There are two choices of course here, one, to do for yourself, or, two, to do for others.
You can spend your free time pursuing fun, educational, inspiring, joyful events, activities and the such to make oneself happy OR
You can spend your fee time pursuing fun, educational, inspirational, joyful meaningful events which bring others happiness or joy.
I suppose one is NOT more important over the other, but I do find that greater JOY does come in finding ways to love and serve others.
You can NOT neglect yourself in this life, or you will be no good or of no use to others, so there is a fine balance. One must make sure that oneself is at ones best, so that as an individual, one can be the BEST to others.
This is what brings real joy in life.
As an individual who grew up serving others more than myself, I began (later in life) to be much more selfish and interested in ONLY serving myself as much as possible even though this is almost near impossible while being married, pregnant, nursing and raising a family!
Still, I was in much need of spending time helping myself grow in many areas. The more I grew, the better I was for others so it seemed and I liked that about myself.
BUT I also noticed that the more I became selfish and only thinking of myself, depending only on my own wishes, wants and intellect, the less I was interested in serving others and my joy in life began to slowly (and most definitely un-noticeably) disappear out of my life! (You've heard of the "boiling a frog in warm water theory?) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog
It was NOT until I had hit rock bottom that I decided to turn my life over to my "higher self"...letting go of my own intellect, and flawed wisdom, and truly only listening to my higher self (Sprit of the Holy Ghost ) (or the small quiet promptings of God) did I finally begin to go back to being who I was the first 30 years of my life....and of finding lasting and deep happiness in serving others.
The crazy twist about serving others is that in doing so, one is able to FIND oneself... since in this act of giving and serving, one is able to find joy in this service, and in turn, finds a great peace in oneself...it really is remarkable.
So unless you know of this concept... or understand it's meaning...this may all be irrelevant to you.
A person such as myself thought that if I served others, that I just did NOT love myself...but it was the OPPOSITE!
When I serve others, I really begin to find LOVE in myself and I began to love myself more. NOT because I am stuck up...but because I truly like myself for being a GOOD person and helping others (which really only in the end HELPS me tons more...go figure!!)
SOOO..... What do I do in my free time? Look for ways to serve others... of course ! ☺
In this world today that might be a difficult thing to find, since many, many objectives around us is to serve ourselves!
I find that there are less and less avenues to find ways of service.
Hire for work is serving, but too many people do NOT like their work and do NOT find joy in serving others at their work since they are only doing it for the money which comes out of their work, and so they are NOT happy and do NOT serve with love in their heart...if they even are serving.
Then you've heard of people who LOVE what they do at work and so they LOVE that they actually get paid for doing what they love...well that is the KEY my friend. LOVE to serve at your work and you will be getting paid for what you LOVE! But that is a whole other story....
Why am I asking all this, in the first place? Because yesterday night we were asked if we would go the the Newport Beach LDS temple to do Sealings for those who are in the Spirit world. Of course ones first response is that it will take up too much of my free time and it is work and a bother.
BUT what I found was it actually turned out to be an incredibly FUN, INSPIRING, JOYFUL, EXCITING, BEAUTIFUL evening ...full of serving and being rewarded!!
A little history ~ "Temples are more than stone and mortar. They are filled with faith and fasting. They are built of trials and testimonies. They are sanctified by sacrifice and service.
The first temple to be built in this dispensation was the temple at Kirtland, Ohio. The Saints at the time were impoverished, and yet the Lord had commanded that a temple be built, so build it they did. Wrote Elder Heber C. Kimball of the experience, “The Lord only knows the scenes of poverty, tribulation and distress which we passed through to accomplish it.” And then, after all that had been painstakingly completed, the Saints were forced to leave Ohio and their beloved temple. They eventually found refuge—although it would be temporary—on the banks of the Mississippi River in the state of Illinois. They named their settlement Nauvoo, and willing to give their all once again and with their faith intact, they erected another temple to their God. Persecutions raged, however, and with the Nauvoo Temple barely completed, they were driven from their homes once again, seeking refuge in a desert.
The struggle and the sacrifice began once again as they labored for 40 years to erect the Salt Lake Temple"
(The very temple where Bernd Holler and I were married in 1987.)
So yesterday in my free time my husband and I went to serve those who have already died and are in the spirit world already but who have not had a chance to hear or accept the gospel of Christ and it's principles.
One of these principles or Ordinances is to seal (bind together) family members for all eternity.
We act as proxy's for these people and they are free to accept this gift or not.
Rudy, being close to the spirit world was able to feel some of the people we did this work for, there in the room with us. Some were very grateful for this act of kindness given to them...others were indifferent...looking on with curiosity yet unsure.
I felt the gratitude from some of them also. It was a very fun, and beautiful night of service.
SO, what do YOU do in YOUR free time?
There are opportunities to serve others all around you! Start with helping those in your families. Your parents, your sibilings, your loved ones, your neighbors. Start to find joy in where you work, serving others.
Someone is always in need...just open your eyes!