how may I serve?

My friend @jenpastiloff asks “how may I serve?” in her voice like molasses and it often echoes in my head. accountability feels like medicine these days. admitting where I am not accountable feels like a pill I haven’t been able to swallow but am ready to mash up and coat in peanut butter and admit life is not a sprint up a hill, it’s a trudge with flat land for breakthroughs, where your lungs are forced open and breath like clarity balloons you, incapacitates you, brings razors and focus and wisdom and then the humble of a bad knee or greasy joint follows, you wrap it, and keep going.

You must not stay on the plateau. you deserved the break, the snack, the ice of a stream and a cotton candy sky. the mountain awaits you. the trek of your life’s work runs rocky in the distance. here are my trail guides. they are questions because answers are quick-sand, and curiosity is perseverance:

1. what are the things I say as loud absolutes and why do I need volume to prove a silent truth?
2. where does coping become a bandaid for a cut that is ready to heal?
3. may I admit the things in my life that once thrilled me but now make me exhausted? is it okay to undefine myself from them?
4. what thrills me now?
5. now that I know I am special can I use my skill and prowess to help others recognize the same?
6. can I make room for what makes others special?
7. what education must I unlearn to make space in my soul for information ignorance did not let me learn?
8. how is my job serving others?
9. how can I part with what I perceive as impenetrable youth and melt into a wiser body with gratitude and without shame?
10. when will my patience for unnecessary thoughts turn to acceptance that the journey to dismiss them will include relapses and disappointment?
11. can I stop being surprised by other people’s anger? can I always recognize it as wounds in halloween’s clothing?
12. can I admit that my relationship to sex and my body will always carry seeds of unfairness that were planted long ago?
13. can I allow my partner to dig those roots up with me?
14. can I accept that my parents did the best that they could while always making room for a child who will never find some of the puzzle pieces that make love whole? . can I still cherish that game without winning it?can I give compliments freely and remember that withholding them will never make room for more to come? Can I validate myself in the same way I validate others?
16. can I see the pain in the world and serve it as a humble listener, followed by education and action? can I recognize the shame and guilt that will come hand and hand with this and not allow it to paralyze me?
17. can I trust that the more I tap into the well of me the more drink I will have to offer others?
18. can I begin to retire the notion of blaming myself, knowing that is a cop-out and that self-punishment is a distraction from my ability to help others?
19. can I rupture the premise of all-looming perfection, destroy the door it keeps creeping into, and admit imperfection as often as I blink my eyes?
20. and as I open them once more, can I ask the question: how may I serve?