In Search of Altruism
With this extensive search for health and everything thing else I’m on the hunt for, one would get the impression that it’s all about me. I would appear to be a true narcissist.
It’s crossed my mind more than once to be quite honest. How can my life right now be just about me and getting healthy, taking back my power and all the rest I’m searching for and not be self-centered?
Then I remember that without the strength of mind and body there is no way to give to anyone else. I have been depleted and must refuel. I think that’s the gift of any illness. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if we don’t pay attention to what’s not making us happy, our bodies will make sure that we eventually pay attention. So now I get to look at how this practicing nurturer can give back to the world without being drained dry.
I enjoy making things on the sewing/embroidery machine to give to people. But right now sewing disturbs my vision and makes me dizzy. I want to find ways to be of service in the world. The most important thing for me is to have the ability to give and expect nothing in return. I have noticed in myself that being appreciated is a big deal. Going out of my way to show appreciation for others kindness I thought was just good manners. It seems to be some basic need in most of us. Marriages fall apart when partners don’t feel valued. Children run from home for quite similar reasons. I think it’s essential to show the people in your life, even the strangers who pass through daily that you value them. Their smile may be just the thing you needed at that particular moment.
True altruism is giving without expectation. So how do we continue to give of ourselves in times where there is little left over energy or money-wise? Do we look at our motives when we give? I know when I do things around my son’s house it’s because I want to repay him for housing his sister and me during this time of transition. The things I do make me feel better as well. So we both get something from that. He doesn’t expect anything from me but I tend to feel a sense of indebtedness. Again, I’m looking at my motives here.
So what would true altruism look like? It’s clicking on the Animal Rescue Site each morning to help feed shelter dogs and cats. It’s tossing a chew bone over the fence to a lonely, bored dog. It’s offering a hand to a stranger whose car is stranded in the middle of the road. It’s the random acts of kindness you do each day when all you get is the knowledge that you’ve helped move the world in a more positive direction for a fraction of a moment. It’s listening to someone as they pour out their hearts in a time of challenge even though there is nothing you can do. Real listening is the hardest thing to do.
As I woke this morning before Easter Sunday, I have a sense of wellness approaching. Cautiously, like a cat stalking its prey. Checking to see if I am ready to be well and I think it’s time. I have finally learned several big lessons. First and foremost, helping isn’t always a good thing. Although my motives may have been pure, helping may have upset the natural balance of how things were intended to go and the recipients of that assistance built up a great deal of resentment. They had their own agendas of which I was not aware.
I’m hardwired to be of service. It’s in my DNA, my birth chart as well and the numerology outcome of birthdate and name. Just for the fun of it I thought it was worth the look-see. If they all say the same thing that my heart says, it must be so. The second thing I’ve had to learn from this illness of prolonged Bells Palsy is how to set boundaries. I had none. Now they are slightly more firmly in place. I can be giving without being gotten. Yes, I know that’s not a real word. My health depends on it. So now my morning meditation is following my morning prayer to find ways to serve without being served up. I’m looking forward to wellness. I’m looking forward to seeing how you see and express altruism.
From my heart to yours,