The Privilege of Helping Others

Those that do the helping most often get the praise and thanks for assisting others but in my experience it is those who give us the opportunity to help them who are actually giving the gift. When I help another I receive so much from the experience. I am reminded that we are all in this together, and that there is no such thing as ‘other’, and so by by helping another I am helping myself. It is not possible to feel lonely when you are helping another because it is an experience of our non duality, of unity. I am also reminded of my own innate lovingness, kindness and generosity qualities which are at the base of our nature, and which we all share whether buried deeply inside or not.

I have been holding back from extending myself to others. This week I have been experimenting to see how and who I can help. Here are some of the results so far.

-I drove past a disabled boy and his carer at a bus stop the other day and as I was driving away, I realised that I could easily take them where they were going. So I turned around and they were happy to get a lift. And they invited me in once we reached their destination which was only a very short detour from where I was going. It turned out to be a beautiful secluded city community garden! Flourishing with mature trees, flowers everywhere, bees, vegetables growing in raised beds. And lovingly looked after for the locals for the blind and disabled. The land was donated by a local landowner for that purpose.

What an honour it was to see that. And as I chatted to the carer lady it turns out she is studying horticulture and I am about have a garden book clearout and here is the perfect person! I am a garden designer and have many old books that I am finished with. Maybe I even get a new friend from this random event! All in all I would say I gained a lot from it.

-Other one was the supermarket trip. I wanted to see if I could find beauty in everyone. I passed an old fat guy in the aisle, and told him he smelled really good. And he sure did! He was pleased someone noticed he made the effort to smell great lol. I told the fragile looking girl at the checkout that I loved her nails which were sparkly electric blue, and I got to enjoy her face light up.

-Lady in the gym today had forgotten her straighteners and I offered to leave her mine which she could then leave at reception for me to pick up. She was astounded that I trusted her, a complete stranger. But she isn’t really a stranger and I could tell that there was a slim chance she would steal them. I got to share and exchange a moment or two of trust and goodwill with someone I had never met before and we both felt better for the experience. Win win again. Thank you to this lady for allowing me to have this experience.

-Little 12 year old boy downstairs is having a lonely time here being Hungarian in a new country and home alone a lot as his mum has to work a lot….so I have been taking him with me to the park this week, and wow, am I enjoying his company as he runs around playing chases with the dog who also loves his youthful playfulness. Another huge win win, and thank you to him too. Turns out our personalities are compatible too, and he loves the arts and adores trees and birds.

All of these experiences this week have added considerably to my quality of life and I am grateful for the opportunity. I am puzzled as to why it is the so called giver who gets the praise. This is our natural state of being, giving and receiving and supporting each other.

I have observed that the natural extending of ourselves towards others happens more frequently when we love and cherish ourselves. Our inner ‘love banks’ can be filled up by a positive relationship with ourselves and then when full, that love overspills to others. During times when I have been more self critical and even self loathing, my inner love bank was relatively empty and I was more interested in what I could get rather than what I could give.

I really support myself these days with nurturing healthy food, daily experiences of nature and beauty, with gentle exercise that my body loves, with good company around people who are not overly angry, unhappy or self destructive, and by giving myself lots of compassion when I am suffering. I give myself a lot of positive strokes each day and I am also given them by others.

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