Being in Service
Woke up this morning feeling inspired and over the course of the past few days I realize there was a point where I found the need to “Bubble up.” Living in a home with many lively personalities I find that my capacity to remain in balance with energies outside my comfort zone is not always an easy thing. At times it can be quite uncomfortable and uneasy for me to stay in that place of perceived zen and remain loving. I catch myself becoming punchy and snippy when parenting and forget that in every opportunity I have the choice to lead with love. And sometimes love is stern and firm while kind and authentic. Punchy and snippy, however, is not very loving.
Then in doing my homework for the coaching certification program that I’ve been a part of, today’s topic is about evoking transformation. And how can I, as a coach, can evoke transformation in someone else. Essentially, to evoke transformation really is about showing up fully and authentically; at the very least it’s a really good place to start. With that said, the passage below was a great reminder of why I do what I do. In service of all life is how we ascend into our greatest good for the whole. The passage below is a great explanation for being of service and how it is distinct from helping another. In other words, simply showing up fully in service of another and supporting without helping, or doing, is how equals rise together.
In the Service of Life by Rachel Naomi Remen. M.D., adapted from a talk given at a conference of the Institute for Noetic Sciences in July, 1995, and reprinted in the Noetic Sciences Review, Spring 1996:
In recent years the question HOW CAN I HELP? has become meaningful to many people. But perhaps there is a deeper question we might consider. Perhaps the real question is not how can I help? but HOW CAN I SERVE?
Serving is different from helping. Helping is based on inequality: it is not a relationship between equals. When you help you use your own strength to help those of lesser strength. If I’m attentive to what’s going on inside of me when I’m helping, I find that I’m always helping someone who’s not as strong as I am, who is needier than I am. People feel this inequality. When we help we may inadvertently take away from people more than we could ever give them: we may diminish their self-esteem, their sense of worth, integrity and wholeness. When I help I am very aware of my own strength. But we don’t serve with our strength, we serve with ourselves. We draw from all of our experiences. Our limitations serve, our wounds serve, even our darkness can serve. The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life. The wholeness in you is the same as the wholeness in me. Service is a relationship between equals.