One cannot serve others if their inner-well is dry.
Service to others in a highly honorable action, and in doing so you get a sense of deep fulfillment. However, it is also necessary to maintain a level of service to oneself. To replenish, and renew your spirit. To seek what it is within your soul that you do for yourself and yourself alone — to nurture your being. This a level of self care that is necessary in order to be of the highest service to others.
In some cases, such as creating art, you may find an overlap of the two. Expressing oneself is a wonderful means of self care. It helps lift what may be a burden, or share what may be a great joy. Through self expression, you may create something that others connect to as well. Someone may find a bit of their own being expressed in the art that you create. In this manner you are serving the other individual as well… perhaps on a greater level than you ever imagined, possibly without even realizing it.
We strive so much to rid ourselves of egocentric thoughts and actions, and self- centered thinking (which is very admirable). However, we too are worthy of our own love, and our own service. Confidence and joy not the same thing as arrogance and mere pleasure seeking selfishness. Pursuing what it is that sets your soul on fire does not in any way diminish your contribution to others. In fact, it empowers you to further help others… because you feel renewed and refreshed.
I am not trying to tell you to lessen your service to other, by any means. I believe we should all assist and contribute as much as we possibly can. But don’t let yourself get overwhelmed, or spread too thin. Let your love shine in all ways, both outward in service and inward in replenishment.
This may be a difficult balance to find for some, because we have been conditioned to believe that when we take care of our own being we are self-indulgent. This however is not true… it is when you begin to care predominantly for the pursuit of your own pleasures, desires, and fulfillment that an imbalance begins to occur. I believe if you are truly choosing love for yourself and for others without over-analyzing or keeping score, the path will unfurl before you.
So, I leave you with this, take a moment today to pursue something that makes your joyous… then spread that joy to all you encounter.