Day 318 - Being of Service
I had that kind of day yesterday...all day...until like 8:30 pm. There is a lot going on at work. And I was busy from like 6 am until late. But instead of feeling exhausted, I felt invigorated. Why? Because I was able to be of service all day long. I was able to help people and get things taken care of, which always feels good. Of course, I did not do this alone. I have a team of people who are likewise being of service and getting the mission accomplished.
I am very grateful to work in a place where I can be of service and be helpful. It really does make me happy.
I also like solving problems. And I love getting reminded that when I think that I am rushing in to solve problems, it does not mean that the person being benefitted is going to be grateful...and that is ok. I am not doing it for the gratitude, in yesterday’s case, I was doing it because it was my job. The best days are the days where I get to be helpful and useful and the only person who thanks me is me.
Perhaps a weird idea but let me explain. If I do the service for the thanks, it isn’t the work that I am really offering. I am offering the work in exchange for something else. To me, being of service, is thankless. I have to do it with no expectation of thanks...otherwise it is really me just exchanging work for praise. It isn’t called being of service to be praised. It is just being of service....
If I insist that I get thanked or praised, then I am missing the whole point. Being of service is best when done for fun and for free...because I can.
Being of service is also a great teacher about expectations...go out there and be of service and think that you are expecting nothing in return...then watch yourself. It is amazing to me how often I carry expectations into the fray and then am disappointed when I do not receive the praise or accolades that I think I should.
Now it just makes me laugh at myself. An immediate release from the expectation letdown. Laughing makes it all better and lighter and easier. Once I see that I have attached all sorts of strings to something that should be being done for fun and for free, I can allow it to all just fall away and return to being what it should, doing something for someone else because I can...without strings.
It is such a gift to give to another. I can do it at work. At home. In my relationships. In my friendships. With my kids. Anywhere, anytime. I can be of service to those about me and it is a completely free ticket out of me and my agenda. I get to feel good about my life and how I am living it and that is its own fantastic award.
It is a goal of mine everyday to get up and go out into my life with a service oriented attitude...I think I hit the mark more than I miss it. But there are still moments where I lose this service orientation and become quiet selfish and self centered. It is no coincidence that I am usually most miserable when I am thinking and doing for myself.
I am going to get another opportunity to be of service today. All day I am going to come into contact with people who need something that I have to give them and I am going to be super happy that I get to do this. I also know that a level of self care has to happen so that I keep my own cup full so that I have something to give to others. I cannot give away something I haven’t got. I can’t be of service to you, if I have not done the self care things I need to do for me first. I have to help myself in order to have anything to give to you.
Believe me, I have tried it both ways. Just giving and giving and letting myself get ground down. That results in resentments galore. As well as many expectations that are never met. I have learned that the best way to help you, is to ensure that I have done the simple basic things to help me. Then I can give it all away, all day long and love every minute of it. I arrive in my bed, happily weary from my day but with a vigor and interest in doing it all again tomorrow. And that is the difference that self care makes...self care allows service to others for fun and for free. And I know how amazing that feels to give and receive.
If you are struggling, please let me know. I would welcome a chance to be of service.