Veterans Day

Veterans Day is the day that we honor those who have served in the United States Armed Services consisting of the military services of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

veterans-day-pfc-aaron-fairbairn-thankyouaaron-thank-you-for-your-service

To those who have served and continue to serve, we offer up a huge debt of gratitude and heart-felt honor from those of us, the citizenry of the United States of America, whom you serve in our stead.

There have been times when serving in the US Armed Services was not an option. Those of us who are old enough, saw our friends and family mandated to serve in the military, forced to fight on our behalf by law, sometimes against their will. Regardless, whether a veteran volunteered or was drafted, you were placed in a position – that for whatever reason – I and my fellow Americans were spared.

You, our United States Veterans are the true heroes of our nation and in my opinion deserve the highest respect and honor.

On July 4, 2009 PFC Aaron Fairbairn was called upon by the President of the United States and God Almighty to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Years have passed since then, and the pain of that day is still ever present, though my thoughts of what took place on Aaron’s fateful day have run the gamut. I have had other relatives who served, though they lived long enough to be honored on this day. I knew there would be times Aaron would be at risk, I expected him to return to American soil, as did my other relatives.

When I talked to him on the phone the evening of July third (after a period of imposed “radio silence” during which he was not allowed to call) he assured me that everything was okay. During that short phone conversation we talked and laughed before exchanging I-love-you(s) as he longed to phone other friends also while he had time. None of us had any idea that it was going to be the last time we would talk with Aaron.

Though we honor all who have served, are serving – and some are volunteering even as I type these words – some have made and will make the ultimate sacrifice carrying out their oath of service. For Aaron and all those who were called upon to deliver this fateful level of service, America honors them on Memorial Day.

pfc-aaron-fairbairn-brothers-in-arms-cop-zerok-paktika-afghanistan

I can’t help to imagine what it must have been like for Aaron and his brothers in arms in the Battle of COP Zerok Paktika in Afghanistan that ensued that day, but it must have been horrifying. As unimaginable as it is for me to think that Aaron was having to draw fire on the enemy, I couldn’t help but think the young man who was shooting at him was someone else’s son, who also made the same sacrifice for what he believed in that day.

No matter what you think of war or the military in general, it can be a very nasty business and thanks to Aaron and all who have served, the rest of us are able to have the freedoms we are offered by the USA while we are spared the potential horror and/or loss of life thanks to their service.

To all Veterans:

May God bless everyone who has taken the States Armed Services oath of service. I will be forever grateful for your courage.

Thank you for your service.

This day, I feel that we are blood brothers and I honor you.

Preserving the Servants Heart

I have a servant’s heart, as do many of my clients. There is a downside to being of selfless service to others, and that is neglecting the self-care necessary to maintain a healthy life for the person possessing a servant’s heart. The result is a decline in emotional health, that left to deteriorate, will affect the biological system and adding undue mental stress. This could result in lack of self-respect, angst, premature aging and a host of other health-related issues.

Preserving the servants heart self respect healthy boundaries

The servant must find ways to preserve themselves to be able to better serve their clients, community and/or world at large. Often, the servant feels as though, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one,” (Spock, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan).

There needs to be a healthy balance, even so – rarely – one may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good. Many have had to answer the call, including my 20-year-old son who answered this call on a particular 4th of July while serving in the Armed Services in Afghanistan, though most of us in the service of others will not face paying the ultimate price on their behalf.

That said, to better serve others best, we in service must pay enough attention to our own needs to maintain a healthy platform to work from enabling us to better serve our communities.

Servants need to stop feeling the needs of others are more important than their own. If you have neglected your own self-care, it’s time to take back your life to increase your effectiveness in servitude. Your needs are important and only you have the ability to tend to your needs. It can be uncomfortable, but taking steps to preserve one’s self is paramount to your success in effective service over time.

The key is balance

Learn to say, “No”

For the servant, it can seem counter-intuitive, but you were created with an internal sensor to help you monitor when and what serves your highest and best performance of your service. Some call it intuition; at the very least it is that undaunted feeling of overwhelm, a clear indication the situation at hand is not congruent with your personal terms of service.

In this moment it is certainly prudent for you to exercise your ability to simply say, “No.” (I can see that grimacing expression on your face. Stay with me…) you must start using this word. Uncomfortable as it may be at first, trust me, it will get easier. It’s a small two-letter word that will help you create enough space to establish a basic parameter. It is not your calling to be all things to all men and besides, saying no doesn’t imply that you don’t respect or like someone; it only means no. That’s all.

You may need a little wiggle room to muster up a firm, “No.” If so, you could offer up a stall tactic, like, “Let me check my schedule and get back to you.”

If you have a long history of always saying, “Yes,” when it was not in your best interest, you could dress it up a bit by saying, “Now is not a good time for me,” or, “that’s not really my area of expertise,” and refer them to someone more keenly attuned to that particular circumstance or project.

You can refer them to someone who is better suited or equipped to take on the task, or encourage the person approaching you to examine their own abilities and some insightful review might lead them to the conclusion that they may have the skills necessary to undertake it on their own. Why not use your intuition to give them the opportunity to grow?

In the event you have accepted a particular responsibility and felt uncomfortable or resentful for having accepted the challenge, this is a clear indication, that when approached with this type of offer in the future, declining the assignment is certainly in order.

For the persons who call on you to serve them, and have little respect for all that you do, ask yourself, “Would I let this person treat my son or daughter, like that?” If the answer is no, then it’s time to start setting some healthy boundaries.