Fixing Helping Serving

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In Steve’s 3-minute coaching (check out his Training You Need blog) he refers to ‘distinctions’ which he defines as “subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude”. Rachel Naomi Remen, in the Belonging chapter of My Grandfather’s Blessings, makes a powerful distinction between fixing, helping and serving.

After reading the chapter, I found myself being more conscious of my frame of reference as I went about my day. When engaging with others and the world, I asked myself, “Am I fixing, helping, or serving here?” Often I caught myself wanting to ‘fix’ things, others, and mostly myself. I saw my underlying assumption: I am somehow broken. How empowering to make the shift to serving and reframing the question to “How can I best be of service to myself? What would enable me to see this from the point of view that I am whole and good?” I knew that if I could shift the viewpoint for myself, it would enable me to do the same for those my life touches.

Fixing

Fixing

“Seeing yourself as a fixer may cause you to see brokenness everywhere, to sit in judgment of life itself. When we fix others, we may not see their hidden wholeness or trust the integrity of the life in them. Fixers trust their own experience…Perhaps fixing is only a way to relate to things. Relating to another human being in this way is to deny and diminish in some profound and subtle way the power of the life in them and its mystery.”

Helping

Helping

“When we help we become aware of our strength because we are using it. Others become aware of our strength as well and may feel diminished by it…A helping relationship may incur a sense of debt…In helping, we may find a sense of satisfaction.

Serving

serving

“Service is about taking life personally, letting the lives that touch yours touch you….Service, like healing, is mutual…in serving, we have an experience of gratitude…When we serve the unborn wholeness in others, we collaborate with it and strengthen it. Others may then be able to see their wholeness for themselves for the first time. Service is closer to generosity than it is to duty. It connects us to one another and to life itself. When we experience our connectedness, serving others becomes a natural and joyful thing to do. When you serve, your work itself will sustain you, renew you, and bless you…”

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About Vicki Flaherty

I feel most alive when I am creating, whether through my writing and poetry, gardening and photography, or simply living my life each day. Running and yoga enrich my being. Travel opens me to new possibilities and greater awareness. I am happiest when I’m with my husband Jim. I share my gratitude for all the gifts in my life on my This Abundantly Delicious Life blog. I find a special joy in helping people succeed. I’ve done something valuable when I’ve helped a colleague or friend see their brilliance and express their full potential. I have awesome opportunities to do this as an industrial/organizational psychologist through leadership, mentoring, coaching, career and other talent programs. I try to encourage Leading with Intention at my blog of this name. As a breast cancer survivor, I found comfort and hope in writing. Poetry flowed through me like a river of healing during my diagnosis and treatment, which I share on my Mostly My Heart Sings blog, that I might offer encouragement and a place of grace and heart for those seeking comfort and hope along their journey.

2 responses »

  1. Lovely! This reminds me of a life lesson that I learned years ago while being there for a widow. I can’t save or fix anyone. The only thing that I can do is try to be there if and when they want me to be.

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