“The love we give away is the only love we keep.” – Elbert Hubbard
How did it go yesterday?
Did you do something to serve others selflessly?
Did you write down what you did and how you felt?
I wouldn’t be surprised if you do lots of things to serve selflessly each day already – but the writing and reflection process will help you become even more in tune with others needs and your own feelings.
As you write about your feelings each day you will likely notice patterns and become more aware of the value your life has on the life of others…
…As well as the great gift service to others is to you personally.
Giving loving service to others is all that truly matters in life
Here’s a brief story that poignantly reminded me of that truth:
It was a particularly painful night for me in the Boulder Community Hospital as I desperately tried to stay positive in a discouraging recovery from a life-saving surgery.
After drifting into a blessed (though all-too infrequent) bit of sleep I suddenly found myself making the last available order for food, late in the day at a convention with my family.
The kids were all hungry, tired, and ready to go home.
When our order was placed on the warming table I didn’t get to it until another rather large family had already arrived on the scene and began to claim it.
Matter-of-factly I informed them that was our order and gathered all the food and ushered my family into the adjoining cafeteria room.
As I closed the door on them after successfully ‘protecting my little flock’, I saw the dejected looks on their children’s faces through the glass.
I became acutely aware in that moment – their family wouldn’t get any food because everything was closed for the night.
As I sat down to eat, I immediately started bawling. I was so ashamed of myself.
I ran back out the door in tears in my dream and begged the man to forgive me and to come and share our food with us.
Their entire family with 5 kids came in and we shared a meal, and some tears, laughter, and hugs.
Then I woke up with tears streaming down my face.
Not from the pain in my chest or my bowels, but a heart full of the joy of service and forgiveness and compassion.
I hoped I could live while I was awake with compassion also, and not just in my dreams.
At about 8 AM my angel wife came in to see me.
I was discouraged and still in pain. And I was trying not to be negative but it was really, really, REALLY hard.
Nan managed to pull me out of it with her bright spirit, her love, and her compassion…even though she was on the front-lines of an intense emotional battlefront.
My goal the rest of the day was to brighten those around me with at least a smile, and a kind word, regardless of how I was feeling.
Life is too short to live it without loving.
Even amidst intense personal pain, I discovered joy every single time I turned my heart outward in service to others.
One big thing blocking us from selfless service is simply a lack of awareness.
It’s natural to get so focused on our own tasks and duties each day that we don’t even think about those people we don’t see that often.
Even those we live with get so easily overlooked when we get consumed in our own agenda.
So try this today to massively increase your awareness in just a few minutes:
In your journal, write down a list of the following people:
1- Your immediate family,
2 – Your closest extended family
3 – Your closest friends
4 – Your neighbors and people in your community,
5 – Any other friends or people you associate with on a regular basis.
Quickly work this list up to 30 or 40 people.
Next, pick any person on the list and write: “What could I do to make their life better?”
Be quiet, think about that person; What are their wants and needs? What’s on their mind? What do they need help with?
Then write down any thoughts that come to your mind.
Try to come up with at least 2 or 3 things you could do to serve them.
These can be simple acts, or more involved, both are great.
Next, repeat the process for 3-4 other people on your list.
In just 5 or 10 minutes you will have a list of at least 15-20 ways you can serve people in your life.
Next, just commit to doing ONE thing on your list today.
Doing this simple ‘thought work’ now will make it a lot easier to establish the habit of conscious selfless service.
You now have a big list of ideas – and if you need more, just go repeat the process.
Make today a love-giving day, and Make Today Amazing!