Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Helping Hand


"It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Philosopher
“The very best way to be lifted up is by offering a hand up to someone else. What a wonderful paradox that through giving we receive that which we really, truly need.” I couldn’t agree more. I know for me when I’m so immersed in my challenges and just a myriad of life events, I get almost physically ill sometimes. I’m agitated and often irritated and it’s not a state of consciousness that I welcome, whenever it creeps in. What I have learned and still am learning, and have become consciously aware of is that when I take my mind off of me or my circumstance, even for a moment, and focus on the need of another, be it my husband, a friend or neighbor or even a stranger, that immediately my spirit is lifted and my burden lessens, in just that moment. I believe that’s one of the spiritual laws of nature. It goes to the more you give the more you receive; what you desire most, give it away; you get what you give, and on and on, ad infinitum.

Me, I receive a whole lot more than I’m giving. I find a sense of peace. I get a clear vision of what my mission is, becoming a Co-worker with God, the Universe, because that is my true mission. When I listen to the sounds of the Universe, truly listen and contemplate, I begin to see the light and the light of understanding begins to shine through. When I lend a hand or an ear or a smile or a handshake or a hello to someone else, I discover the pure conscious state of Soul; that I am eternal, a Universal Spiritual being, that I share the God-like qualities that I am endowed with but had somehow let go of. Giving gives me so much and allows me to give more. Some months ago my husband and I went to the theater to see a movie and as we were going in to be seated, out of the blue (it seemed), a lady stopped and began telling me about her experience of having her foot stepped on as she was leaving her seat after her movie had ended. She seemed a bit angered and I assume, in some pain and distress. I was taken aback somewhat that she chose me out of the many, but not really. I smiled and gave her my full attention and smiled and listened, and listened and listened. I glanced at the long line of moviegoers now being seated for what we’d come to see, but never lost eye contact with this stranger. The more she talked the calmer she became. Finally, nearing the end of her tirade, she began to smile and became calmer. Just as I was about to make a comment, she began heaping compliments, and she began to smile. Her demeanor had changed drastically. I never had an opportunity to voice one word. I also noticed that as she walked away on the way out the door, she did not show any sign of pain in the foot she’d complained of earlier.

After that encounter, I too stepped livelier and my whole being began to smile, as well as others who’d observed this seemingly strange event. One of the lessons for me was that it is sometimes best for me just to listen and be present in the moment instead of trying to pummel someone with words or “unwanted” advice, that there is so much joy in giving. There is joy that comes in giving of your true self.