Service or self sacrifice?
Why do we go against ourselves? Why do we ignore our needs?
Everything we do because we get something out of it. We benefit from it in a certain way.
So what are the benefits of self sacrifice?
Why do we keep sacrificing ourselves, our dreams, our lives?
My definition of sacrifice
For me sacrifice comes from a sense of obligation, guilt (I should do..), implies an effort, forcing myself to do something without my deeper conviction. It is my experience that long term sacrifice always leads to a sense of resentment and later anger. Eventually it ends in burnout, a breakdown. Deep within I feel fear and a lack of trust that I can I can be loved without the sacrifice, without giving something up that is important for me.
Sacrifice for me means:
“I am not important, I don't matter I always put other's needs first.”
Benefits of self sacrifice
Let's look at the perceived benefits of self sacrifice like a sense of superiority, affirmation, acceptance, belonging, and love ultimately.
When I am in self sacrifice, I feel better than others, I think I know better what's good for them and somehow I feel superior. I feel I am doing the right thing, something useful and noble. I feel like I am helping. This makes me feel good and gives me a sense of confidence, and a sense of belonging.
Most of us thinks about sacrifice as something noble, the right thing to do, a loving act. We we sacrifice something we usually get outside appraisal, validation and admiration of others. We feel accepted, included and loved in a way.
Why do we think that sacrifice is a good thing?
This mostly comes from a religious dogma that says salvation is through sacrifice and sacrifice is the highest good and service.
From this perspective sacrifice is something desirable, something good.
“Jesus the son of god sacrificed himself for our sins on the cross to go to heaven.”
In my life this behavior showed up in many ways but in the end I always drove myself to exhaustion and breakdown on multiple levels. Sounds familiar?
Based on my experience sacrifice is not sustainable.
When we finally break down and fall apart, we become dependent on others to help us and finally we can rest and receive the well deserved love and care. How crazy is that?
“I sacrificed myself for you so now you have to love me, sacrifice yourself for me!”
How is this working out for you?
When I put others first all the time I start to ignore my needs, I never have time to think about myself or acknowledge how I feel, what I truly desire. There is a total lack of self care, self love, I feel exhausted, unworthy, failing, confused and powerless. I don't like to feel this way. I used to think that sacrifice is something good and noble but I know now that going against myself can never be right. It just doesn't feel right.
I can't live other people's life and I can't make their decisions. Giving up my path and trying to walk their path, his is the ultimate sacrifice. Not living my life. Not making my own decisions.
The other end of the scale
For me the opposite of sacrifice is total selfishness.
“Only my needs are important, I don't care about the others”
The golden middle: being in service
Service is motivated by love (I want to do/I desire...), never by fear.
It is a voluntary and personal action, only you can do it, choose to do it. It's a voluntary action that arises from the heart and fills you with joy, excitement and gratitude. You feel uplifted, elevated and empowered after an act of service. Simply you all feel good. It is an inspired and effortless action. You can only give when you have. When you are in service you are in a state of surrender and deep trust.
“I am as much as important as you. We are both important. I honor you as much as I honor myself. We are connected, One.”
When I feel good and treat myself well, I am happy to give and help others. I find joy in doing it. I have to fill up my own cup first and then I can help other. This way we all empower and uplift each other.
Love is the biggest power
Our deepest desire is to feel connected and loved.
Most of us believe in some level that we have to sacrifice ourselves in order to be worthy of love. This is not true.
Love starts within the self, towards yourself. Self love implies self care, loving, accepting and taking good care of yourself. Sacarifice is a complete opposite of this. Therefore sacrifice is not a loving act. It's not real giving. It is really taking something from others in order to feel good.
Real love has no conditions. You don't have to earn it or achieve it.
You deserve to be happy and loved just because you are. You don't have to suffer.
Be loving. The more loving you are the more open you are to receive more love.
Start with loving yourself and choosing your Life.