Some things still have the ability to shock me.  And it’s not what you might think.  It usually happens when I’m in conversation with someone and they think that spiritual work should be done for free or when they talk about spiritual work like it’s a video game or a book they can just pick up at the store and start using.  I’m not offended, it’s just that the concepts are so divergent from my reality that it takes me a minute to figure out how to respond.

I know that it can seem as if a spiritual person who is performing a service is ‘just gifted’ or it can seem easy to do what they do, but the same can be said of a police officer, a fireman, a doctor, a teacher, or any other skilled professional.  They work hard behind the scenes to be the best that they can be so that when they work with the public or are called to do what they do, they are fully capable in the moment.  Any person who provides a service can tell you that doing what they do for themselves or for their family and friends is very different from doing it for the public.

First, you have to learn the skill to perform the service.  In some cases this is through formal education.  For others it’s through apprenticeship. And for others its through diligent self-study, personal soul-searching, and much trial and error.  Secondly you have to learn how to provide service to others.  This is an entirely different skill set and no everyone is successful in acquiring it.  Like it is said of healthcare professionals, some have good bedside manners and some don’t.

To be of service spiritually, to provide healing, counseling, readings, and so on, you must start by healing your own hurts and dealing with your own issues.  Because once you hang that shingle out there, you won’t be able to see past what you need to deal with personally and everyone that comes to you for help will either exacerbate that issue or receive sub par service and be effected by it.  And that will just go on and on and on until the issue is worked through.  Traditional medicine people spend years working through their issues with their elders and mentors until they are clear enough to work with their people.  After you have worked through the major issues in your life (we never work through all of them as that’s one of the main purposes of life) and have attained a bit of knowledge, some clarity of vision, and a smidge of experience, then and only then can we start applying what we have learned and become to providing service to others.

Our unique talents and our willingness to help others, our empathy and sympathy, our ability to try to make things better are all wonderful gifts.  But to use them effectively I have found that it is better to move out of the mindset of Instant Gratification and open our minds to the child mind of “I don’t know”.  Because there is no way to wrap your head around a new way of being if it’s already set.