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What does it mean to serve? To be in service of another?

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There are so many misunderstandings about service.

“If I serve you, I become your slave and I’m now obligated to do everything you ask me to do. I lose some sense of my autonomy or my ability to say no. I’m not interested in service!”

And yet, in this world of helpers, we are here to serve. To help. To support. To assist. Whatever word you use for it.

So what is true, pure service?

I feel the promise of service as something different.

I feel the hope of service as being connected. It is living connected with the fellow beings, human, animal, plant and otherwise, here on this earth with me.

Service is a hope that I care for you, as you care for me, as I am cared for.

Service is an energy, a cycle of flow. In and out, up and down. All around us.

Living service is simply another extension of how we are cared for by the universe, by the intelligence in our bodies, by the wisdom of life guiding us towards the light in our darkest moments, that brings in a spark of hope, just when we need it.

The wisdom of life gives us the sensation of pain on a hand that is burning on a hot stove, so we know to remove it. It creates the sensation of an unpleasant emotion as a reminder for us to come home to the present where we find everything we need.

Service is simpler than I’ve often made it out to be.

As with everything, it starts with being.

Just being.

If each of us was truly being ourselves – our natural selves, not the identities we have created and built to hide whatever we think is wrong with us – but the selves we are when we’re not thinking about whatever troubles us.

If we were being ourselves the way we are when we feel amazing, relaxed and at peace. Being that self, the joy of the universe expressing itself through you and through me.

When we are being that self, service is one of the happy results.

So is growth. Learning. Creativity. Connection.


It is in being ourselves that we discover there is no difference between giving and receiving. There can’t be, until we invent the separation between the giver and the recipient.

And if we don’t do that, there is only being. There is only flow.

There is only this one thing inviting me to do it, calling me, without a label of giving, or receiving, contributing or taking.

Service is like breathing.

Simply breathing, I am feeding carbon dioxide to this plant, and it is doing the same for me with oxygen.

That’s service without trying. That’s service just by being ourselves.


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