• Are You Sacrificing Your Life for Others?

    I woke up with a heavy heart – again. I hated this sadness. Hated that I didn’t feel more grateful for my life. There were so many things I could be grateful for, but every time I tried to pull gratitude out of the bag, it never reached my heart.

    “It’s the way I’m seeing my life, it’s not my life, that’s causing me problems!” I reprimanded and knew, to some extent, it was true.

    There was nothing inherently wrong. My days were full with writing, teaching, coaching, and basic business upkeep. In between, I fit in workouts, grocery shopping, errands, car maintenance, relationships, and clean underwear.

    I was managing it all. Except, I wasn’t. Not really.

    Waking up repeatedly heavy hearted and dejected, meditation and journaling brought enough relief to continue on with my day. I thought it was simply mind over matter and changing my attitude. I was wrong.

    Persistent emotions arise to tell us something.  But, sometimes, it takes a while before we’re ready to listen.

     

    One morning, I awoke angry. This is new, I thought. I ran to my meditation chair and began scribbling. Out came all the things I was NOT going to do anymore. As ink spewed across the page, I began to feel better, stronger.

    But when I looked at my list, a voice scolded right back, “But if you do that, you’re going to let people down and jeopardize your businesses!”

    For a moment I stopped. Then a calmer voice spoke, “I am willing to fail if it means saving my own life.” And for the first time, I meant it. Desiring to feel good again mattered more than upsetting others, disappointing them, or having them leave.

    For once, I wanted to be happy more than I wanted to “be good”.

    And that was it. I donned the pretty costume that said, “good people care, are there for others, and loyal above all else.” And truth to be told, part of me liked being the do-gooder. It made me feel significant.

    But not happy.

    I began organizing my day around the things I wanted to do for myself and fit in everything and everyone else around that.  Curiously enough, this act of self-love lightened my heart so much, I became inspired to complete several projects I hadn’t planned on doing, clear a few dusty errands off my plate, take an unexpected call from a client, visit with a friend for coffee, and take a new exercise class – feeling joyous through it all!

    More things were done that day than I thought possible – almost effortlessly.

    And it wasn’t because I planned them. It was because I put my life before my expectations.

    I had to be selfish in order to become self-less.

    The true irony is as A Course in Miracle states, “to give and receive are one in truth”.

    We can’t give love to others unless we have taken time to receive it ourselves.

    Next time your thinking of sacrificing yourself, try this formula:

    1. Notice the signs of burnout – resentment, heaviness, depletion, martyrdom.
    2. Notice what you would love to do if you had a day to yourself? Or even an hour?
    3. Follow this guidance – give yourself love and see what happens.

    Need more? Watch the video: Why Saying No is the Most Loving Thing You Can Do

     

    More helpful articles:

    You Can’t Pretend and Feel Love

     

    Unconditional Love Does Not Mean Unconditional Limits

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