a life of ministry for our Lord, no matter what you are doing.

    1. Thanks so much, Linda. I really appreciate that. You’re so right, God is the changer of hearts. Isn’t that such an exciting and comforting thought?! We are truly works in progress. big hugs xox

  35. We all have our self-centered times. That’s easy. The hard part is acknowledging it. Your journey is helping you to become quite a mature, caring person, with a focus in the right place.

    1. Gosh, what a kind thing to say. thank you so much 🙂 it’s definitely been quite a journey, that’s for sure. thanks for your encouragement. it means the world. big hugs xo

  36. Sounds like you’ve really become converted to your book-learned Christianity. I’m just wonderin’ how you do in the real world of actually living your religion, and not just pasting it on a bulletin board?

    1. Hi Dan, thanks for this question. I feel great. It is the way I get through life. It gives me peace and purpose and helps me to see outside of myself. It saved my life from my anorexia, and has helped me navigate this terrifying season with my mom. It’s not just something i paste on a “bulletin board.” It’s in my heart. Thanks for stopping by.

  37. So beautifully true 🙂 I’m so glad to hear your mother is doing well. I didn’t read this till after I wrote my blog today, but I wrote about gentleness. What a world of difference it means to ourselves and others, as you said, when the focus isn’t on us. God certainly is humbling our hearts. <3

  38. Life is truly about finding the balance between serving others and remembering not to neglect yourself. But I do believe that God wouldn’t place us in a situation that our service wasn’t required , especially if He knew it would be too much for us to bear! He’s a smart guy this God we serve! Keep looking after your mama bear! Your service is not unnoticed 😉

    1. Hi Sophie, thanks for this. Gosh, that is so true – that balance is necessary for a full and abundant life. hahah I think you’re right! He *is* a smart guy, that God! :)but in all seriousness, thanks for always chiming in with an encouraging word. it means the world 🙂 big hugs xo

  39. Well said, my friend… Well said indeed.. Makes me think of my dad who’s going through cancer right now, but even before we find out. If you ask him how his doing. He always says wonderful. No matter if his having a bad day dealing with attitudes. Wonderful. Our parents truly do teach us things throughout of life. Hope all is well on your end. God Bless:)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that. I’m so sorry to hear that about your dad. I will definitely keep him and you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. hugs xox

    1. Hi Kara, thank you so much for your encouragement. I’m sorry that we both have that in our pasts, but I’m so glad we’re both living in freedom 🙂 big hugs to you xo

  40. My problem has always been being “people pleasure” and I totally lost myself over the years. Getting back is a huge struggle, but the end result will be worth it.

  41. So glad to know your Mom is doing well. By the way, do I see a new color coming through,, true blue???
    Joy to you Caralyn and your family…
    D

    1. Hi Denny! Oh my gosh this is such a kind response. Thank you! Haha I don’t know! Perhaps!! That’s an exciting thought!! And thanks for your kind words for my mom 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  42. God Bless you, your mom and everything you do. You are the best person I know in NYC. Yes, there is so much selfishness there, or rather self focus. I am always glad to just visit it once a year. You rise above that with all that you do. I’ve talked about you being brighter than its brightest lights, well you are also higher than its highest heights in terms of all that you hold in your heart, for your mom and for others in general. You touch for real, not just in empty words!! xoxoxo

    1. Thank you so much Migueltio. That’s really kind of you to say. Gosh, I’m blushing 🙂 it definitely challenges me to combat my inherent selfish nature! Lol have a great evening, my friend! Hugs and love xox

  43. So… I always enjoy your posts. And I agree with you. But I had a thought. Maybe it has already been mentioned. Jesus is the ultimate Compassionate One. The word usually translated compassion (as in Jesus looked upon the man with compassion) means that Jesus loved that person so much his guts ached for them. But that means compassion is very, very, expensive because God’s compassion for you and for me cost him everything.

