Back to the WOTY

service-to-others

Off by a day or two, but still, three posts in a week… a-MAH-zing!

I wanted to get back to my choice for WOTY (Word of the Year).  I’ve been participating in this challenge for a few years now, with mixed results.  Two years ago I picked the word energy, and felt… well, energized by it!  Last year, I selected the word calm as my word for the year, and I would call that one a giant bust.  2016 was just about anything but calm!

This year I want to go in a different direction, and select an action word rather than a feeling.  I selected the word service:


serv·ice
ˈsərvəs/
noun
  1.  
    the action of helping or doing work for someone.
    “millions are involved in voluntary service”
    synonyms: favor, kindness, good turn, helping hand; More


    Why do I want to go with such a lofty word?  Because to me, service sounds somewhat sanctimonious.  But I don’t mean it that way at all.

    One of the greatest lessons I learned through my participation in a 12-step program is the value of getting out of my own head.  In fact, the final step in the 12-step process is just that… to pass along what you’ve learned to another person in need of recovery.

    And of course that specific type of service is a wonderful thing, but my word choice is a whole lot broader than that.  Here’s what I mean by service…


    Josie’s Definition of Service:

    Considering the perspective of another before my own.  Understanding rather than being understood.   Leaving people better than I found them.


     

    It’s really that simple, although as I consider the past few months, that would be quite a shift.  In sitting around and moping about my foot and unfulfilled career aspirations, I wasn’t sparing a whole lot of energy for the wants and needs of others.

    And either path, self-centeredness or service, is the kind which builds upon itself.  When I’m wallowing in self-pity, I can sink deeper and deeper.  Likewise, when I have the mindset of consideration and thoughtfulness, that tends to be contagious as well.   The question is:  which mindset provides the most benefit?

    Because that’s the truly amazing thing about service… that while the intention is to help another, you wind up helping yourself in the process.  So even if I sound all saintly by choosing the word service, really I’m just cultivating positive self-growth!

    c137aa54cc2645b90376c872d0cd15bd

    So there you have it… let’s try to make 2017 the year to give back.  Hopefully I’ll be better about checking in on the progress throughout the year!

    Today’s Miracle:

    The positive boost that comes from embarking on a new goal!

     

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Posted on January 5, 2017, in Recovery, Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. LOVE this word!! I will say it’s something you’re already doing and you’re already quite good at considering others and their needs…but this will make your goals all the more attainable and will hopefully make this a more fun and engaging word for the year. Calm is overrated anyway. So I hear.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really like your definition and the Benson quote. I was in a meeting last night (contemplative living) where this general subject was considered ala a sort of Mother Teresa manner. What I found interesting is that folks seemed to envision the service practice as one of emptying out and finding that process could be rather exhausting of inner resources. I wondered about this at the time because I have always found that through service, I can be fed. I have never done any sort of service work in recovery where I have not felt better and more alive after the act. I am wondering if this is something that is unique to addicts in recovery, but I really think not.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t imagine that it is unique to those of us in recovery, though I imagine we focus on it more than the everyday folk. Certainly I see it played out with people in the Church I attend as well. And I could not agree more… I am never more energized when I am outside of myself, and I am never more lethargic than when I am deep in my own head.

      Thanks for the comment, Robert!

      Like

  3. I find the SAME thing!
    Service gets me out of my poor me mindset, that is so destructive.
    I love your definition, too!
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Josie…love your word of the year. And love your concept of service too. Thanks for the motivation to pin down my WOTY. I’ve participated for the past two years as well…and I’ve been mulling back in forth in my mind as to my WOTY 2017 and I think I’ve got it….(post to follow soon!)
    Jenn

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just listened to episode 27 of Yoga Church Podcast. It opened my eyes about service/generosity.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fabulous word, and I agree that you’ve always been a champ in that department. You may not see it but we all have. Thinking of others when I am swimming in self-pity is very, very counter-intuitive to me, and I will be honest, I usually take self-pity. But I recall one day feeling in the dumps, and seeing a sponsee’s number come up on my phone. I did not want to answer it. But I did, and against all my ego’s wishes, I did feel better after.

    Happy New Year, Josie!

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very kind of you to say Paul, it means a lot. Self-pity is such a slippery slope, especially when it feels so well-deserved. Believe me, I am fighting it even as I type (will be writing more in post today in the attempt to combat). It’s nice to know, as always, I am not alone.

      Thanks for the comment, Paul. So incredibly happy you are back!

      Liked by 1 person

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