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SERVICE

Service as Self-Transformation

What is missing? Why don’t I feel enthusiastic and inspired about my place in the world? Where is the inner joy that I seek in my life?

From deep within us arises an inner desire to make a difference in the world by contributing to the wellbeing of our planet.  Innately, we want to share ourselves and our talents with others through work, relationships, creative expression, and the alleviation of suffering.

Many of us recognize that despite all of the learning, accomplishments, skills, and opportunities to serve that we have gathered throughout our lifetime, we continue to feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and joyless. We ask, “What is missing? Why don’t I feel enthusiastic and inspired about my place in the world?  Where is the inner joy that I seek in my life and in my service?”


When we truly serve, we draw upon the spiritual strength, the wisdom, and the directing power of our own soul and that of the person we are serving.

Joy eludes us when we hold fearful, judgmental, and limiting beliefs and behaviors and when we are self-absorbed, materialistic, and have expectations of outcome.  These beliefs and behaviors reduce the vibration of our energy because they separate us from the source of joy.  We experience energy drain, lack of concentration, and an inability to apply what we know.

While it is through our personalities that we serve, when we truly serve, we draw upon the spiritual strength, the wisdom, and the directing power of our own soul and that of the person we are serving.  The task is always too big for our personality selves.

If we do not experience joy in our life, we cannot experience it in our service.  When we give our life completely to joy, we give it to service.  When we can give our life completely to service, we experience a sense of joy.  Viewed in this way, service transforms our view of the world. And, we begin to see that joyful service exists in every action in our life.  The transformational nature of service is selfless service.  In Western traditions, selfless service is union with Christ.  In Eastern traditions, selfless service is called seva.

The spiritual benefits of seva are often unexpected and difficult to put into words.  Selfless service is not tinged with inertia, boredom, or negative emotions of selfishness, pride,  or judgment.  Every tiny action of service, be it a smile, picking up straw from the floor, peeling potatoes, cleaning the house, leading a company, being an environmental activist, is offered for the sake of service – because we want to – and not for any other purpose.  Offered in this way, service cleanses the heart and the mind.  As the heart and mind are purified through selfless service, our service becomes a spiritual journey of Self-transformation.

Reference: Susan S. Trout, PhD, Born to Serve: The Evolution of the Soul Through Service. Alexandria, VA: Three Roses Press, ©1997.

Copyright © Susan S. Trout, June 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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