"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Saturday, 28 May 2011

My choices....Am I a servant or serving?

My mind has been a whirl of activity these last few weeks.
Many thoughts swirling around - trying to make order out of chaos.

Conversations with lovely friends have thrown up topics that I thought I had dealt with but realised I still needed some clarity.

I make choices every day in how I handle the interactions I have with Milly and Alan.
I choose to allow Milly a great deal of choice in her life. I don't see her as a child who must do as I say, she is a small person who is as entitled to an opinion on where we go and what we do as Alan or I are in our family relationship. She learns more from the process of discussion and possible compromise ( because it isn't about anyone *getting their way* or *being in charge* ) in these situations than she would if she was just made to do what I say when I say it. I envisage her growing up expecting to be listened to and to have her opinions valued and to take those negotiating skills into her relationships.
I see myself as her partner rather than her boss.
 I certainly don't subscribe to " children should be seen and not heard ".  In time she will be able to hold a thought in her head and not need to butt into a conversation before she forgets what she was going to say. I choose to acknowledge her as soon as possible if I am in a conversation - even if that means stopping the conversation I am having - so she can say what she has to say. What she has to say is as important as anybody else. She will grow knowing her opinion counts.
I choose not to make her do chores and to treat her kindly by taking her breakfast in bed and many other little things that I don't *have* to do.

All that said - even though these are choices I make - there are still times when I get irritated, short tempered when she interrupts my conversations and times when I feel like a servant and put upon...

Over the last few days this quote and blog post have come along with just the insight I need to set things straight in my head :-)

~ Living Magically ‎"When service comes from the heart, there is no conflict or contradiction between loving our lives and doing our work. For the natural mystic, service is not based upon duty, guilt, obligation or martyrhood. It is part of who we are, of how we freely choose to spend our days." Pure Bliss, p59.

A post on the  Organic sister. Serving vs being a servant ?

I particularly like this in the comments .

9. erika says:

May 23, 2011 at 8:45 am

Yes, both are making a choice. Much of it is about perspective. For so long, I was the servant, and it was miserable. It is a mindset. Often, we assume others expect us to play that role or put us in that role, but the usual reality is we choose that role. If we feel like a servant, then we need to stop believing that we are one. If we believe it, we will act upon it, and it will be reflected in our attitude and how we treat others.
Now that I see myself as one who serves, it puts the ball back in my court. It is my choice to serve or not to serve, what to do or not do, how to live, and that makes all the difference. When we realize that every decision/action in our lives is a choice, it is amazing what we are capable of doing and the beauty that radiates from it.
1. erika says:
May 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

I might add that one who is a servant may not even believe she is appreciated (when she is) or may not be appreciated because she acts like a servant, and others treat her as she acts. Whereas one who serves willingly is loved and appreciated by those who respect her. The love and appreciation isn't demanded, but it is reciprocated.

Thought provoking.

How much nicer to treat the ones you love the way you would hope to be treated. 
There are times now when Milly will do things - within her skill set ;-) - for Alan or I without being asked, cups of tea are made or snacks are brought, a cold flannel soaked in vinegar ( yes it is an alternative remedy she was told of by my Mum ) is placed on my head when I have a headache. Small gestures, but given freely with love and with no expectation from us for her to do it.

We all make choices and I choose to serve willingly and lovingly.....


Sam said...

This is a lovely post, and the quote and comments are very thought-provoking.
Interesting that when I'm feeling "put-upon", it may be from my own attitude towards myself! :-)

Lynn said...

Thanks Sam :-)The saying - we are our own worst enemy - springs to mind! xx