There are few words in the dictionary that confuse me. One of them is Sacrifice. Today I will talk about this.
There are some words that are a part of our moral and legal life. They are designed to stream line our social life in such a way that they would provide us with long lasting happiness. However we have misconstrued their meaning in such a way that they are now a cause of our pain than happiness. Sacrifice is one such word , I shall just try to enhance its real meaning as I have understood to bring back that long lasting happiness again.
How do you feel if I ask you to Sacrifice something on behalf of something else? Do you feel good elated? Happy sad mixed feelings.. A desire of wanting to have both the “something’s” and yet unable to have them together. Definitely a feeling of loss I’d say.
Sacrifice in my mind is an act of giving up something (cause 1) that was an existing or present source of your happiness for something else (cause 2) that will presumably give you happiness in future or for duty towards something or someone.
Duty means something that you are “due” for. Duty comes from the word “due” and Sacrifice comes from the word “sacred”. Together they shall mean to do something sacred that is due.
This brings us to the brink of morally sacred or not, right or wrong, legal or illegal etc. All this is debatable depending on the moral fabric of the person or what he/she prioritizes in their life. Because that is how people choose what is important to them in the present and what shall be important to them in the future thus you can sacrifice whatever is less important to you. In short there are no fixed parameters of sacrifice which will give same happiness to both you and me. For example duty towards parents, loved ones, friends, society, motherland, planet or nature, religion, humanity etc each one of us can have completely different priorities to address.
When we address words like Sacrifice in our everyday lives, we create feelings of giving up unfortunately not by will but by force of “Duty”. A set of standards set up by others in the name of duty. So we create a feeling of powerlessness, as if I am giving up something for want of something better in return. Thus creating expectations, with happiness due on future events. For example a parent sacrifices today’s material need for future of the child, partly internally expecting the child to love and care for them in older age. A feeling of giving up something today hoping to cover it up with happiness in future.
But life is not the same, some of us get good returns in the cause that we have given up our happiness for and some of us do not get anything in return. That sours our taste towards life and eventually we start acting selfish after sometime. Now we have to break this phenomenon and see Sacrifice in its new meaning.
The reason for this phenomenon is “constant feeling of loss and fear of return in future” , yes we do it all the time unknowingly even in our most unconditional relationships we do it … even parents do it that is why they feel so betrayed in their older age. Unfortunately all this time we have the tendency of blaming the one who is supposed to fulfill that happiness for you in the future let us say for parents hurt children are blamed but blaming them will not solve the pain that has already been created. Rather a little renewing on the concept of Sacrifice can.
Sacrifice is over shadowed by the word Duty. However we have been taught to first fulfill our duties towards everyone and at the end towards ourselves. This is the crux of the problem that starts with sacrifice and ends up making us selfish. A constant denial of our wants and needs over the time deeply creates feeling of loss and powerlessness which transcends into a physical or emotional outburst later.
As soon as we are born we are assumed to fulfill our duties towards our parents, family, nation, humanity etc. What we essentially forget is our first duty much before than these duties is towards “I” the self and no this is no selfishness , it is merely accepting the fact that once you are put in this body it is your prime duty to fulfill certain needs of it like food , clothing , love , peace etc. Simply recognizing this will make sure that you never compromise with certain basic needs of yourself which are reason of your primary happiness, everything else that you “let go” must be considered as bonus.
A) However as each person is different the requirements of basic happiness will be different. For example for a solider his motherland is more important that his survival but for how much and how long?? These days we have seen many who would give up on their motherland for some rupees it means that their basic need of happiness was not clear and the need was never met. So a set of counseling is required to check “what exactly is the basic need?” – let each one of us sit back and really check on our needs.
It is good to know inside ourselves that I cannot sacrifice more than this limit than do it and regret later. Example someone can live 1 new pair of clothes in an year on giving up everything else the person must remind himself that I am satisfied as my basic need has been met already everything else is a bonus. Check and Set your Priorities.
B) Comparison is the biggest problem of confusion these days. It is easier said than done. We keep saying we must not compare our things with anyone, we must not live by standards set by others etc but unknowingly we keep doing it all the time. I realized that when I set my standards my need was much less but when faced with comparison my MARK of basic need waived and it happened so fast that I could hardly keep a note of it till the time I felt vacuum.
To avoid this either we must repeat our basic need daily or if need be make alterations to it , increase or decrease the level of needs and talk to yourself about it. Such that a sense of power in instilled in. Let your mind accept that the decision or choice was done only after you met your basic needs. So your “Happiness” holds inside you.
C) Stop being vague in setting needs. Yes a thing I realized was we vaguely set needs especially when it has to do with feelings. We all need love and none can deny that, so we all want our loved one’s happy. Thus we vaguely set limit. But when faced with situation of ethics or morals versus happiness of loved ones we fail to take the right decision.
So in my opinion we must set our needs in details.
For example if I want my loved one’s to be happy … then how much I am ready to give up on my decisions, my ethics or values , my ideas or notions and sometimes on clash of two loved one’s whose happiness matters more. And Make sure you do not decide this with just feelings, be VERY VERY logical in convincing your mind about such needs.
And just in case you feel two people or two feelings are in equal position and you are not able to give up on either one. Then "Do not" rather ask your mind to show ways to hold both things together and trust me mind does show a new way. Be not desperate but Be confident.
D) Get over past decisions and situations. As I said earlier when we Sacrifice “cause 1 present” for “cause 2 future”. We wholeheartedly expect the “cause 2” to be successful so that we can forget what we have given up. Unfortunately sometimes even “cause 2” fails miserably at that time, we create pain not just because we have lost “cause 2” but because we have lost happiness involved in “cause 1”.
First: Happiness is a wrong term we associate with every other mundane thing; we must refer it as comfort. So a little change in mind would be you had given up your comfort for “cause 2” not happiness.
Second: While making a choice between “cause 1” and “cause 2” be clear with your priority list… very very clear in details. Then choose a mindset which is empowering. For example “I have fulfilled my basic needs, my happiness is met and it is my decision to empower myself to live without cause 1 no matter what are results of cause 2”.
Life is not as short as people feel. If you can value each second and bless everything around you. You Live more than your life each day.
Like I have always said I practice what I write here. So I’ll share a method I use very often and which seems very powerful to me. It is a kettle and cup example. I tell myself that even though both kettle and cup are made to hold tea, their individual purpose and capacity and usefulness cannot be compared. Each one is a special one. This helps me big time over every day comparisons and temptations.
Sacrifice if you must but your old habits. Everyone fails even I do but never fail to keep trying ;)
P.S -- Sorry everyone to keep you waiting for a long time , I was just engaged in many things in life. Shall try put up other posts on time. Sorry again.