I see a lot of people posting comments on social media about being too nice and over-caring and then going on to say “Why bother? What’s the point?”
I have put myself in the position of trying to help or fix people many times.
The problem is not what we are doing, but the desire that is motivating our actions. I spent a lot of my life trying to help or fix people. It was something that I felt I had talent for and I tried to make the most of it.
This led to me being used and manipulated regularly.
At the time I believed myself to be noble and of good cause, but what I didn’t realise is that my so called ‘good deeds’ were where I was drawing my self-worth from. Whilst this may not be the most malevolent behaviour it was self-centred nonetheless. Not only that, but because I was trying to help or fix them I was seeing them as weak or broken.
This is an interesting dynamic because in order to feel worthy I needed them to get better. Of course they never really did and if they had of done this would have been scary because I would become purposeless and ultimately obsolete.
Ironically I would have been one of the people referring to certain people as narcissists oblivious to my own insecurities and self-centred behaviour. I would judge them based on how desirable or undesirable their behaviour was to me, which is also self-centred.
This is not love.
Motivations in life are very simple. Either we are giving due to love, or we are taking due to our self-centred desires. The false ego can be very slippery and can disguise our actions as being selfless. In reality we are using people and situations to raise our own self-worth and extract happiness from them. This will not provide any sense of lasting fulfilment.
When you are the centre of your motivations it will always lead to suffering!
Our function as a soul is to love and this means to give. We should give up the false idea that we are the centre of everything. People worry that they will get used if they give too much, but that is not your problem if the other person attempts to use you. It will be the ego wrestling with that idea in the fear of judgement or the fear of what you will loose.
If loving someone is not trying to help or fix them then what is it?
If we truly love someone we will serve them. This is to attempt to please them without any expectation or self-centred motivation. Doing it because it is our true nature when we are not contaminated with self-centred material consciousness.
However, it is also important to remember that we are not the exclusive servant of any individual person or group but of an infinitely bigger picture. As souls we are all equal in value merely separated by illusion . We need to learn not to judge others and to be of service.
Easier said than done, but there is no other way. Only by doing this can we protect our energy levels. Fear and false ideas drains our energy levels when we fear what we may lose in certain situations or being around certain people, but if we are constantly prepare to love then there is no fear of this. Even the resistance to doing certain things or being around certain people is draining.
I will say it again. Self-centredness is the cause of our suffering!
I have so much resistance to this idea and that is normal because it is the human condition and 99.9% of people operate in this consciousness. I had so much resistance to serving all the time and of course my ego did not like it at all. I accepted that self-centred behaviour had not served me but starting to see all of my selfish behaviour was unbelievably stressful. Just coming to terms with the facts was a nightmare and starting to do the work was even harder.
One example was giving up my dream of starting an online business to go around the world on continuous snowboard seasons. At this stage I am wrestling with my ego to give that up to turn the whole thing into a non-profit organisation and combine it with the break the chain movement. If I do this I will be able to give it as much momentum as possible to provide the best service possible to those in need. It is obvious what I should do and it’s not to say that I won’t be able to go snowboarding again if I choose to do this. It is a mystery how my selfish desires can come into conflict with this yet in my mind they do.
Fighting with the ego is a constant battle so never back down because it is worth it!
“If we serve how are we going to look after ourself?”
This is a very common question. Generally when someone says ‘ourself’ they are falsely presuming that they are the body. In spiritual life we learn that we are not the body our ‘Self’ is actually the soul. That is who we really are. The body is therefor something that is borrowed and must be treated with a great deal of respect. Our use of this body is very temporary. You will notice that this is true of all material things in your possession.
So how should we treat these items whilst they are in our possession?
Our relationship with these things should be that of caretakers.
A common phrase is, “you have to make sure you look after yourself before you can look after anyone else.” There are still so many activities that need to be performed in this world just to maintain a base level; such as brushing your teeth, washing, cooking, eating, earning a living etc. The answer ,is that these are our duties and must be performed to serve the body we are using. All of these activities should be run though the filter of service,
-I must eat healthy and exercise so that I am fit and healthy for service (not to get abs and a nice ass to impress the counter sex). Nearly all of us have to go to work and earn a living.
-I must earn a living to feed my body and my families bodies, put a roof over our heads and I can cover everything needed and even some activities like going for a massage or watch a movie (but don’t be fooled into thinking that these activities will bring you any lasting happiness). Then with any excess you can see what acts of charity of kindness you can perform.
Greed is an enemy.
In reality we can’t get away from service. We unconsciously serve our senses daily. We see, smell, hear, touch and taste things and we want more. This is the cause of self-centred behaviour. We treat the world like a sensual wonderland and it sucks us into a selfish blackhole. I have personally attempted to satisfy myself in this way using all kinds of food and intoxication. The outcome was undesirable to say the least. Seeking satisfaction through the senses will never work. Just start to pay attention to it. Really ask yourself if you are satisfied after you have stuffed your face, had sex, bought something, got drunk or used drugs? Start to become aware of what you are doing and how you feel. I know that in my case the more I tried to satisfy myself in this way the more unsatisfied and frustrated I became and the higher the dose of whatever it was was required next time.
Not only is it unsatisfactory and extremely unhealthy, but the senses also give complete power to the mind, leaving us powerless. When we first start doing these things the first hit is always incredible, perhaps even euphoric in some cases, and as time goes on it just gets less and less and less. This is where an addiction is formed chasing that first high that is never ever coming back.
If you think you are selfless then a good test is to start doing random acts of kindness without anyone looking and tell no one. It sounds easy but it is not as easy as you think. You can easily observe your thoughts and feelings towards it and I know it showed me just how self-centred I really am. Your ego can even attach itself to this and start getting a little kick out of how good you are for not telling anyone. In the beginning it will give you a good indication. In the end all that matters is that you are being your true self and performing that act of love selflessly because it is who you are without fear of external judgement.
If we want to regain control of our mind and feel what is feels like to be love we need to learn to serve again. Genuine service and absolute love are non-different. In this way we can experience a limitless amount of joy without needing to extract it from anyone or anything.
This is some heavy shit but you’ve got this!
Start loving today