When service turns to self-sacrifice
I have to admit, I have had a bit of a change the world complex in the past.
Working hard and making a difference, sure.
Burning out. Realising that my approach, my process, is not quite right; that I have not been giving or serving from a place of abundance, but rather a place of lack, for my own need for affirmation on some level.
This has been a process that I have been through one… or three…. or more times (we’ve got to keep learning our lessons, right?!).
At least I have become better at noticing when things are not quite in alignment, and making adjustments before I crash and burn.
So what does it truly mean – to make a difference, to be of service?
What I have learnt is that it is about showing up again and again, with grace.
It’s about feeling the tap on the shoulder from God/dess, and saying yes, you’ll do the work.
Sometimes it IS about getting in the trenches and getting your hands dirty. I’m not going to lie- sometimes that work doesn’t feel amazing. It won’t always feel “easy”. Sometimes that work is hard. Sometimes it will be tiring, and sometimes you will just feel over it.
Yes, service means hanging in there- for awhile, at least (note below on when to pull out). See the thing is, service does not bring glory. It may not bring recognition, nor instant gratification. Service may not even bring a “thank you” – from anyone.
That’s not the point of service.
True altruism does not always come with side serve of buzz. And it definitely does not always need glamor, online or offline, as captivating (and fun) as that may be.
If you are a vessel for the good work of the universe, if you are showing up to be here, if you put up your hand and say YES, I am ready to help, it’s not about complaining when it doesn’t match your fantasy.
But having said that, service is not supposed to lead to self-sacrifice; it is not meant to be masochistic (unless that floats your boat!).
Don’t stay in a situation of self-sacrifice, whatever that may be for you, because then you are not helping any where near as much as you could be.
How to tell?
Where you are exhausted and – even faintly – resentful, after helping.
When you are not in a position to be able to help further.
The big question to ask yourself: why are you serving in this way?
Are you serving (or giving) because you want people to like you? (Like I said: I’ve been there, even though that was not immediately obvious to me at the time).
And it may very well come from a place of lack, a scarcity mindset, and a lack of self-love, specifically.
But don’t just run away because service gets hard.
Seek out your trusted advisors to get an objective perspective.
And most importantly, inquire within.
Place your hand on your heart, and below your belly, on your womb, and ask yourself.
Is this right?
What are your true motivations for giving in the way that you do?
If it is for praise, affirmation, being liked, or some other kind of justification for the self, you may have more to learn. But still, no need to stay in a detrimental situation if that is not your choice.
Is this right?
Listen for the answer.
If it’s not time for you to go, then keep breathing.
Keep being of service.
Know that it isn’t always supposed to be sunshine and rainbows.
Service can be messy,
Just like life.
So ask yourself this question. Ask yourself why you are there.
And know that you’ll be given what you are able to truly deal with.
You do have a choice, even if it does not seem like a desirable one, to walk away.
Be of service in another way.
Give it time. You’ll know when it is really right.
There’s one thing that is for sure:
Service is real.
Service may be the path of the devote, but service also brings you closer to your true nature. The grittiness of service can bring you into deeper relationship with the grittiness inside of you.
And into a deeper love of the divine inside of you.
And there is no self-sacrifice with that:
Just an abundance of deep, infectious, joy.
I’ve finally learnt that changing the world starts with changing your relationship with yourself.
Know what I mean?
Psst… the Lunar Abundance Salon is re-opening soon. Sign up here to learn more about giving and serving from a place of abundance rather than lack.