I’ve been gone for a while on a much needed hiatus from writing. As much as I hated starting a blog and having to leave it, it was necessary. My hiatus was full and great news came in the midst. More on that later…my hiatus was a big sacrifice. In fact I learned more about sacrifice then I expected.
The etymology of sacrifice is literally translated “make holy” and there are some different ways to interpret holy. Pre-Christianity holy was more than likely translated “to preserve something.” Holy is also translated as “making whole” or “set apart.” See, much of this confused me. If you set apart (i.e. separate) something, how is it whole or being made whole? How do you know what to separate to make “wholeness”? Furthermore, is sacrifice really the only way to achieve wholeness, holiness? Let me be honest, sacrifice is not my strong suit. No, I’m not a hoarder of material things (clutter makes me anxious) but I hoard activities, gatherings, and people like crazy. I find value in most anything. One time I went to a party and people were smoking, green stuff, and I had never done it. I figured chalk it up to an experience to add to the bucket list…I hated it. But I saw value in it; I learned that I hated it. But the question remained, did I really need to smoke it in order to know that I hated it? Very consciously, the reason that I never smoked was I hate smoke and the smell. Logic would say, “you won’t like this…keep moving.” But like I said I hoard…experiences.
Welp, all this hoarding led me for the past few months to really begin to understand what it means to sacrifice. So I thought I had no limits. I’m a strong, intelligent person that can juggle and type at the same time. But I reached my limit. I started to see my “wholeness” fall apart and in order to maintain my wholeness, I had to sacrifice or die…quite possibly. This blog was one major sacrifice and there were others. Through this sacrifice to maintain wholeness though, I discovered that I don’t need all of these things I’ve been hoarding. Man, it is hard to let go because for some time I believed these activities, people, and events made me whole. To my surprise, it did not! Don’t get me wrong, I still go out and have a good time, but not nearly as frequently as I used to and not with the same people. Sacrifice. Down to the essential. A sacrifice can be small or big. Whatever it is, it must make an area of your life whole. Here are some ways to tell if an area of your life is ready for a sacrifice:
1. It scares you. Oh yeah, that one thing you are terrified to do for whatever reason is preventing you from being whole. Scared of heights? So you avoid tall buildings, bridges, stairwells, etc. That is an area to seek wholeness/holiness. Try to overcome that fear.
2. Stressful. The thrill is gone. That thing you used to love is now bringing you much anxiety or something new entered your life that is creating anxiety. Dump it/him/her/them. Stress takes people so far out of character that they do some crazy things. It speeds up your reactions and nerve receptors to a point of no return. Good stress, like preparing for a big project, are harmless but if that stress continues day after day, it will be harmful. Check it.
3. No longer useful. Every year, I give away clothes and shoes. Of course, this is simplistic but the value of these things are null so they must go. Get rid of some things before it fits into #1 or #2. It is really about sacrificing for the greater good.
4. Control. When we sacrifice, we give up control. Anyone else suffer from controlling-itis? I want to control many things; it brings me comfort. Yet, in my period of sacrifice I realized I don’t control a damn thing. Not one. Single. Thing. All an illusion. The only thing I really control is my actions. Everything else just does. If you find that something consumes you and all you want to do is control it, relinquish your grip and watch what happens.
I’d be lying if I told you I have accomplished everything on this list. Real talk, it may be a decade before I master this art of sacrifice, but at least I can recognize it.