    1. Wow that’s a really powerful thought. Thanks so much for sharing it with me. You’re right. It cost him everything. Really puts things in perspective. Hugs and love xox

  44. The day we’re able to truly love others without fear of losing love for ourselves is the day we cross the threshold of true spiritual maturity. I’m glad to hear your mom is recovering so well. I wish you continued healing too. I think we do it for life 😉

  45. Sorry i don’t even know your name yet…..I am siba from India,just trying my hands on Blogging though I do photography as a passion since my childhood.

  46. As an independent single girl living in Las Vegas, I can relate to the natural tendency to be self centered. Without meaning to be. “Life exists for more than just you”. What a simple yet convicting phrase. Thank you for sharing!

    1. thanks so much 🙂 yeah, i love that quote from Galatians. I honestly hadn’t thought about it in a long time, so I’m so glad to have gotten the reminder 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! hope you’re having a great week! xox

  47. Beautiful. Sounds like this experience made you more aware of your loving heart. What a blessing!
    Continued Light and love to you and to your mom. My spiritual teacher John Morton says to leave a place better than you found it and do good wherever you are … one of my favorite intentions. Just doing the little things can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life.
    Have a great rest of your week,
    Debbie

    1. thank you so much Debbie! Yeah, this journey has definitely taught me a lot. and i’m a grateful for those lessons, even though I had to learn them the hard way. I love that – leave a place better than you found it and do good wherever you are….amen!! such great advice! big hugs xox

  48. Coming to realize that when we focus on ourselves we are shutting out so much more than we imagine. A friend who lives with paranoia once expressed his feelings when things get too much. He said “I tell myself everyone is watching me – because that’s all I can see”.
    He gets “days off from his paranoia” and then celebrates everything about being able to look outwards.
    When the “i” becomes our eyes we can truly see that there is so much more to life. Faith enables us to trust that the one who created life didn’t do it just for “me”.
    Enjoyed reading this post

    1. Hi Trotter! Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. you’re right. Faith *does* enable us to trust Him and His perfect plan. Thanks for stopping by. big hugs xx

  49. This is, in fact, another great post. I hope your mother is well. Sometimes, life can only offer what you already has.
    Good day Belle.

    1. Oh, thank you so much 🙂 I appreciate your kind words for my mom. What an interesting thought: life can only offer what you already have. thanks for sharing that. hugs xox

  50. Love this post – so true on so many levels. Speaks volumes to me as well as others I am sure but it also reflects some of “you” and where you have come from. Thanks for sharing and promoting Gods grace.

    1. Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed the read! Yeah, it’s been quite a journey so far, but God is good and is always showering His grace on us 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  51. Hi BBB,

    Great points as always. The Lord has a bigger picture that your little piece of the world affects. Loving others is worship, that is awesome. I have to remember that when the weights come down. The Lord bless you as you love your mom and others.

    Have a great week,

    Gary

    On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 3:24 PM BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “Well, here we are, trudging through May. > Somehow, we’re already on the second week, and if you’re feeling like time > is traveling at breakneck speed, then get in line. I’ve received a lot of > messages from thoughtful, lovely humans asking how my mom is d” >

    1. Hi Gary, thank you so much for this kind response. I think you’re so right – God has a plan for all of us, and I know that it involves helping His children. Because after all, that’s what a good Father does 🙂 thanks for stopping by. big hugs to you xox

  52. Compassion/empathy may well be the most important principle for human success, personal and communal, and one that our current American culture does not emphasize enough, if not outright discourages. Glad you’re not making that mistake, it only leads to misery!

    1. I think you’re so right. Having empathy for others is what makes the world work. And makes our own lives richer in the process 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing these thoughts! big hugs xox

  53. I think I needed to hear this today. It can be so easy to get focused on yourself. Especially when you don’t interact with other people a while lot. Keep up the good writing.

