Sooner or later, those of us who really want to serve in the world because we know that being of service is as important as it gets, want to take stock of whether or not we’re actually making a difference. When being useful is to one’s essence, essential, simply going through the motions doesn’t quite cut it, after all. So, I’ve been giving my service records past and present an audit, checking to see whether I can tell if what I’ve been doing has helped. Helped really, not helped as in, made me feel better for trying. I’ve not been drawn to Band-Aid service it seems – mine’s been more the long haul variety with tricky to tabulate results.
What I’ve come up with is that I just don’t know. Yet, while I was feeling a little unsettled about that, I had an epiphany about a whole other kind of service that I offer, every minute of every day, or certainly a whole lot of minutes, most days. It’s a subtle service, and some of its finer points I’ve barely recognized as being anything at all, not having fully understood the mechanics of it. I certainly haven’t appreciated its potential. Yet my awareness, revealing itself more each day, is contributing to the greater good in unfathomably tangible ways, making me stand corrected on thinking that self-actualization is a lone journey, solely for the self. The return to one’s genuine self is a service like no other.
So, while volunteering and donating seem to be the way most of us comprehend the idea of being of service and those are important components, there’s a whole other realm of volunteering and donating to the new world, some of which can be offered from command central even before getting out of bed in the morning.
It’s a simple little ditty that prayer, mailed from the inner sanctum of the head. “May fill-in-the-blank (clueless woman) be filled with love and kindness. May whomever be well, and joyful, and at peace.” It’s got more oomph if it’s delivered through un-gritted teeth, holding the sarcasm I find, having tried it both ways. But, a better way to diffuse any grenade, real or imagined, and return to the decency, and non-judgment of neutrality, I’ve not come across yet. What’s a bit funky about the energy in me as the silent pray-er who attracted the experience in the first place, is tangibly purified. The bandwidth of wanting goodness for another, infinitely broader in reach than my capacity to sense it, is in equal measure, purifying. While it radiates, it appears in real time to have the ability to shift the ‘reality’ of what’s happening. (Long story short, the woman offered to push my 10-pound bag of potatoes by way of her cart to my car). Coincidence? I think not. Prayer is thought, on steroids. Anyway, I send them out to everyone I know, or know of – the ones I perceive as giving me a hard time, in particular. Last but not least, I send a few my own way because the pray-er better be filled with good stuff too, or the prayer is going to be a dud.
Doing anything out of fear ends badly, or at least a lot less well than it might if fear was cleared out of the picture. The world needs more fearless, or soon to be fearless, or decidedly less fearful people, to serve it in the manner to which it deserves. Taking on the de-construction project of getting there is the true meaning of bravery, and signing up to try, is a service in of its self.
My sage friend, Ildiko, now smiling down from the angelic realm, once explained it to me like this. She told me to picture myself, and all the living beings I know, or will ever know, sitting around a conference room table in the sky, just before being born onto the earth plane. It’s a loving, wonderful, jovial bunch of people, and animals alike. Everyone offers to take a role in your upcoming earth play. Some sign on as the ‘good’ guys; some take meatier roles as the ‘bad’ guys, because they really want to help you evolve, and anyway, those roles are more fun to play as an actor. Also, the bad-guy actors know that overcoming difficulty is a first-class ticket on the evolution train, and loving you more than anybody around the table, they really want you on that train. The comedic-types grab their scripts, and their banana peels, as they know you’ll need relief. Even the sky offers to darken your door with a bit of tragedy because it knows that you’re an eternal being and that the tragedy is just part of the play. It’s not for real and it’s not for keeps.
I’ve never found another perspective that makes more sense to me. Passed on to me, I pass it on.
When I was starting out in my first apartment at age seventeen, with not much of anything to my name, it was my choice to cocoon the living room walls in matte black paint (radical at the time), spotlighting an antique wooden chair I’d lacquered red, with three large floor cushions covered in vintage silk dressing gown material, sewn on the same relic Singer sewing machine that had made my baby clothes. I stacked my books (and records) graphically on the floor, and propped large canvases against the walls, painted to echo the bold cushion colours, with dramatic effect. I’d decided not to make do with any utilitarian hand-me-downs, unless they had good bones and I could envision them as beautiful, with some handy-work.
But having the ability to envision potentially beautiful things has helped me to realize the greater truth – that everything contains an element of beauty, and does so without exception. The ability to find beauty in things that at first announce themselves as anything but, is both an art form and a choice, and extends to people, places, things, and circumstances. When I just can’t locate [it] at the moment, which can be quite often, I think of it like algebra, where the answer is sometimes given, and you have to work backwards to find ‘x’ and ‘y’. I was lousy at algebra as it happens, but I do like that the answer sits there, calmly. Beauty is in everything. If try as I might, I can’t solve the bits leading up to the answer, if I’m not feeling the beauty, I’m ok with gifting the equation to someone who can. The beauty is there, is all I need to know. Holding a vision of that is a service that shifts reality, all reality, like there’s no tomorrow.
Copyright 2014 BigBangLife.org Lizzie Shanks