It’s not very often that I feel the need to censor myself on my own social media or on my blog. I’ve always held the policy of being open and transparent – not only to the friends and family close to me, but to all. Hiding or not divulging all relevant information is, for me, a lie, and I try to live my life in such a way that I would never be embarrassed or ashamed if anyone found out any “secrets” about me.
Quite honestly, I have no idea where I developed this, because this sure as shit isn’t how I was raised. Perhaps I developed these habits to counteract being constantly kept in the dark; perhaps it was from my first long-term boyfriend, who had very high moral standards if was a bit dull and obsessive (my best friend nicknamed him “the shoe,” because that’s about how interesting he was); maybe I was born this way. (Cue Lady Gaga song.)
Either way, I do have a few questions I consider when it comes to sharing things publicly: Am I sharing someone else’s story who may not want it shared? If I’m making a commentary on something of which I have an opinion, can I be sure to not put down those of whom I disagree with? Is what I’m sharing mine to share?
As long as what I divulge passes these tests, I feel comfortable sharing. Or, maybe not always comfortable, but like it’s okay to not feel guilty posting. If others have a problem with what I write, I consider that their prerogative, not mine – again, as long as I am following my own moral code when I post, I’ve done my best while also acknowledging you cannot possibly please everyone – and quite honestly someone will likely get pissed off at what you share regardless. And that’s okay too.
All of these words, essentially, to say that: I have big fucking news that I just can’t share. Because it’s not my story.
I hate when people do this shit, because it’s like a tease. Just tell me what’s going on, dude. And I want to – I do. But I can’t. It’s not my story, and although it affects me greatly, it’s not mine to share.
Anyway, I tell you this not to piss you off with my failure to disclose personal information, but to tell you the message I’m receiving from all of this. This message that has repeated itself over and over and over in my life, and that message is this:
To love is to serve.
If you have come to any of my classes in the last two weeks, or follow me on social media (facebook, instagram) you will have seen this theme prevalent. It’s because it is following me, over and over again, like a ghost you can’t get rid of even when you want to.
My husband and I first connected because of a Stephen Covey quote that goes like this:
“…love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is a fruit of love, the verb. So love… Serve… Sacrifice. Listen… Empathize… Appreciate… Affirm… Hollywood has generally scripted us to believe that we are not responsible, that we are a product of our feelings. But the Hollywood script does not describe the reality. If our feelings control our actions, it is because we have abdicated our responsibility and empowered them to do so.
Proactive people make love a verb. Love is something you do: the sacrifices you make, the giving of self, like a mother bringing a newborn into the world. If you want to study love, study those who sacrifice for others, even for people who offend or do not love in return. If you are a parent, look at the love you have for the children you sacrificed for. Love is a value that is actualized through loving actions… Love, the feeling, can be recaptured.”
This is part of what I read in my vows when we got married, but little did I know that this would take on more and more forms not even two years into our marriage. When I’m struggling, when I’m angry that this is my path, that the universe is asking me to step up when I don’t really want to do so, I remember this. I remember that great love is not some magical force, great love is created from being of service – even when you don’t want to, even when you don’t feel like it, even when it steps into the plans you had to lead an amazing, great life. The best thing you can possibly do is show up.
So this week, consider: where can you be of service? Where are those places you’re struggling to find love? Your job? Your relationship to your spouse? Your children? Yourself? How can you proactively change the situation – rather than being a victim of your feelings, how can you make it better right now?
Service can mean many things. It can mean helping out at your local soup kitchen, or donating gently used items to a thrift store. It can mean bringing your husband coffee even when he really pissed you off. It can mean showing up on your yoga mat, even though you have a million other things to do. It can mean being honest with your children and telling them your struggles, even though you want to seem invincible. It can mean dedicating your life to being better, not just today, but every day.
Also, perhaps start tuning in to what the universe is sending your way… You know that thing? That thing you’ve been carrying around, feeling really guilty about it? How can you make that better? How can you be better? Perhaps the answers to our problems begin with accepting responsibility, by being honest and open and truthful, and allowing life to unfold the way that it does. Be open to what the universe asks of you this week. And then note how you can be of service to it – and go do those things.