A cancer patient once said to me, “One of the awful things about cancer is that it consumes your whole life.  My life is filled with thinking about cancer, trying various treatments, reading articles about cancer survivors, taking tests, worry about cancer . . . on and on. Cancer can consume your life, your whole schedule.

Here are three suggestions for ways to direct a person’s attention away from self to others.

One cancer patient says, “Suggest that we work on a service project in the community.  My problems seem minimized when I concentrate on another person’s need, and I am energized by ‘reaching out’ and helping someone else.”

Another homebound woman says, “Invite me to participate in projects that can be done at home (stuffing envelopes, folding programs, cutting/gluing projects.)”

And all our churches should pay attention to this woman’s advice, “Give me a list of people to pray for.  Praying for others does not take my pain away, but it does change my attitude toward it.  By reminding myself that others are also suffering, I can better tolerate my situation.  At the same time helping others gives me some feelings of self-worth and purpose.”

So help those who are suffering direct their focus on some worth-while activities beyond themselves.

To download a free e-book on simple ways to care for the people in your life go to our post  titled 122+ Ways to Care Well.

Photo Credit: New York National Guard (http://bit.ly/21cYjgT)

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.

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