Yesterday we discussed how challenging it can be when our service is not received well.
Wouldn’t that suggest then, that one way we can serve selflessly is to receive other’s acts of kindness well?
When loving kindness is received with gratitude, the giver feels valuable and worthwhile.
It gives them a sense of belonging.
It gives them a sense of adequacy and purpose in life; they know that they have something good to give to others.
In the case yesterday where Crystal’s act of love was rejected by her brother – she felt inadequate and depressed.
Had her brother responded with kindness and gratitude, even though he felt terrible himself, it would have been a tremendous act of selfless service would it not?
In my own case in the hospital, in excruciating emotional and physical pain, trapped in a bed and barely able to move – part of my depression sprung from feeling worthless to the world.
Making the extremely difficult effort to smile and say thank you to the people helping me was the best way I could serve others at that time.
And when I did, it always moved me one step higher on the emotional scale – away from despair and toward joy.
Sometimes, receiving well is the only way we can serve.
TAL Family member Betty H. is dealing with tremendous health challenges at the time of this writing – and she said this on the subject of receiving:
“I have found that even receiving is giving, because I’m allowing someone else the blessings of service.”
“I had to learn this through my struggles, not being able to do what I once did. But even just my appreciation is service.”
“My hubby says even if I’m just a lump that does nothing but lie around in bed, that’s service, because I’m there for him.”
But even beyond receiving her husband’s service so well, she is still outwardly giving in many other ways.
She’s one of the most supportive TAL Family members – reaching out and supporting so many by commenting on their posts online & sending out encouraging words, among other things.
If you’re in a state in life where you feel you have little to give…be grateful you can give the little you have.
Though it seems little to you, it’s not little to others.
And remember Betty’s lesson, that receiving well is also a form of giving.
Can you say thank you? Can you smile in gratitude toward others even if you don’t feel like smiling?
Your selfless act of service today could be, “I will express extra gratitude to every act of kindness done toward me.”
I love this advice from a verse of scripture on this topic of selfless service:
“And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.”
“And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.” – Mosiah 4:27 (Book of Mormon)
I’ve always loved that verse – it reminds me that life is a marathon, not a sprint.
In order to run the race well we have to pace ourselves.
If we go too fast we get burned out and injured.
But if we stop, we miss out on life entirely.
In a marathon, wisdom and order are required in pacing yourself.
It’s most common for people to start way too fast, and they inevitably hit ‘the wall’ – the point where suddenly you feel like you can’t move another step.
You go from blissfully floating down the street smiling, loving life, running free…
…To almost instantly wondering why anyone would ever think running anywhere for any amount of time could somehow be classified as a good idea!
You suddenly find yourself in so much pain that you vow in your mind that when you get through this you’ll never run again.
It’s that bad….and it’s that sudden.
That drastic state doesn’t happen as often for people who prepare properly (wisdom) and pace themselves appropriately (order).
But everyone striving for greatness pushes the boundaries at some point and it can be easy to go just a little beyond wisdom, and experience a blow up.
So remember – your life is like a marathon.
If you’re full of energy and free time and can serve outwardly in big ways – go for it!
But pace yourself and remember to take care of your own body and soul each day so you don’t burn out.
If you’re in a place where you need a lot of service yourself and you don’t feel you can do much for anyone…
…Remember that even receiving is giving.
Receive well. Be thankful.
Make Today Amazing.