mirror, mirror on the wall…

My word for this year is LEARN.  

So it just makes sense to use this Year of Sundays to reflect on 52 of my most significant Life Lessons.   Some may seem more significant than others, but each one has changed how I live my life in powerful way.   I’d love to hear if and how any of these same lessons have surfaced in the classroom of Your Life.

lesson13Serving others is not the same thing as helping or fixing them.

One of the ways I observed this past Lenten season was to avoid offering unsolicited advice or opinions.    I’ve tried this before and this time was no easier.   I’ve been startled by how often I had to consciously stop myself from being ‘helpful’ .  And sometimes, I forgot my pledge altogether.   A huge lesson I take from this pledge is that I need to ask myself a crucial question about my intentions ~ “Am I trying to serve, help or fix?”

I love to ask, “How can I help?”  Often, my intention to help implies a perception of my knowing, doing or being more than.  Hopefully, it isn’t a conscious thing, but that doesn’t change anything.  Helping often  creates a sense of inequality and sometimes even of indebtedness.

When I find myself trying to fix, I’m clearly coming from a place of judgement ~ of, ” I need them do/be right. “

Serving is collaborative.  Everyone is involved in some way.   And everyone gets some need met.

Consider the restaurant wait-staff/guest relationship.

  • When one person clearly tells another what they want and how they want it, the odds are pretty good they might actually get it.    That’s service.  
  •  If the waiter simply brought the guest what he thought the guest wanted – that’s helping and the odds for satisfaction are less.
  • And if the waiter felt nudged to ask the guest something like, ” Do you know how many miles you’ll have to walk to burn the calories in that alfredo sauce?” –  that would be trying to fix and no one would win.

I’m not saying there aren’t times and places for helping and fixing.  I’m just saying, that I need to pay closer attention to my intention.  When I think I need to serve ~ I’ll ask, hear and serve, if necessary.  When I think I need to help ~ I’ll ask, hear, listen again and if necessary, help.  When I think I need to fix ~ I’m going to look in the mirror first.

Have any of you ever bumped into this?