We never really know when our words, eye contact, listening ear or helping hand can be the difference between a bad or good day for someone. When we care enough to share ourselves with others, we are connecting in a way that has a chance to be that difference.
Far too often than I cared for, I had found myself enclosed in my own world. Busy with my tasks and responsibilities. Consumed with work, life or whatever at the moment. In those times, I would need a big intuitive jolt to wake me up enough to notice someone else near me that needed help. OK, maybe it was a “smack upside the head.” I discovered that by being too busy with life I was not living in a way that I would choose. I choose to share. I choose to care.
The greatest joy I can imagine is to be in a position to become the blessing for someone else less fortunate, someone who needs a little help to walk their path, someone that is ready to receive a gift of caring. So, I choose to be more conscious today!
We have a crisis of caring today. Violence can come to an end, but it continues. Every child the world over can be fed, but children still die from lack of clean water. Every child can be educated so that they may build upon the wisdom that should be freely available to all, but too often children get caught in gangs, drugs and alcohol and many more turn to suicide today than ever. We have a crisis today. We can end it tomorrow… if we truly took care.
Understanding caring and then taking appropriate action will change our life… will make others’ lives better. Caring will change the world faster than we can comprehend. It begins in our heart. Our feeling heart tells us when and where there is pain. Our pain. A loved-one’s pain. Even a stranger’s pain. And at that moment, we have the chance of a lifetime: actively listen, give a hand, and love the one in pain. It’s our choice.
It is so simple to care enough to think, speak and act to help in even a small way. It is our ego and self-focus that blocks what can be as natural as breathing. Caring is the breath of spirit. Let’s all take a deep breath!
When I first hear this word and my mind races to find a meaning, I immediately think of two people, parts, or energies touching. Where one meets the other – that is connection. Our world has a lot of ways of connecting – the phone, computer, in person, via a letter, in a thought, through prayer are just a few ways to connect.
Does connection make us happy? I guess it would depend on the kind of connection and whether we wanted the connection. For the purposes of this blog, let us all agree that connection is good for you, me and the world. Connection allows us to meet a person, place or thing in a way that will benefit the greater whole. When we think of connection as that, then we allow ourselves to expand.
One of my greatest joys is to connect with a person heart-to-heart, eye-to-eye and allow truth, love and compassion to flow. I find it to be the richest form of expression and the most authentic way to hear another, know another and love another. Our world is full of busyness and it’s time to slow down enough to genuinely connect with another human being or even animal and sometimes ourselves.
Allow connection to be a word that inspires goodness, love and kindness. Trust your heart and act with connection as an intention. The world can be perceived as a big and lonely place but in truth it’s just a connection away which allows us to feel the closeness as if a single breath.
We are blogging on “selfless service” through next week. The change needed to move into selfless service is that we have to act from the heart, not the head.
CHANGE is threatening when we let our mind have control over our thoughts, words and actions. Our heart is filled with wonder, love and compassion. Our heart can tell us when we are in real danger, when there is something that feels wrong. Our heart is our truth barometer. When our heart is open, we connect with others easily. When our heart is closed, our mind is in control of how we walk through the world and (dis)connect from others.
Selfless Service is a choice. It is a choice to act from the heart. It is a choice to do something kind, gentle, compassionate, giving, caring, sharing or simply nice for another being.
Selfless service is also a behavior we must learn. I found that the easiest place to start being selfless is with those who are already there: animals, children and our planet.
Let’s make good choices today!
It’s easy to think of this virtue as belonging to someone like St. Francis of Assisi. Devoting his life to helping animals and the environment, he seemed to embody the complete surrender of self in serving others. He was a joyful soul – pretending to play the violin as he skipped along the Italian terrain. To me, St. Francis set the bar for Selfless Service.
But, let’s face it – the guy didn’t even wear shoes in Winter – and I don’t know of anyone who could get so caught up in the euphoria of serving others, that they could blissfully ignore cold feet. So I’m herby challenged to translate this exhaulted definition of Selfless Service into contemporary terms.
There are certainly times when we are called upon to serve…as parents of a newborn… caretaking the elderly… being responsible pet-owners, etc. In these instances, we could definitely experience moments of frustration and weariness with no end in sight. We plod on and do what we have to do. We could say that is serving – to an extent. I believe that Selfless Service goes a few notches higher – and it has nothing to do with WHAT we are doing; and everything to do with HOW we do it.
If we grumble, begrudge or harbor self-pity, we miss the true gift of Selfless Service. To reach that pinnacle we have to be willing to abandon the egocentric whisperings of ‘what’s in it for me’, and surrender to the task at hand. This creates a blissful freedom from mundane distractions, and an aura of unconditional love. I think this is what St. Francis referred to in his famous poem when he said:
“…for it is in giving that we receive”. The goal is to serve from our hearts – and the gift is the radiant blossoming of our soul.
Have you ever been so inspired, so full of passion that you change your life or act in a way that maybe is a bit shocking to you? Have you felt that pull, that calling to do or be something that is big and bold? That’s the kind of energy that is associated with selfless service. Many of us donate to causes, maybe sign a petition or support something near and dear to our hearts. It’s a beautiful first step. It all adds up and it’s making a difference.
To be devoted and so committed that you let go of your worldly needs and follow your heart in service is the awakening of selfless service in your life. The devotion comes from the heart – the heart of your soul. And the release of worldly needs come from the faith that you are completely provided for in all ways. It’s a trust relationship with God. It’s an awakening that your purpose, your internal flame is ready to ignite a larger fire that will change the world.
Service is not a luxury for when you feel like it. It’s time for us all to look within and ask some bigger questions. Allow the soul to lead. Listen to the nudges and messages. Feel it in your heart. Follow it through with the inspired action. Be selfless. Be of service. Be your most authentic self so the world benefits!
I need to start by saying that there needs to be more selfless service in the world in order for it to become the place I know it should be. People need not worry about what they have or the money they make and start worrying about those in need. I believe everyone has the ability, rich or poor, to contribute to the world around us and make a difference… be it volunteering, donating old clothing for those who don’t have any at all, or monetary contributions if you can afford.
In this world we live in, everyone is very consumed with themselves and what they have, want or need and not what they can selflessly do to help others. I have two young daughters and I teach them everyday to be grateful for what they have and be sure to give to those who don’t have. Just recently my 8 year old did a selfless thing – when she was finished with her dance recital she donated her costume to an organization who gives them to a non-profit organization who works with inner city kids. If more people did even little selfless acts such as that this world would be a much better and harmonious place to live in and share with everyone.
I try very hard to do something selfless all the time either by donating clothing that no longer is being used by my family, making small donations to a special cause, or simply volunteering when I can. To me, those are all selfless acts and make a difference in our world around us.
It’s not about me, it’s about everyone around me – and that’s how my kids are being taught as well.