Tag Archives: use

Being Used by Another

van gogh - stilllife“It will be helpful if you keep in mind that the idea of to serve is being used to replace the idea of to use and is its opposite.  It replaces the thought of taking with the thought of receiving.  It implies that you are welcome to all the gifts of the universe and that they can be given, through you, to others as well.  (A Course of Love, 20.45)”

Affirmation:  “May I give to others today.”

Reflections:

1 – We Are All in This Together

Certainly the more altruistic of us know that to be of service to another is a far better thing than to use that individual is some nefarious way.  We are here to serve others, and in the serving of others, we ourselves are served in the process.  We are all in this together.

2 – Use

If we seek to use another, it is very likely that we will find ourselves to be used by another in some way.  It is akin to the analogy of a finger pointing to another, and three fingers of the same hand pointed back at the self.  We do not need this.  We need to serve and to be served, but in no way do we need to use another.

3 – Parents and Children

Use can be subtle.  Use can have all the appearances of love.  Parents are especially prone to use their children to satisfy their own ego ideals.  Whatever they have not achieved in life, they look to their children to do for them.  And they take pride in the doing, heaping praise on the “used” children for the reflected glory that these children have brought to the parents.

4 – Egoic Involvement

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love would negate all of this lamentable behavior.  ACIM does not speak of “use” in this sense, but use is an important concept in ACOL, and rightly so.  We are trying to drop all behaviors that appear to be praiseworthy, but are actually excuses for continued egoic involvement in our lives.

5 – Give and Receive as One

We need to give and to receive as one, and this giving and receiving is serving.  It is not egoic in any sense at all, and that is one of its main benefits.  This serving offers to the world what we can best give, and in turn the world offers a great deal to us.  We are showing a “drive to get” that is of the ego.  We are loving to others and to ourselves.  And the change is remarkable in our perception of the world.  Love is reflected back to us, and we know that service is what we are best attuned to do,

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we forgive any and all who sought to see reflective egoic victory in our successes.  They did not understand.  And may we never be guilty of the same.  We need to learn that using another for such ego ideals is a very poor way to serve, for, after all, it is not service in any way.

May we drop the ego from our mind slant.  This may be easier said than done, but it may not, after all, be very difficult anyway, once we set the will to so do.  May I so set my will today.

Help me to be forgiving of any and all who have “used” me in the past.  The damage does not have to linger.  We can move beyond hurt borne of neurotic need.  And the understanding always comes after the forgiveness of the behavior–not before.

Be with me today as I seek to enjoy the gifts of the universe.  You have prepared a lovely home for us, and while what we see is our illusion, it does reflect a better, true reality.  May I see that better, true reality today.

Amen.

No Longer Use People / Serve Them

“The inanimate as well as the animate is called upon, depended upon for service.  All use Farmhouses in a Wheat Field van goghis replaced with service, and appreciation replaces the callousness with which use once occurred.  (A Course of Love, 20.38)”

Affirmation:  “I will not use another person today.”

Reflections:

1 – Use

We are led to understand in A Course of Love that much of our time on earth has been a reaching out to others to “use” them in some way.  We have known that we need others, but rather than love those others with a wholehearted embrace, we have chosen to “love” those who can do something for us, who can answer some need within ourselves.  This is to use the other person.

2 – Self-Interest

What a sad way to live!  And, most importantly, it won’t work, even if our egoic notions are telling us that it will.  Other people, whether religious or not, know when our interest in them is tainted by self-interest, and other people naturally recoil from this.  Only in special relationships, in which it seems that each person has something that he/she can gain from the other, is there even the illusion of a mutual exchange.  And the special relationship does not stay special.  Frequently, if it doesn’t evolve into a holy relationship, the special relationship deteriorates into hate.  Our needs fail to be met by the other, and we hold that against him/her.

3 – Service

We do not need to use others.  We need to be of service to them.  And the best things that we do will justify us in our own eyes.  We will feel guilt no longer.  We will experience the love that we are meant to experience, for we are giving, not “using” another.  When we give, we also receive, for both are equal in God’s sight.   Only when we give and receive in equal parts do we share the holiness that is ours by birthright (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

4 – Appreciation

When we are of service, we naturally appreciate the one whom we are serving.  We do not treat him or her with contempt or callousness any longer.  Our way has brightened, and we are once again on the way back to God.  What better way than to walk with Jesus along a brighter path?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I serve others today, in the best connotations of what Jesus meant.  May I not let self-interest cause me to “use” anybody for any reason whatsoever.  May I not stoop to that level.

Help me to ask You how I might best be of service to others.  Let me not see the need for service where it would be unwelcome.  Help me to withdraw if another does not want me near.  Help me to follow Your guidance in such matters.

Be with me as I seek to expand my service over the coming days and weeks.  I would do more for You, but only the more that You ask.

Amen.