Serving others, loving yourself
How can being of service to others also be an act of self-love for yourself?
There are many ways we can serve others. I think of self love as “tending to my own well being in service of others,” ~Rachel Rosen.
As we tend to our own selves, we become better, more pleasant, more thoughtful people. When we truly love ourselves, and regularly practice self care, we have the capacity to serve others.
Serving others truly is a great service to ourselves.
Serving others in small ways
There are many ways to serve others. Each day, we can consciously choose to extend love and kindness to those we encounter as service of others.
With regular self-care practice, we have the capacity to serve.
A kind word
A kind word can make a person’s day – and it costs you nothing. Each day, as you leave the house, actively seek out opportunities to make someone’s day by complimenting them on their glasses, their smile, their sense of style.
At work, offering kind words can create a kinder environment. As you model taking the time to offer kind words, others will start to do the same. It may take time, but gradually, kind words can become the cultural norm, not a rarity.
A small gift
Giving physical things in service of others. Put a bowl near your front door and use it to store spare change. Grab a handful as you leave the house, so that you don’t even have to think about when someone asks if you can spare some change. You can simply hand out your change without fumbling through your purse.
Take that blouse that never fit you correctly, the pants you can’t fit into any more, and those household items that you no longer love, and bring them to a second hand store for donation. There are countless people less fortunate who would be delighted to have those items.
Serving others in medium ways
Consider volunteering as a way of serving others. There are countless volunteering opportunities. One will fit your lifestyle and interests. For instance, did you know that pet shelters love it when people volunteer to walk their dogs? (This particular opportunity to volunteer does double duty, as getting exercise is a form of loving yourself.) Need a baby fix? Consider volunteering in the Nursery during religious services. Most schools have reading programs that pair adults with children to allow the children to practice reading. Take a moment to identify causes that matter to you, and act on it.
Write a check
Not everyone is financially able to write a check large enough to build a wing on a hospital. But most of us can afford a monthly donation – even if it’s only $10.00 a month. If you have a charity that you believe is worth your hard earned dollars, consider setting up a monthly donation. Most charities will send you an email thank you each month. Take a moment to bask in the joy of giving to others. Recognize, too, that your gift, no matter how small, is making a difference in the lives of others.
Serving others in large ways
Yes. The best way to serve others is to love yourself enough to engage in self care. When you are whole, you are best able to give to others. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Eat well. Be present. All of these daily life choices, put together, are part of a love regime. You are worth it! You are a person of value. And you are at your best, most loving self when you have taken the time to love yourself first. This is when you are most able to give. Service is not like a pie. There is not a limited amount of service to go around. Rather, service is infinite. Serving yourself by loving yourself does not detract from the amount of service you can give others. Quite the opposite. It multiplies the amount of service you give to others.
Rachel shares how she realized she was very unhappy, and some of the major steps she took to turn it all around in order to live the life she now happily leads.