In vocations of service, the focus is on the act of giving. The role of the professional is to provide services – to provide comfort and care – to assist and to support. Personal caregivers prioritize the health and wellbeing of the person they care for and seek to offer what they can to that end.
It can appear to be a never-ending cycle of offering energy, time, resources, emotional presence, and mental attention to others. Little attention is given to the obvious fact that in order to be an abundant source of support for others, you need to have an ongoing supply to fill you up and keep things flowing.
When we talk about this need, it is often in the context of “self-care.” I think most of us are aware of the importance of nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management. Being aware of what we need and ensuring we receive it are often two very different things. Responding to these basic human needs is important for everyone regardless of career choice if we wish to live a long and vital life.
I am suggesting a perspective shift that can make a real difference to how you access and utilize your resources as a conscious service provider.
You are called to give of yourself in a holistic way to assist others in their personal journey toward healing and growth. You are called to use all of your resources – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual in service to others. You are asked to be present – to be engaged – to be loving. And you are asked to do this without attachment to the outcome.
You are asked to be accepting of things that might otherwise anger or disgust you. In other words, you are called upon to be unconditional in your offering of service, support, and care for others.
This may seem like a really tall order. But you are called upon to do this because you can.
Drawing on the Real Source
Where we run into difficulty is when we begin to think that these resources spring from our limited human capacity. That somehow, we as human beings must be able to conjure up these unlimited resources from within our flesh and blood.
The capacity that you have for unconditional giving – for Conscious Service – is not a function of the human condition but rather the ability as a human being to allow the divine to work through you.
Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. In true giving, we are equally open to receive. True giving occurs when you bring yourself fully to the moment – full-on engagement.
In this space, you are open to all that is available to you and through you. You become a channel for the divine expression of spiritual resources. As you offer these resources through your words, intentions, actions, and emotions, you are also open to receiving what you need in that moment. It is a transaction. It is reciprocal.
Exercise Your Capacity to Receive
If you think that you are the only one in the exchange that has something to offer, you set yourself up for depletion and you cut off the opportunity to receive from others, minimizing their contribution.
Even in the role of a helping professional, remain open to the fact that those you provide service to also have something to offer you. As others engage in healing and growth, so too, can you. Someone may say something in relation to their own experience that delivers to your heart the words you most needed to hear in that moment.
The relief that another demonstrates as a result of your interaction could be the exact release you needed to experience in your soul.
Know that you are there to remain focused on the needs of another and in doing that, you will reap the rewards and benefits of contribution that will allow you to evolve and connect deeply to the experience of your own life.
We are all connected. It is no accident that we stumble across each other’s path. Be there to offer what you can and you will be amazed at all you receive in return.
Can you receive with the same capacity that you give?
Another instalment in the Conscious Service Series for Helping Professionals and Personal Caregivers