Updated: Jun 2
How did the word "sacrifice" in relationships get a such bad rap?
The ancestral Greek meaning of sacrifice is to kill, slaughter. It is interesting that it is common lauguage in relationships.
It is also not surprising that many times we cringe at the thought of having to sacrifice, to compromise. We have been conditioned to perceive sacrifice as a rough experience, to believe that sacrifice is a bad rap.
Sacrifice is defined as giving up something we value for the sake of something else we value.
Yes we all like to have our cake and eat it. And I say why not? Life is about enjoying to the max and having it all.
We can have it all, but not all at the same time. There is such a thing as timing. There is such a thing as picking one's battles and also picking one's sweeties.
I remember giving up a career opportunity abroad because it was not convenient for my relationship and I also remember another time, when I gave up a relationship for a career opportunity abroad. Both times involved sacrifice of something I valued for something I valued even more in that moment. There was no regret required as I was making the choices in the moment as best as I could. However it took time to reconcile the doubts within.
Sacrifice is not an easy experience because it involves things of high value to us. Regret in that moment is inevitable whichever option is taken, so the key thing is to clarify which option we will regret the least and be gentle as we reconcile and align with our true sense of being.
Many options in our day to day, in our lives require sacrifice. There is no right or wrong option because we alone have to live with our decision longest term.
For example when we have to set aside a big dream of ours for a big dream of a beloved, whose happiness means a lot to us. Again it comes down to clarifying which loss will hold the least regret for us. Or which option excites us the most.
Sacrifice, the process of letting go of something of high value to us, which could be time, money, dignity, dream, respect, happiness, peace, goal, etc for something else also of high value, which could again be time, money, dignity, dream, respect, happiness, peace, goal etc, requires us to be kind to our own self and make the decision from a place of unconditional love. Open your heart to yourself and see what is inside.
Key questions to consider when faced with making a sacrifice.
Which option excites you the most?
Which option will be kindest to you?
Which option will hold the least pain for you?
Which option will be least inconvenient for you?
Trying to decide best option from the perspective of another person is where victimhood begins. And is really why we end up with lasting regrets over time. Sacrifice is best made from one's own perspective. The perspective of the other person, our beloved does matter, and time may be needed to really consider the options, but the final decision is ours to make.
The decision of what sacrifice to make is different from how to manage it. Making time to clarify within us and then express our stance to our beloved, with unconditional positive regard for our own self and the other person goes a long way in having our best outcomes, in the long term at the very least.
If we feel that we have no choice in the matter, we are holding a misperception. We always have a choice in the matter. It might not be an easy, sometimes we benefit from help to make the decision, to clarify our pros and cons but it is up to us to decide what holds the least regret for us, when we are faced with letting go of something we love.
As we deeper understand, trust and have compassion for our own self, sacrifices become easier to make. They may never be easy, but they do become easier.
We come to see that timing is key in how our life journey flows. Things do not have to be so complicated. We see how our experiences somehow fit one with another.
The future cannot be planned and uncertainty is real, so we make our decisions based on what we perceive in the present, knowing that things unfold gradually rather than overnight.
So the next time you have to make a sacrifice, consider the key questions above, stay in a place of unconditional love, think about which option holds the most excitement, least regret, the most love for you, to you.
From this heart centred space, sacrifice is really about making an empowered choice.
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