What It Means To "Be Of Service"

We are taught through many spiritual traditions that the baseline of the Universe (and subsequently of our own lives) is the emotion of LOVE.  In the grand scheme, we could take this a step further and say it is really JOY, for what is love if not the expression of unbounded joy from which love brings us?  Indeed, it also a universal axiom that joy is supposed to be our “natural state,” to which then LOVE would be its constant companion.  We see this quite often in children -- who relish in laughter, welcome all ethnicities in play, and search out every kind of experience imaginable simply for the sake of testing it out – all from a perspective of FUN! 


Of course, all this unfortunately got diminished for many of us as we got older… Life may be meant to be joyous, but we were also taught that it wasn’t fair… Murphy’s Law was always there to get us (“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”)… Things weren’t meant to be easy (Translation: you have to toil, and that certainly ISN’T joyful).  The result of these belief systems turned us away from joy and instead locked us into being powerless victims.  One could argue “But it’s true and realistic.”  I agree.  But I would counter with “If it’s not the baseline, then it doesn’t mean it’s true and realistic as overall reality, but as only limited portions of existence.”


We all know how beliefs shape our experiences, so it should come as no surprise that so long as we accept the paradigm of life’s unfairness, chaos, and unrepentant struggle as “the norm” that it would blot out the reality of joy.  Perhaps not entirely, but just enough…


It’s what we do.  It’s a mental perspective.  We are taught to focus on “what’s wrong” so that we may come up with a solution to transform the “problem” into something “right.”  It’s a game we’ve played with ourselves for eons, and it has cost us dearly in the areas of depression, mental illness, stress, heart related problems, and just about every drug addiction that’s out there.  Why do these things happen?  If our base foundation is joy – if we were really practicing joy -- none of these things would be happening. 


So what does all of this have to do with being of service?  I’ve thought long and hard about this lately, as those on the Other Side have said repeatedly since the advent of record-keeping spiritualism (over 150 years ago) that to “be of service” is the highest aspiration in spiritual life.  It’s easy to say “Well, duh… Not to be of service means you are selfish, cold, and uncaring.”  But I believe it’s more than that.  When we look at what we are told is the base foundation of the Universe and our spiritual selves – that love and joy is at the heart of it – what does that really say about the nature of our work?  To be of service?


It means that to be of service is to shine that light of joy into another person’s life.  In other words, help alleviate them of whatever it is their burden by inspiring them into a movement of joy.  What greater service is there than that?  And there are so many different avenues of doing it!  


Those in spirit know that we as a species (and civilization in general) don’t accept joy as our primary experience; that our thoughts are usually filled with worry, stress, and pretty much all that is the opposite of comfort and peace (“Run that problem through the hamster wheel until you figure it out!”). 


To be of service, then, is to re-introduce the joy that is missing; to inspire another to this contrasting reality.  It is important – nay, not just important, but VITAL – to acknowledge the existence of joy… And with enough reminders begin to reverse those Not-Joy beliefs which have robbed us of power and turned us into victims of our own fears. 


This really is the greatest service we can do for another.  It is the highest aspiration.  Help another be in alignment with the joy of the Universe, of the very life we were born IN JOY to express. 


We also know that when it comes to solving our issues, the answers never come from the same mental state we were in when we started ruminating about them.  I believe it was Einstein who said something similar to this.  The answers come only after we have transcended the state of chaos and moved into a different state of conscious awareness.  Helping others move into a higher state of Joy helps open the door to solutions, rather than keeping people locked inside the chamber of confusion. 


So to be of service, it’s really about inviting joy – to help another push aside the sense of obstacles and victimhood often associated with stress and energetic resistance… to help elevate one to a higher calling and invite them to partake in the warmth, wisdom, and beauty of the light that is surrounding them.  What a magnificent thing to do for another person!


The side effect:  Spreading joy also brings it back to you.


This is what we truly need in today’s world.