To Serve

You are a globally minded and engaged woman.  You want to make a difference in the world.  You want to create social change.  You want to live a life of deep purpose and feel connected.

How?

How do you get there?  How do you do it?  How do you take your current life circumstances and morph them into your greatest idea that you ever held about yourself?

For too long, I have focused on this question of “How?”

It would be quite easy if, like on a roadmap, I could draw the shortest distance between point A and point B.  It would be even easier if life would simply throw me a bone in the form of a crisply clear set of instructions.  It may sound ridiculous, but this is actually the way we think.  We look out into the world as if we are separate from it, we create goals and manipulate objects and people so that we can arrive at our next step.  Or we take the highly trafficked route of compromise and we give up our dreams of who we can be and what we can do.

But there is this something inside of us that tells us we are capable of more than we realize or utilize.

We want to dance on the stage of life, act out our unique expression and we want these actions to SERVE OTHERS.  

Image courtesy of David DeSilva, http://www.lightpaintsapicture.com.

Once that urge got activated in me, it was electrifying, and yet it drove me crazy with its seed-like quality, its seduction of becoming.  I desperately wanted a roadmap, I was so good at navigating with that tool tangible in my hands.  But how would I arrive at any new destination if I continued to drive the same roads?  So I took the nearest exit and stepped out barefoot into a field of new thinking.

I stopped imploring the answers to “How?” Because in this field, all I had to be was me.  All I had to do was nothing.  All I had to do was forget everything, and serve myself in order to remember everything.  I remembered this:

When I am in service to myself I am serving the world in the greatest way possible.

Oh…so contrary to what we have been taught!  But if a change agent’s first thought is, “how am I going to fix this problem?” — whether it’s poverty, maternal mortality, war atrocities, overpopulation, gender inequality, illiteracy, pollution, child marriage, depletion of resources — the problem will remain. I know this hurts our social do-gooding ears, but our job is not to fix the world’s problems….well, not exactly anyway.  What I mean is that it’s not where we begin; it’s not about looking to the world and fixing what needs fixing, it’s about conceiving and birthing what we have to give.

To be of service to the world I only have to know what is mine to give and give it with love.

I still make goals for myself and take the necessary steps, but with each foot forward, I ask myself: Is this what is true to my soul?  I find it takes a lot of courage to surrender to the soul’s desires, especially when I have a preconceived idea of what it is I should be doing out there in the world.  But I know that the greatest way I can serve is through the giving of my unique gift.

After all, how will I dance on the stage of life if I do not know my song?

Author carrie

Carrie lives in a coastal town in north Florida where she enjoys the unhurried rhythm and swims in the deep conversations of life. A lover of words and freedom, her writing reflects an openness to the unknown and the unexpected. Drawing from the essence of her own experiences, she furthers global awareness by connecting her story to the universal story, using childbirth in particular as a metaphor for what wants to emerge in the world. While travel is always calling, she focuses on who she is becoming rather than where she will be going next. A former elementary school teacher, Carrie also has a fierce passion for preserving childhood as a magical stage of unfolding and is the co-author of A Child’s Way: Slowing Down for Goodness Sake.

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