Gary M. Spolansky
We’ve often heard it said that the highest of ideals is to be in service to another. This is a noble concept and one that has been honored by many people in many ways. A thought occurs to me however, that I would like to share with you. Service to others is laudable and necessary in a our complex world that is so dynamically interdependent on each other - provided that this service does not exclude yourself. This means honoring your needs as well as those of others.
As anyone who has worked in service related businesses or healthcare will readily testify - its very easy to burnout when you focus solely on others. However, when you focus equally upon yourself as well as others, something special occurs. Everyone benefits! This is one of those situations contrary to what we’ve been taught, where it’s a positive action to sometimes be selfish. By being selfish in this way we actually give ourselves a chance to recapture some of that energy we give to others. It allows us to grow and have more to give. Why? Because we are all connected and if you accept this premise - one being. Sir Issac Newton recognized this principle in his Third Law of Motion stating “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. So, when we serve ourselves we are effectively serving others. Additionally, in refreshing ourselves we have more to give to others as well.
We’ve all been told in many ways that by giving to others we grow and this is of course true. Putting another’s needs before your own is one sign of true humility except when it reaches a point where we begin to deny ourselves the very things that we need to grow and thrive - such as loving relationships, friends who accept us for who we are and situations in general that are uplifting and supportive to our positive growth and internal peace. This concept is even more clearly expressed in The Declaration of Independence - “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.
Take a moment now and ask yourself - do I constantly put others ahead of myself even when its to my own detriment? Do I allow others to take advantage of my good nature when I really don’t want to do something? Are the concerns and needs of others more important than mine? If this is the case, ask yourself why? At the root of this answer will be some thought, experience, learning, etc., that essentially implied that in order to have the life you desire you must prove yourself worthy. Doing good works, giving charity and helping others are all positive actions and some of the ways we were taught to show our worthiness. Yet, just as in all aspects of life, when we go to an extreme that keep us from knowing our own inner being, when we sacrifice excessively, we are not serving ourselves but rather an idea, thought or opinion of who we are supposed to be instead of who we are. If we look at this thought from a detached, intellectual place we recognize the truth in this statement. However, many people live their lives thinking that in order to be a good person, I must do for others and forego myself and my pleasures.
I ask each of you who are reading this article to consider the following thought “ the only way to gain the acceptance of others is to accept yourself and the only way to accept yourself is to let go of the limiting experiences that keep you from seeing who you are and your own true worth which is most likely in excess of what you might think”. Ask God or your Higher Self, the Angels, Archangels or whomever you feel comfortable with to help you release the thoughts, fears and experiences that underlie the thoughts and fears as it serves your highest good. Consistent application of this simple statement will help you to let go of these limiting thoughts in a effective yet, gentle way.
As we begin to remember who we are and recognize that we have talents and abilities beyond those currently utilized, that we have more value than previously acknowledged - we will be continually presented with opportunities to recreate our lives in ways that can help make us happier, healthier, more accepting and loving individuals.