One thing I've learned in the soul searching that has followed my illness(es) and recovery is that life is about giving, not about what you have, what you accumulate or anything else. When we think of "giving", often the first ideas that come to mind are those of giving "objects" or things. But you can give so much more. I realized this when I was trying to figure out how to be in a life of service when I "have to go to work everyday". It came to me that there are so many other ways to give to people.
I have a confession of sorts regarding this. I believe that there are about 3 books in me that would really help others but for some reason I can't get them out on paper (or the computer). I run into the stumbling block of feeling as if I'm not worthy, that I don't have anything new that would help people. I know all of this is a deep down problem in me but it leads to procrastination and not doing anything...and that leads to frustration etc etc....I'm sure some of you reading this know that drill and may have even circled the same drain.
But that was a digression. My point to all of this is that whatever you have around you or inside of you might be something very valuable and helpful for others. Use that as incentive to clean out your closet or pantry and donate the items you don't need or use. Or listen to folks around you at work or in your social activities and see if they mention they need something - then take inventory in your mind and decide if you have that same object that you could give to them. Nothing will give you a better feeling, believe me!
Even if you don't have physical objects either to give away or that people seem to want, you have yourself to give. Ask someone how they're doing or how they are feeling. Express real interest in an answer...not the usual "how are you?" associated with the hope that the other person will say "fine" and you can go about your business. Maybe that person is having a bad day or a bad time in life and could use an ear. If you don't express sincerity and ask, you may be holding onto one of the most important gifts you can ever give to someone - love and concern for their well being.
You never, ever know what a difference you will make in someone's life. When I was in the hospital, it was very lonely and scary and during one of the hospitalizations it was as if everyone at work forgot me. Not that I wanted visitors (I was a bit too sick) but a text or an email is a welcome sight when you feel all alone. How long does it take you to send a text? How much effort? Not much at all to write "thinking of you". I can tell you personally how much that means to someone - it means a great deal more than the time it took you to write the words.
Think about everything we waste time doing and then try to think of one or more ways you can give to others every day and then keep track of what you gave, who you gave it to and how you felt. Not, what you got or what you have but what you felt. I believe it will fill you up with the most wonderful feelings you can possibly imagine.
Try it and let everyone know about it. Help it spread. Kindness and love really can be contagious!