I recently heard someone, who was speaking on a panel about relationships and community, talk about his service towards connecting community. He used the words, ” chosen service”. I was immediately struck by that term. First of all, the simple beauty of its eloquence was very attractive for me. What a concise way to bring across a sentiment. Secondly, I admired the dedication behind someone choosing to render a service when it is dear to their heart, committing to something greater than their own self interest. It was inspiring, those two words, simple, direct, yet housing a host of feelings, of passion and surrender.
Right after I had this wave of good feeling towards humanity at large, I immediately felt resentful. It was just a twinge, but it was there. I felt the limits between having a service you choose and a service that chooses you. My life has been shaped by my daughter’s condition, and it is easy to feel like I had no choice in how I serve humanity from this seemingly limited life.
So this was in my head and heart for the next week or so, just sitting there ruminating and developing. I tend to not immediately squash feelings that I have, even when they are tending towards the negative. I find if I work through them, something will come of it for growth.
So as this was swirling in and out of my consciousness, I focused on the fact that I always strive to not let my situation rule my behavior, regardless of the control, or lack there of, I have over my actual circumstances.
And right there, that was the beauty, I too can choose my service. Perhaps, not the actual service, but I how I conduct myself will affect my impact on my community.
Someone very dear to me, and who I look up to in our own community, sent me the following quote. I have since referenced it in all the times that I have felt powerless and resentful.
It helps to solidify my resolve to be a contributing force in our community, however small my contribution may be.
We have a choice, even when we don’t. Service has a way of finding us , but we always choose how we accomplish it. This is both beautiful and scary, but mostly beautiful.