To Serve Wholeness

What does it mean to be a healer and to serve?

Rachel Naomi Remen makes a distinction between serving, helping, and fixing. Helping implies weakness in the other. Fixing implies something is broken in the other. Serving is relationship of equality, wholeness and connection. She writes,

We don’t serve with our strength, we serve with ourselves. We draw from all of our experiences. Our limitations serve, our wounds serve, even our darkness can serve. The wholeness in us serves the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life. (from In the Service of Life)

Saki Santorelli tells us, “to take care of ourself is to take care of others, to take care of others is to take care of self.” He inquires, “Who is it that wishes to help? What is it in us that wishes to serve, to be of use?” He writes,

…when we stop – when we allow ourselves to be momentarily suspended, fully present with another, with no agenda – we may catch the scent of grace carried from far beyond the ken of grief and joy. After all, isn’t this what we all want? To put our ear to the rail of the heart, to touch our own pulse, to be listened to completely by another, and to be, in that moment, known just as we are.  (from Heal Thy Self)

To be known just as we are. To deeply know others as ourselves, and ourselves as others.


  1. yoga punk says:

    may we take it one step further? what is the distinction between serving and offering?

  2. Rachel says:

    Thanks for the comment, yoga punk! Please say more about this distinction….

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