As I contemplate this idea, I am hesitant within my own mind, as to where to begin and what to say.
How to find the most salient points to share, relevant to the question: How can I best serve and make a difference in today’s fast paced, fluid world? It is such a varied and personal answer, as it is a matter of the heart, that can often get hijacked by the mind!
What does come easily for me is the knowing that consciousness demonstrates, and consciousness is all there is, the beginning of everything. From this point, I can state with confidence that our intention, whether conscious or unconscious, behind our act of service will place it somewhere on the scale of sacred, selfless service.
I believe that our acts of service, whether the gifting of time, talents or treasure are well intended, always carrying with them a good measure of loving kindness. Being a volunteer is a beautiful service out in the world that brings much to many – hope, inspiration, motivation, trust, inclusion, a sense of worthiness and more. One would think that an act of giving to another would close the gap of the have’s and have not’s, build more intentional communities and support others in aspiring towards their best life. And while this may be true, have you noticed that not always do you walk away from having given, feeling joyful and energized, and/or not always do those kinds of feelings last beyond a sense of short-term gratification? Perhaps that is because we draw our fulfillment and, in some cases, our personal value, more in relationships with others, than from sacred communion with the Divine. This puts us in the position of having more of “me” agenda and the expectations of others to match.
Giving to others feels so good, doesn’t it? Don’t we wish more would jump in and do this kindness in the world? Indeed, each of us benefits greatly from the love and support of others, but do we give that same care and consideration to ourselves? Volunteering can reveal places where we are replacing self-care with other care.
Here are a few things I have observed about myself as a “giver along the way.”
- I used to give to get and was attached to the outcome. Now I understand and take great joy in simply the practice of giving, without looking for any return – from the person, the organization, or the universe!
- I thought that being a generous open-hearted person was a way into other hearts, circles of influence, even a justifiable reason to escape, obsessing over what wasn’t working in my life, or what I didn’t have, or even to make amends for times past. I have learned that giving from my heart, irrespective to my life condition, simply builds trust in my value as a human being without the messiness of codependency.
- That my job is to be responsible for myself, my thoughts, and actions, taking great care in sustaining myself first, so that I have the physical, mental, and emotional resources with which to share spontaneously, wherever I am guided to do so!
- And the golden oldie… last but not least – opening up to be gracious receivers, to contribute to, and participate in, the flow of reciprocity.
My journey has been about getting clear on who I am serving, so everyone wins!
Who are you serving? Does the act of service you are involved in now, or are contemplating to put up your hand for, come from a realization that the highest and best for all is happening right now? Your clarity around these two questions will form your intention, and become a primary key to living a life of sacred service. A life of sacred service as a spiritual practice, where you can freely and fully give of yourself, never burn out, and contribute to a world where we can all learn to love more graciously.
In honor of our journey together,