If There’s a Hole In Your Bucket

service will fill it
Just a reminder that service to others never fails to help us. Almost any sort of misery is lessened if I’m turned toward helping.
Here’s my unpopular opinion.
We are often told there’s some line that exists between caring for ourselves and caring for others and that taking care of ourselves must come first. I’m familiar with all these arguments. And I’ve also seen people try to fill their empty bucket and heal their hurts before they turn their attention to service. Those are the people in perpetual self care mode, which begins over time to look like self indulgence. There’s a hole in that bucket that only gets filled by offering what we have to others.
Every time I have faced a personal challenge, no matter how horrific, it’s been acts of service, using whatever skills and strengths I have in the service of a mission, helping others, that has opened up a brighter path. Even the act of thinking about what I CAN do, serves to remind me I have something to offer. The actions of others, the conditions of the world, my own angst don’t have to define me.
When we serve we end up defined by our gifts not our defects.
There are so many things we can’t control. People are often cruel, spiteful and mean. Or whiny and selfish. We all have our days. Some of us – years. Catastrophic upheaval can come out of nowhere or losses can pile up over time until we are worn down and bitter.
But we can be reshaped by service because it takes us out of ourselves – that’s the magic. Service calls up the divine energy that pulls us forward.
Service and sharing are the means by which our own suffering is lessened and our hurts are healed. There’s an alchemy here. You recognize it if you’ve ever found yourself laughing uproariously with someone, wiping tears of solidarity in the midst of a shared disaster. If you’ve ever had a whole new perspective on the worst thing that’s ever happened to you when you could give away what you learned from it.
*Wrote this for me and maybe for you too.
**also speaking here of small and simple – not the award winning, trophy earning, insta-grammable version of service

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