When you become the parent, unless you learn how to take satisfaction from service to others, you will feel trapped and wasted.
Expecting those we serve in the best way we can to give us compliments, affirmation and unadulterated praise about what we do for them is a setup for heart break. They are going to give what they can back, which will include a huge amount of their own crap, a overwhelming load of take it for granted and a big old wad of downright resentment and resistance.
Other people heal in their own time and in their own way, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need you to be there, to be constant, to be always fighting with and for them. Their job isn’t to take care of you, no matter how much you give them, their job is to take care of themselves and then to be of service to others later, in their own time and their own way.
There is no one who serves who hasn’t broken down at some point, frustrated to give and give and give and then feel like we are not valued, not understood, not appreciated, not respected. We know the cost.
Still, if you are ready, it is easy to get habituated to service. Giving is satisfying, even when you get crap back. You learn to take pleasure from what you do for others, learn to find yourself in the way you push past comfort and offer up all of yourself.
Losing yourself in service, though, well, that can be devastating. If you have been in service too long — and for some of us, with the demands of our family, our entrance into service comes when we are very, very young — it becomes hard to claim yourself beyond the bounds of a human doing, valued only for the way that you satisfy others needs and expectations.
Like anything else good in this life, service demands balance. Not enough and you have an empty life, too much and you lose your own dreams.