When I was younger, I was in awe, and a little jealous, of the folks who knew without a doubt who they wanted to be, what career choice they would follow and how they were going to make it happen. Because for most of my life, I had no idea.
I married young, had two amazing children and did what society expected of me and I ended up for the vast majority of my working career in service of some sort or other.
I will report that through divine grace and little blind ass luck, I am still happily married with two grown, productive adult children and two grandsons I am over the moon in love with. But it wasn’t until several years ago that I realized that my work in the service industry was where I was always meant to be. Helping people and making their day just a little bit brighter is, and has always been my jam. I learned though, that being of service and of being in selfish service is the differentiating factor between a life lived and a life well lived. Let me explain.
Are you someone who has spent your working life flitting from one job to the next? Do you feel like your work is sucking the life out of you, or that you are stuck in a dead end job? Perhaps the labour that you are really providing for that bi-weekly paycheck is not service but in reality, servitude. Because what you are, in fact, at least energetically, is in slavery or bondage to that job and the chains are the dollars you receive every two weeks.
If you find yourself saying, “I can’t quit, I need the money.” or even ” I hate my job but the money is too good to pass up.” then that job owns you. When you find yourself in a situation like this, be prepared to spend your life in frustration or even anger. You may ask yourself questions like, “How did I get into a situation like this? or “There’s got to be another way.”
There is another way and the solutions lay not in the answers but in the right questions. That is where selfish service comes in and this is why those folks from my youth, who knew who they wanted to be and what they wanted to do in their life, got a head start over the rest of us. They thought of themselves first.
This is where the old adage – fail to plan, plan to fail – comes in. We failed to ask the basic questions that are required in order to make a life plan. Fundamental questions such as: What do I want?, What do I believe in?, Who do I want to be out in the world? We needed to get a little self centered, a little selfish and plan a life with our own wants, needs and desires front and center. We needed to determine a personal value system that would act as the moral compass and guide for every career move we made along the way.
Now I know there are folks out there that are going to say, “Sure that’s easy for you to say, you didn’t live my life or come from my background or circumstance. I didn’t have the ability to make my own choices. I had to survive!” I get it, and I am not judging. You survived and you’re here to tell the tale. But if this story, so far, resonates somewhere in you, then it is not too late to do the work and ask those selfish questions of yourself now.
When I’d gotten to the stage of my life where my basic needs were secure, where my children no longer needed parental guidance and I had achieved everything that society expected of me, I found myself with a bit more time on my side and the basic questions that should have surfaced decades before, finally emerged into my consciousness. What can I say, I’m a slow learner, but they arrived and I could no longer ignore them.
Perhaps these fundamental questions arrived as they were meant to. As they say, everything you need will come to you at the perfect time. Perhaps I wasn’t ready before and maybe you weren’t too.
This is one piece of wisdom I learned as I began to enter my crone years, what I like to call my crone apprenticeship. Because, it was in that transition time from motherhood and societal servitude to cronehood, that I had the emotional space and time to ponder what it was that I really wanted out of life, to get a little selfish and go within to seek the answers, that up until then had never been offered up from the universe.
So began the real journey of my soul. The one that now had the correct compass bearings and the fortitude to venture out and declare my true intentions as to who I finally want to be and what I finally want to do and how I plan to achieve those goals.
Here’s the thing about selfish service, when you offer yourself from the perspective of how it is that you want to serve and not because you feel you have to, then you are in reality offering the most sacred gift you can give to the world because it will be in the closes alignment with your true purpose in life.
My alignment of purpose was always on target. Whether I knew it or not, I was meant to be of service to others. That’s why I felt that spark of congruency, or as I call it, my jam when I saw that I really helped another soul in my daily work. What I was missing was the depth of insight as to why I felt compelled to help others. I had never understood to ask the deeply selfish questions because I felt that by doing so, I was denying that core element in me that needed to focus on others and not myself.
Does this resonate with you? Do you feel that by even entertaining the idea of thinking of your own wants and needs first is somehow a betrayal of your elemental need to be of service to others? You are not alone, but this is similar to being told to put on your own oxygen mask first before you help others if there is an emergency when you are on a plane. You do your best service when you are fully oxygenated both in a airplane emergency and in your ability to give your best when in service to others. Your selfishness is the most unselfish act you could ever do.
So what does being a crone have to do with selfish service and why, if you identify yourself as a modern crone, would you want to incorporate this mantra into your life? In a word – purpose. Just because you have more leisure time or are finally retired from the 9-5 grind, you will find that life will soon become dull and boring if you have no purpose to drive you forward. It is no secret that older folks live longer and healthier when they have an avenue to give of themselves in some way.
Whether it’s by volunteering, by creating something, or in pursuit of a special interest, the key is that the results of your chosen purpose has the opportunity to enhance the lives of others, even if it’s in the legacy that it creates. Now there is no other restrictions for your time to hinder your ability to offer your most sacred of gifts out into the world, and because as a crone you have gained the wisdom and knowledge from a lifetime of learning who you really are, and what is it you want to do with the time you have left, you have finally reached your pinnacle point. The only thing left is to be selfish enough to offer your most authentic service to others and the best part is, what you offer is completely of your own choosing.
What’s more, if you do nothing with that enormous storehouse of acquired wisdom knowledge and skill crammed into your memory bank, your unique legacy is in danger of being lost to generations yet to come. What good is a treasure buried. How sad to never gaze upon the masterpiece that your life could have created.
The act of being in service is indeed an honorable contribution. Being of selfish service is to give something far more valuable because you are choosing to bestow on another a little piece of your sacred gifts, the very reasons you chose to incarnate into this life and as a crone, you have the wisdom to understand the difference.
To read more of my perspective on the positive and the negative aspects of being selfish click below.