The truth about serving in love

Service in love photo

“I slept and dreamed that life is all joy.  I woke and I saw that life is all service.  I served and I saw that service is joy.”

–Kahlil Gibran

I offered to help water my friend’s plants and start her car while she returned to Texas to take care of her dad who had a stroke.

Then, as my friend had to stay away longer as her father’s health declined, my weekly jaunt to her apartment felt increasingly burdensome.  The busy holiday season was upon us and I was working extra hours at my part-time retail job on top of serving my coaching and marketing clients.  Some weeks I could barely make time to get to the grocery store.  I wondered how I also would fit in these extra responsibilities.   For a few seconds of overwhelm I wanted to forsake doing the tasks I promised to fulfill.

Each time, though, by pushing through my resistance, I was rewarded.

As I entered my friend’s apartment, an amazing grace fell upon me.  My acts of service seemed a minor gesture of love and support in comparison to my friend’s job of caring for her father who was now paralyzed.

Moving about her home in silence as I watered each plant, I sent love and care to my friend, recalling all the ways she has blessed my life.

She went the extra mile for me in years past when I was looking for work.  Last year, she enriched my life by exposing me to new forms of dance and socializing with a greater variety of people.

Her words of wisdom often provided perspectives that shifted my life in positive ways.  She is a very fine “sounding board.”

My friend is returning home shortly after eight weeks away, during which time she did not once complain of carrying out the angel work she did on behalf of her father, who passed away Christmas week.

Serving in love is not always easy, even though some tasks may seem simple on the outside.  Yet, by offering to assist my friend it was I who was helped.

I got the following answer to a question I had been pondering lately when I asked for guidance about learning to love better:  Look at the world through another’s eyes and get out of your own way.  Respond by giving to give–no agenda and no expectations–in just pure service.

Amazing miracles happen when we let go of our ego’s focus on self and truly “see” and experience the needs of the people before us.



1.  I allow myself to give purely, without expectation, in response to the needs of another.

2.  I allow myself to let go of my ego’s demands on my time and choose to offer my assistance with joy.


Beth Shedd’s photo of the bronze statue at Boston’s State House vividly reflects the compassion of truly caring for another. Beth sees evidence of this all around her and loves capturing it in her photography.


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  • Rose Russo says:

    I love your honesty of moving from a time limited scenario to a space of unlimited time, energy and love. In doing service to others, we are the ones served. It’s a beautiful message to put into action in our lives, everyday. It’s a wonderful mantra for 2014.

    • Gail says:

      Rose: And what beautiful, insightful words of yours on the power of reframing our thoughts: “moving from a time-limited scenario to a space of unlimited time, energy and love.” Thanks for sharing them. Gail

  • BARBARA says:

    Gail, lovely blog and sentiment… and in line with what I’ve found in my spiritual journey, that helping others helps you heal… grief or in many other ways. Thanks, Barb.

    • Gail says:

      Thanks, Barb–Your message about “helping others helps you heal” –whether grieving a loss or going through some other major transition–is so important. I appreciate your taking the time to share it.


  • Linda says:

    A beautiful awakening to Love and Service, Gail. Thank you for sharing what we all need to remember when we think we can’t be of service for another any longer.

    • Gail says:

      Thanks, Linda. I like that word “awakening” you used. It’s so easy to forget in the busyness of our lives how to be responsive to the needs of another. Gail

  • shana says:

    It confirms that through giving we receive…very inspiring

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