For a long time now I've been hearing the message that the best way to open your life stream is by doing what you do from a selfless place. This is an oft repeated religious and spiritual message, to serve others before yourself. It's even said that when you come from a totally selfless place in your work that you'll see far more in return. That sounded good to me! Which is funny that I took a pretty self-serving message out of that. "Sure I'll help everyone, but only because it means I'll get something back at the end of the day."
But the thing is, you're never truly going to serve from a selfless place if you don't first and fully take care of you. I immediately thought of how this message could help me because deep inside I was still yearning to take care of things within myself. I knew I wanted to help others, but it felt so heavy, and we'll get into why that was in part two. For now, let's stay focused on you.
If you haven't worked on yourself it's going to be almost impossible to do things with pure intentions. For example, if you have issues with guilt, you will serve and help people because it appeases your guilt. This isn't selfless, you're still getting something out of it. If you have issues with insecurity then you might feel loved and wanted because you serve others. Again, you're gaining as much as they are. There's nothing wrong with this. I wouldn't tell you to right out stop, because all things we do help us explore ourselves and our lives further. I would only want to tell you that it's okay to pause and question your motives. Why would I tell you this if it's working for you? Because this is working in a limited way. I think that what you want is to feel less restricted in not only the way you give, but in your life. Clearing up your motives and releasing the barriers that come with them will open you up in such a way that life will flow like never before. And that's something that will help everybody.
If you want to change your intentions the only way is to pause and focus on yourself. Even for a brief moment. Imagine if you took a day for yourself to reflect in order to spend the rest of your life doing things with more ease and grace. Serving yourself in order to serve everyone else is one of those conflicting messages. I've often said that if something sounds backwards it's probably getting you closer to the truth. Like when you want to love everyone unconditionally, well you better be really really good at loving yourself then. This is why it's so important to always listen to your heart. Always ask yourself if something feels like the right thing for you in the moment. If you are repeatedly hearing the message, "Serve everyone else to find happiness," then ask yourself, "Am I ready for that? Does that sound right for me now, in this moment? Or should I worry about this chronic fatigue I'm dealing with first?" I want to assure you that serving yourself first is the opposite of being selfish. It gets you to the truth of your being, to your love and light, and when you're there, then you will be in a position to help people in ways you never dreamed possible. You won't be in a position to sacrifice, which is key. You will know when to say no and when you're doing something for off-colored reasons (like maybe to diminish your ongoing struggle with guilt).
I know from my own experience that once I took care of me helping and serving others came naturally. I didn't feel the need to give my time and energy out of any reasons of guilt, insecurity or duty. I did it because I wanted people to feel as uplifted as I felt. I did it because I loved myself and I had an infinite flow of love to give. I felt good and the desire to share that with others gave me more energy to help them than when I had tried to do it before. Because I'd taken care of my baggage I had so much more energy and ability to give. When you take care of you in the end you will be helping everyone else because you will be stronger, more energized and in a clearer mind.
Please continue on to part two...