We have so much to be thankful for is often a sentiment that is not fully recognized by ourselves. The main focus is often on “gifts” we have received such as family, health, employment, nature, or talents. But what about the gift of service we provide to others and ultimately ourselves? Providing an opportunity to help others receive what they need, grow in ways we may need to grow, and being the Love, Life and Energy—God Is, within our service to others.
Being Thankful for Our Service!
There is so much to be thankful for as we go through this season of “conscious thankfulness” celebrating Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day. This is an opportunity to reflect on what we have to be thankful for and to whom we must be thankful. A reflection of what others have done for us and an opportunity to see the “face” of God in others. But what about the service to others for which we are deserving of recognition and thanks—when we are reflecting the face of God. This article is not about attempting to enhance one’s ego or sense of importance. It is about the significance of what we are doing and what we are offering to others—which we and they may be missing. Each of us is providing great service even when it is unseen or unrecognized by ourselves and others. No matter the type of work we are doing at the time. Even if we haven’t gotten to that place where we are doing exactly what we believe we came here to do—“our life’s work.”
I remember some conversations with my father who spent 40+ years working 60 hr. weeks as a chef for various restaurants. From those conversations, I don’t believe he fully recognized the great service he was offering in the preparation of great meals for those celebrating a variety of special occasions or moments in their lives. He seemed to chalk it up as a job he was doing just to make a living. He was like the sanitation worker failing to recognize how they ensure the health and appearance of the community, the police officer failing to recognize how they promote the safety and stability of society, the bus driver failing to recognize how they were making it possible for people to get to important appointments or visits, and the teacher failing to recognize how they were opening up the potential of a person’s mind, ……and all of the other occupations we may be engaged in where our service may go unrecognized by ourselves and others.
We spend approximately one-third of our adult lives at work. Research shows that over 80% of people are not satisfied or happy with their jobs. Some of this has to do with failing to recognize the significance of what we are doing—for others and for ourselves. Even when we are engaging in what seems to be menial work early on in our work careers. Awakening to this realization can make our present work more meaningful even as we work toward doing what we ultimately want to do. One of the ironies from doing seemingly thankless jobs, is they are often the times when we are being the Love, Life, and Energy—God Is. Many often look back fondly upon those times and with good reason. We were giving to others more so than ourselves or so it seemed. But in actuality we were often getting more than we realized beyond the important service we were giving to others. Often we were getting what we needed more than what we wanted in order to prepare us for our future. It could have been developing greater self-discipline, working more effectively with co-workers, dealing more productively with authority figures, doing things well even if we didn’t like doing them, and so on. From the perspective of Ego, Spirit & You there is service, meaning, and purpose—human and spiritual—in everything we do. Even when we fail to recognize it or someone has brought it to our attention. From a former dishwasher, car washer, bakery factory employee, dorm room painter, bottle engraver and child abuse investigator—Be Thankful for Your Service!
Dr. Nickolas Martin is a licensed psychologist who has worked in clinical, university, public school and private practice settings as a therapist, diagnostician, educator and consultant for 35 years. He authored Ego Therapy: A Method for Healing Your Whole Self and co-authored with Rev. Linda M. Martin, EgoSpiritualism: Awakening to Your Human and Divine Self and The Two Voices Within: Balancing the Energies of Ego and Spirit to Enhance Your Life.