Do You Want To Get High Today?

Yesterday, a shiny bright star, Emily Quinlan, walked into my home and brightened my day.  She delivered delicious grilled chicken, a mac’n cheese casserole with broccoli, a fresh salad with balsamic dressing, mini brownies and wine for dinner.  Oh, and I can’t forget the chocolate covered pretzels.  I love anything dipped in chocolate.  I had never met this woman in my life.  She is the mom of one of Maggie’s teammates on her new basketball team.  She caught wind of my battle with breast cancer and decided to step in and help.  Not only did she deliver a meal but she and Coach Darrin set up an account on “Lotsa Helping Hands”, a free, private website community for organizing friends, families and colleagues during times of need.  Many families have signed up.  Most I do not know.  In some ways, I am blown away.  On the other hand, I have always had faith in the human race.  I am not surprised by their desire to help.  So, what is it that drives a person to help a complete stranger? 

Answer:  Humanity, compassion, kindness, concern, selflessness and altruism.  And the benefits:  The “helpers high”.  Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. describes it like this.  “Helpers High is an intense feeling of joy – an expansive, enlivening energy that makes you grateful to be alive.  It kicks in like a rush of euphoria after a good deed and then mellows into a longer period of calm, contentment, and emotional well-being.”  I am sure all of us have felt this high at one time or another.  Or, at least, I sure hope so.

Maybe I am naïve, but I believe people are basically good EVEN after watching the first episode of “Mob Wives” the other night on VH1.  Ok, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I was lured in by the commercials to check out these whack jobs but I just couldn’t resist!  Such negativity, such hate, such selfishness.  These women have lost their way. 

 “Negative emotions are “all about me”.  The “Mob Wives” are the epitome of the “all about me” syndrome.  The opposite of negative emotions, of course, are positive emotions.  Positive emotions “free the self from the self.”  Who does not want to be free of ourselves?  People try to escape from themselves everyday by overindulging in T.V., food, alcohol, drugs, sex, you name it.  Maybe sex shouldn’t be on this list.  Anyway, it seems to me that freeing ourselves through good deeds is a better answer.  Get that “helpers high” by helping instead of a sugar or drug induced high.  Research on the benefits of altruism shows that it helps reduce stress, increases your feeling of well-being, offers meaning and purpose, and SURPRISE, helps you live longer. 

Mother Teresa lived to be 87, a woman who dedicated her entire life to helping strangers in the most dire of circumstances.

You don’t see those long term results from martinis or double fudge chocolate ice cream. 

However, I must pause for a moment since it is 420 Day, the unofficial holiday enjoyed by pot-smokers around the world.  In your honor, I abstain from adding pot in my list above.  The jury is still out on that.

Following Mother Teresa’s death, Pope John Paul II gave her the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.  In my small, insignificant opinion, she is the quintessence of humanity and should be canonized a Saint.  We need more people like her.  We need more reality shows about women like her, out with “Mob Wives” in with “God Wives”.  I can’t believe as a “recovering catholic” who usually refers to an omnipotent power as the “Universe” just wrote that, but I think I am on to something.  Mother Teresa was definitely on to something.

So, if you are not a pot smoker and you want to get high today, reach out to someone, do a good deed, pay it forward, give away your car, donate to “Goodwill”, cut your hair and donate it to “Locks of Love” (or for you animal lovers give it to the birds), offer your time, prepare a meal for someone that can’t, hug somebody or simply smile at a stranger and join all the stoners today on their high.

4 Responses to “Do You Want To Get High Today?”

  1. hstnn-ib73 Says:

    On a call at work this lady said “enjoy your holidays” probably meaning easter but I’m gonna take it as 420

  2. Aunt Linda Says:

    Locks of Love is a great organization. To donate all you need is 10 inches of hair. Almost all salons will cut and style your hair for free when you donate. Reading your blog is a high! Your attitude and courage are awesome.

  3. Tina Says:

    There you are! What a great service! Asia and I are here if you ever need. I would love to come and visit you again and cook a raw dinner!

  4. Dona White Says:

    Hi Deanne

    I dont know if you remember me , I am a friend of Terry . I just wanted to say thank you so much for the blog, since I am going through something similiar (lung cancer) Your up beat attitude matches my own. Life is way to short to give in to the self pity. I have a best friend that is always telling me, lets just get out the chocolate cake, and you cant use forks :)
    Life is what we choose to make it :)

    Have a wonderful easter!!!!!

    dona

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