I have long struggled with this concept or idea of serving others. Maybe it was how I was raised, a rebellion against that. Maybe I have always been in tune to some inner knowing. Something in me rejects, if it is not outright against, the idea of serving others. Especially the common teaching in many spiritual materials that serving others is some sort of high calling, if not the highest calling.
I remember I think at Dao Bums posting something about this. I could see clearly how serving others perpetuates their need for your serving them. It disempowers them and keeps them where they are. What do I mean by this? I will try to illustrate by an example…
If you start serving the homeless food,very soon a few things happen. First of all you perpetuate the societal cause of homelessness. This is because you are not addressing the cause of their homelessness, only one of the symptoms of that cause. As long as you feed the homeless there will be homeless to feed. It is an infinite loop.
Secondly you block them from ever leaving the mindset of homelessness. They put themselves in that experience or state, indirectly or directly. By feeding them you disempower them, keeping them in that state. They never learn that they put themselves there, and as a result they never learn to think any differently.
They have to become aware that what they experience in their life is solely their responsibility. That they choose what to think and their responses to what happens in their lives. Until they become aware of the thinking that has placed them in this experience, they can never leave it. Awareness is a prerequisite for change.
This is just one example I can come up with as to why service may not necessarily be our highest calling, or even for the good of others. This attitude we have, that whoever we serve needs us, will keep those we serve in a position of needing our service.
I have since come to understand a few things about service:
- Service must be given completely willingly.
- Service comes automatically through alignment to Source.
If you do not really want to serve someone in some capacity, you should not do it. For example, if a neighbor asks for your help in their yard (maybe they want your help pulling weeds) if you go over to help them it must be with the right attitude. You must really want to help them pull weeds.
Now maybe they offer to pay you for your work. There are two things to keep in mind. One is that the Source is the source of your supply, not the money they give you. The second is that, paid or not, if you are not really and truly willing to do the work they are asking you to do, it is better if you do not even go over and work for them. The truth of your attitude will announce itself very clearly in your actions and especially the quality of your work. And yes, this is also true of a professional job, not just helping the neighbor pull weeds.
I just realized the second aspect today after watching “Law of Attraction In Action 11 – Who You Really Are.” A man came up and said he had throat cancer. Abraham, through Esther Hicks, worked with him to face the cause of this illness. It turns out he was a teacher, and wanted to teach others, but knew they were not ready to listen, so he was holding back. He was not aligning himself to who he truly is, Source energy, the Source within him. I might use the phrase his Higher Self. In other words he was focused on others, using them to keep himself out of alignment with who he really is.
It occurred to me that the best way I can possibly serve others is from a place of alignment with my Highest Self or Source. In my case my parents are looking for a house. I am constantly hearing about how so-and-so said this or they heard that, or they can’t afford this, or they can’t go any higher than that. I am constantly in a battle trying to get them to see the sun behind the clouds. But I see now I have to stop, love and accept them as they are, and let go. As Abraham told the man, we can’t change how others think. Here is a quote they mentioned, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
The best way I can serve my parents is to somehow just close my mouth and focus on my breathing or something and let them rant. I need to focus on aligning my self with my Self. I am not yet entirely sure how to do this. But I can just accept that I do not know how to do this, let that go as well. Just be allowing and open. Trust that things will fall into place and I will become aligned with my Highest Self.
I think part of what I can do to come into alignment with my Higher Self is to let go of whatever I am holding onto that is keeping me out of alignment. In my case just letting go of any knee-jerk reaction to intervene when my parents are arguing, or when either one of them says something negative. Stop trying to change them. Love and accept them as they are, and that encompasses the whole package, including the way they think. We all have to find our own path up the mountain. They are on theirs and I am on mine. I nee to focus on my path, and leave them to theirs. It is what they have chosen after all, just as I have chosen mine.
Once I am in that place of alignment and have become a living example to others around me I will be in the absolutely best place possible to serve others. Not only that, but I suspect I serve others just by being an example of someone in full alignment with Source. In that regard then service is the highest calling. It is not so much about what I can do for others. Too much emphases on actions, on making things happen.
It is more about what I can be for others. How I can show them the way by demonstrating it in my own life experience. Just let go of trying to change, convert or convince anyone, it’s a fruitless, pointless exercise anyway. A waste of time and energy, Sisyphus pushing the rock up a hill. The best outcome is that the damn things rolls down on top of me!
No, part of the practice loving and accepting others as they are is to take them as they are. To stop trying to change them. To stop wishing they were different. To stop hinging my happiness on their being some way that makes me happy. I have to let them be as they are and take them exactly as they are, focusing on my own alignment with Source.
By doing that I help them. I don’t set out to change them, convert them, convince them or “save” them. I set out to align my self with my Self, and as a result they are helped. As a result they, on their own, when they are ready, if they are ready, become changed, converted or convinced. They learn how to save themselves.
What they do, feel or think is truly none of my damn business. This is probably what the Bible is really trying to tel us when it says to focus on the log in your own eye not the mote in the eye of another. You work on yourself first. That alone will take your entire lifetime. That work never ends. But if you really, truly want to help others, this is where you start. Outside Change Begins Inside.
You can offer no better help or service than your example of living in alignment with Source. It is from that place of alignment that you will have the right attitude and motivation when stepping out into the world to help or serve others. Your motivation for doing anything is of paramount importance! The best motivation is to align yourself with Source and then to act from that place of alignment.
This then is what you can take it to mean when you are told service is your highest calling. It’s just that some information is missing and out of order. Your highest calling is to align your self with your Self, and from that place of alignment help, serve or work for others.
In other words, build your house upon the rock! To help, serve or work for others before you have come into alignment with Source is to build your house upon the sand. All that effort to change, convert, convince or “save” others will just get washed away.