  54. I can relate for being in your own head, I try to stay out of my head as much as I can, work helps for keeping my mind on work. I also having sexual stressed at home, I won’t get in details on that and the mistake with it.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through a difficult season. hang in there, friend 🙂 Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. big hugs xox

      1. Not really just the situations are never easy. I been in a harder situation before with a guy who like the same girl that I liked but he is a good guy, that kind of help the situation for not wanting to beat him up so much, also he help me out couple times in the past, once when we was kids and an other time when I was really drunk with being mad at my grandma for something she said, that I took the wrong way after 2 Three Wise Men drinks with 5 Budweiser’s and he let me sleep it off on the bus he had with other friends being fix up when I was 21. So even know we don’t like each other, he had help me out.

  55. That’s an interesting way to look at freedom 🙂 it’s always interesting to step outside yourself and experience the other things that life has to offer. Glad to hear your mum is doing well. Sending blessings to you and her.

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 Yeah, she’s a rockstar. I’m so inspired by her courage. thanks for saying that. And you’re right, it’s definitely a counter-cultural way to look at freedom! haha thanks for stopping by! hope you’re having a great week 🙂 xox

  56. I’m so happy to have run across your blog Caralyn.
    I too have a Mom who suffered a stroke in the last year. She is also fighting Multiple Myeloma and has been trying to find peace in all the meds, appointments, etc…
    I found your post encouraging and hopeful.
    My past is one of the opposite nature of yours. I married at 18, had my first born at 20 and have been taking care if others forever. Now after raising my boys, I am learning how to think of my needs first. It’s a process, and I am finding joy getting to know myself better.
    Observing how you use your faith to help you through these tough times is inspiring.
    Thank you for reading Let’smakemudpies.wordpress.com. It means a lot.
    Smiles,
    Teri

    1. Thanks so much Teri, for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I will definitely keep her and you and your family in my prayers. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  57. AHHH!!! So so good! Thank you for this! Just got around to reading this, man I was encouraged yet convicted all in the same space. Again thank you so much for this. It really spoke to me ❤️

  58. Love this! 😍 I’ve taken care of my Mom too & get it. May you be blessed & filled more with His love as you continue to serve others & love your Mom.

  59. Bless your mom’s continuing recovery! Humbleness seems to have held you captive. Would be nice if Californians would become non-drivers… currently mass transit attempts reinforcement. Weekend smiles!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! i really appreciate your kind words for my mom. haha, yeah, can you imagine if cali folks became non-drivers? what would become of the 405 or the 101?!?!? hahaha hugs xox

  60. So true. That’s our purpose here on Earth. We were born to be of service to our fellowmen. Unselfishness is a lesson we each must learn. Sometimes its a hard lesson but always a rewarding lesson. God Bless you

  61. What a moving and incredible post. 😢😢 We must treasure our loved ones and remember that life is not about us, but what we do for other with the time we have. My mom and I didn’t always have the best relationship when I was younger, but by stepping out of my own feelings and into her shoes, I realized that she could not give me what I needed because she was deprived of it herself. Due to looking at things from her perspective, we were able to come together and really talk and learn about each other. Today, we are the best of friends, and we have learned to give each other what we needed by simply listening. I am so glad that your mother is doing well.

    1. gosh, thank you so much. that’s so true – we’ve got to treasure them. I’m so glad to hear that you and your mom are in a good place. That really warmed my heart. Thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  62. So glad your mom is doing better! Rehabilitation is a long process but as a former rehab nurse, I’ve seen so many miracles. Prayers out to the family and wishing your mom a speedy recovery.

    1. Aw thank you so much:) wow what a powerful perspective. Thank you for sharing it. I definitely believe in miracles! Thanks for the prayers. Means the world. Hugs and love xox

  63. I am beyond thankful that you took some of your time to read my post and liking it .. really thank you. I am happy that your mom is fine now. Your post was on point and I enjoyed reading it especially when you wrote in the end “Kindness is free. Compassion costs nothing.
    And in giving, we end up receiving the greatest gift of all.” .. enjoy your day 💝

      1. You are welcome angel 🙂 wishing you the best , take care much love and respect for you and your mom 💝 hugs 🤗

  64. This post speaks truth and it’s amazing how by doing,thinking,and pursuing the interest of others you yourself receive more this way than by just focusing on yourself.

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