heart reach

Helping, Fixing or Serving?

“ Is it possible to see God? Absolutely... Perhaps if you're loving and you're caring, you may see God in the loving and in the caring. When you are of service to other people, you may see God in the serving." - John-Roger, D.S.S.

The following is an excerpt from a very poignant article on serving with an open heart; the link to the entire article is below. May it help inspire us to serve in the expansive way that J-R has taught — in oneness and  loving and gratitude.  

Helping, Fixing or Serving?
by Rachel Naomi Remen

"Fixing and helping create a distance between people, but we cannot serve at a distance. We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected."

Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.

Service rests on the premise that the nature of life is sacred, that life is a holy mystery which has an unknown purpose. When we serve, we know that we belong to life and to that purpose. From the perspective of service, we are all connected: All suffering is like my suffering and all joy is like my joy. The impulse to serve emerges naturally and inevitably from this way of seeing.

Serving is different from helping. Helping is not a relationship between equals. A helper may see others as weaker than they are, needier than they are, and people often feel this inequality. The danger in helping is that we may inadvertently take away from people more than we could ever give them; we may diminish their self-esteem, their sense of worth, integrity or even wholeness.

When we help, we become aware of our own strength. But when we serve, we don’t serve with our strength; we serve with ourselves, and we draw from all of our experiences. Our limitations serve; our wounds serve; even our darkness can serve. My pain is the source of my compassion; my woundedness is the key to my empathy.

Serving makes us aware of our wholeness and its power. The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life. The wholeness in you is the same as the wholeness in me. Service is a relationship between equals: our service strengthens us as well as others. Fixing and helping are draining, and over time we may burn out, but service is renewing. When we serve, our work itself will renew us. In helping we may find a sense of satisfaction; in serving we find a sense of gratitude.

Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. is Associate Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at U.C.S.F. Medical School and co-founder and medical director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program. She is author of the bestseller, Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal.

Helping, Fixing or Serving?, Rachel Naomi Remen, Shambhala Sun, September 1999. 

Link to article: Link to this article


May God bless us all.

Sent with much Love and Light,

Skyler Maryl Patton HeartFelt Director and Paul Kaye HeartFelt President

Please feel free to email feedback or your stories of service you'd like featured in an upcoming HGN article to serve@heartfelt.org

Happy Valentines Day!

"Sometimes uplifting words left on answering machines or notes of support written on a postcard take only a minute or two of our time but can provide hours or even days of encouragement to others." - John-Roger, D.S.S.

In honor of this week, which happens to be Random Act of Kindness Week, as well as Valentine’s Day, this issue of the HeartFelt Global Network Bulletin is dedicated to the idea that we can all spread the Christ’s love and Light throughout the world in little ways everyday! As Mother Teresa said, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."

We are encouraged this week to not let an opportunity to serve and give a little loving go to waste. Be the loving, for as St. Francis said, "it is in giving, that we receive." Heartfelt service does not have to be huge and organized, it can be small and spontaneous–like giving your barista who looks a bit down in the dumps an extra tip or calling friends you haven’t spoken to in a long time just to tell them you love them. Doing little random acts of kindness so often puts into motion a chain of loving–so if someone does do something kind for you, pay it forward! Let’s keep the love chain strong!

Our Austin ministers involved in HeartFelt and HeartReach recently shared with HeartFelt some loving acts of kindness they’ve done together specifically around Valentine’s Day:

1. A group got together and made hand-made Valentines. We then delivered them to a nearby nursing center and hand-delivered them to the residents. Another year, we met and made flowers out of tissues and pipe cleaners. We then delivered them to a local nursing center and hand-delivered them to the staff and residents. The big smiles warmed our hearts and we enjoyed a nice outing together. 

2. One year we had a HeartFelt chorus. We went to a local nursing center where we strolled the halls singing old-time favorite songs. We sang songs like: "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," "You Are My Sunshine," "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," etc. Residents, staff, and volunteers loved this. It was very touching to see the residents light up with such joy and sing along. 

3. One time we met for breakfast at restaurant in downtown Austin and then gave those assembled street chalk, so that they could go out and draw hearts on the pavement around the heart of Austin. This too was a big success and fun!

4. One of the Austin Ministers also shared that they once bought a bunch of packages of water bottles to all keep in their cars to distribute to random homeless they passed by.

Thank you Austin, Texas for sharing these inspiring random acts of kindness!

"About the time you move into the consciousness of service, you start realizing that the first thing you have to do is TO LOVE. When you love, you don't look at anything as being a burden or a sacrifice, and you may not be overly concerned about the truth. And when you love, you're in an area of faith all the time, the living faith which is demonstrated continually." – John-Roger, DSS

Happy Valentines Day!



HGN Mission

The HeartFelt Global Network’s mission is to help us connect globally through service, to gain a mutual understanding of our challenges, and to inspire each other by sharing our good works. Please contact me if you are inspired to share with our family around the globe about service in your community.

Sent with much Love and Light,

From Paul Kaye HeartFelt President & Skyler Patton HeartFelt Director