is the time of the year we often find ourselves looking back at what
we have experienced, done and accomplished in order to assess both
where we are and to plan for where we are going.
one of the discussions I’ve been having with clients, especially
due to the nature of the holidays, is around being of service.
have told me they are experiencing a sense of burden from all they
feel they have to do, give and be for others at this
time. Some have expressed getting ready to “throw in the towel,”
and “just be selfish.”
response has been, “replace the words have to
with get to, and see how you feel.” Is
there a sense of lightening? Gratitude?“Do you
feel more of a true sense of service and less of servitude?”
working through the patterns that leave us feeling burdened, it’s
important to recognize a few things.
we experience a sense of overwhelm or fatigue around giving and
serving, it’s because we haven’t set boundaries around our own
needs, and we’re tapped dry. We also have not been communicating
our needs appropriately to others – or even to ourselves.
is imperative to distinguish from where these feelings are coming.
What we choose to say “yes” to and the
meaning we are giving it is what is leaving us with a sense of
burden, exhaustion and a bit (or more than a bit) of resentment. It
is not being created by others, situations or our environment.
client told me last week, “I love being of service to others,
but I’ve been feeling like I’m giving more than I’m receiving.
Of course, I don’t like this, because it shouldn’t be about what
I get, but about what I give. I just cannot seem to help it! Then I
start feeling guilty about all of this, and I beat up on myself for
even thinking and feeling this way, at all!”
Giving to others when we are
filled, ourselves, is not something that leaves us feeling empty.
When we ensure we have what we need and we value who we are, we can
come from a place of strength and can choicefully serve from the
When giving and serving has us
feeling less than, in any way, perhaps, we are working
from a pattern of perceived servitude and not from a place of
sustained service, at all.
let’s look at the difference between giving from a place of service
and giving from a place of servitude.
dictionary defines servitude as “a condition in which
one lacks liberty, especially to determine one’s own course of
action or way of life.”
Of course, we all have free
will when it comes to how we choose to look at a situation and, thus,
feel about it. What we experience and how we experience it is
determined by our perception of reality.
If we are feeling obligated,
we will act from obligation. If this is where we are coming from, we
will often be in a state of “keeping score.”
on the other hand, is defined
as “an act of helpful
activity; aid.” It’s
authentically deliberate, from the heart and you want to do it to
help, not to feel important, loved or like you’re doing what’s
expected of you.
you are thinking, “I’m
here to serve,” but
you are acting and feeling more from a place of obligation or
expectation, then, most likely, you are not serving from the heart.
You are creating a “service” pattern
that is based more on the internal experience of servitude.
good news is, as I mentioned before, how
you help others is a choice.
Becoming aware of your
feelings and the fact they are coming from your
perception can allow you to change your course of action, experience
was discussing this with a client whose favorite line is “merely
here to serve.” I
pointed out that the word “merely”
degrades his value; who he is and what he has to give. Anytime we
these words tend to
communicate lower regard for the value at hand. We can replace them
with a word like “simply”
and the meaning we truly
want to convey is given.
This client is often left
feeling unappreciated or underappreciated, especially at home. He
shows up and is the dependable one who can be relied upon to do the
chores and run things from here to there – getting things done.
Due to the fact he also does not tend to communicate his own needs or
opinions around wanting to do certain things, he feels he spends a
lot of his time doing what others want of him, but not receiving as
much of what he would like in return.
brought his awareness to the
if he continues to communicate to his environment that he is only
here to serve, others will
take him up on this. He is also, without knowing it, communicating
that he is not here to receive. Furthermore, the subconscious focus
on only giving
and not getting creates
an automatic pattern of inequality.
tend to project this onto the people and situations around us, yet we
are the ones creating all of it. Our communication (or lack there
of) causes others to reflect this back to us. What we put out (or
don’t put out) is what we get back (or don’t get back).
words always set the course for what we will experience.
Again, servitude is about the
perception that one doesn’t have a choice and is obliged to serve.
True service is about a free and intentional choice to help, support
and give aid to another. When we do this with discernment, clear
communication, a full cup and an open heart, we will never feel used,
unappreciated or undervalued.
As you look back on the past
year and make plans for the year to come, see where your relationship
with service stands. Is there more of yourself that you can give in
healthy ways? Are there boundaries and needs that can be better
communicated? What can you do to shift your awareness, perspective
and words so that you are giving (and experiencing your own service)
from the heart and not from a place of expectation?
I wish you a joyous holiday season filled with insight, growth and lots of fun!
https://theinnatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Serving.jpg527637traciphilipshttps://theinnatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/final1-1030x295.pngtraciphilips2018-12-24 01:46:052018-12-24 01:46:08Service vs Servitude