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Tuesday
Aug032010

Service to Others, Service to Self

I am on my summer sojourn to the mainland from my home in Hawaii. After connecting in Portland, OR to my family and a few friends, I traveled to Palm Desert, CA for my own retreat of solitude.

The desert is quiet in a way that Hawaii is not. There is a stillness that I have not found other places. It is almost as if at times you are in a vacuum of soundlessness. This vacuum gives you permission just to sit for hours in idle contemplation and nourish your soul.

I never know what brings me back to the mainland but I am always observing what comes onto my path. I met a friend who recently was diagnosed with cancer and although he has never traded a session with me, he accepted a trade. I was told that one of the main reasons that I was on my journey was to work with him. Did I come to help him to heal his body or merely to help him find a peace in his spirit? I do not know nor do I have an agenda. I know that spirit works through me and I am joyous in that space.

What keeps us locked into the world of the mundane - of work and play and everyday life without the deep connection to source and service? A piece of the puzzle is the feeling of abandonment, not only from others but also from what we perceive as GOD, the divine, or life source. That feeling of separation, of loneliness, of not being loved.

We decide at an early age that Mom and Dad are not always there for us. They leave us at a sitter, they are tired and just need space, they are not happy in their own life and so the child feels that unhappiness and feels unloved. We make decisions that form our psyche. We learn to put walls up that protect us from that separation, that make it okay, or that make us act out in inappropriate ways. We learn to be selfless and take on the responsibility of helping others so that they will either love us more, or we feel that we can fix them.

Let me set something straight. The only person we can change is ourselves. We don't or can't fix someone else. People make decisions every day about what they choose to do and be. That choice is one of the greatest gifts that we have on this planet. But it can also be our nemesis.

One of the main reasons I quit mainstream, allopathic medicine is that people want a quick fix. They go to the doctor, or in my case a Nurse Practitioner and want a magic pill, or an adjustment, or someone to tell them what to do. They are given diet or lifestyle changes that never get implemented because it is too much work. Most medications do not get taken as they are supposed to, like timing (they take it 2 or 3 times a day instead of the prescribed 4 times a day), the length of time that they are supposed to be taking them or the side effects make them sick and they just quit. How many medicine cabinets have you seen with half used bottles of prescription medicine?

If you haven't truly connected to the 'service to self' in your daily life then you have not learned to nurture yourself. Nurturing yourself is not about going out and buying that dress or tennis racquet that you see and decide you need. Service to self is about nurturing the spirit, connecting to your heart and learning that you are a divine being that is full of love for all and connected to all things. It is remembering that we are worthwhile beings and important in our own right. We learn to honor all others as we honor our self and our journey is as important as their journey.

That leads to the journey of 'service to others'. When we truly open our hearts to ourselves, then we can see that same light in everyone else. It is the light that sometimes we see clearer than they do. So we begin to ignore their behavior, because in our divine love space, we cannot believe that they would be doing something that is not in divine light. We think they will change or we think we can fix them. Neither is true and both are true. If we stay in the space of divine love, we can be of more service to each other. Others will feel the light and love from our hearts and it helps ignite a seed of remembrance in their heart. Some people are not ready to open to the seed but it has been planted. Do we get angry at someone who does not take the seed and allow it to grow, or do we show them by example how to nurture that seed?

When we carry the burden (responsibility) of their lives, then we do them no favors. We haul the soil, dig the hole, plant the seed, water it, make sure it gets the right light. Because they have not had to do the work, they do not care nor nurture their garden. We have not taught them by example how to grow that seed of light, we have tried to do it for them. If we know that they will not take care of it and then get angry because the plant dies or the seed does not germinate, then have we nurtured ourselves or them? That is what holding responsibility for someone else looks like. It is sure to cause resentment because we have wasted our time trying to do something for someone else that would rather learn for themselves, or not do it at all.

Service to others is an honoring of their path. Everyone has different lessons and choices in life. The greatest gift you can give them is to teach them to grow by example. But to do that you have to be a clear light, without expectations for yourself or them. Learn to love unconditionally. In that learn discernment and if someone is not truthful in their actions, walk away but keep shining your light.

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