I have rejected the idea of self-sacrifice especially after my being got fragmented post stepping into motherhood, which now is clear only came from a point of not fully understanding its meaning and purpose. It always felt like ‘what about me’? The position of a wounded part within, which always felt unseen and unheard, the part, which felt her needs were ignored and not met. Limited perspective.
It has recently grown into a wider understanding through looking at my mother’s life. I find it’s always valuable to look outwards for examples of self-sacrifice and what that shows and teaches us. There’s one crucial key to self-sacrifice and that is a firm personal choice and from there what follows is meaning making. They go together to be more precise.
On the surface it looks like she completely sacrificed her life for her husband and kids. It often begged a question ‘but what about her’. I am sure she asked that enough times herself in moments of despair and uncertainty, however, she always remained firm in her choice to self-sacrifice. We might ask why? And the answer is for the greater good, for better outcome all around, for happiness on a wider scale, which she could contribute to. It is her contribution to the wider good and her choice in sacrificing if necessary that carried her through life and, guess what, she remained happy throughout. It is from seeing others happy and content she drew her own happiness and contentment. That always remained her personal choice and one might even say her life purpose.
We can draw parallels with people at war fighting for their country and overall peace and freedom; someone dying in order for someone else to live; for putting yourself on the line so others can benefit.
It is a choice and if made with full awareness and focus one lives their life with that purpose, which then becomes a way of life and a path to inner peace and satisfaction.
The piece that I was missing was self-sacrificing through choice and a feeling of knowing I was self-sacrificing but neither through choice nor understanding why one would want to do that sort of thing.
Life is about making choices. It is not so much about circumstances we feel we ended up in, which automatically carries a feeling of victim hood or outward blaming, but looking at our own choices that created those circumstances that we ended up in.
Awareness is the first step. Unraveling what’s going on inside of us, what feels good and what doesn’t. Only through accepting ourselves fully we can get to know ourselves on a deeper level. Then we make choices from what our internal understanding tells us. We take one path or another and as we do that we work with creating meaning and from meaning comes purpose. What makes us most joyous and our life meaningful? We may choose to sacrifice our self-interests for the sake of our family and children and as long as that choice is made with a heart full of unconditional love and knowing what that means to us we continue living our life content with our choices and regrets do not come into it. It requires love, inner strength and focus on what we chose to do in life that our life is filled with constant meaning. That was my mother’s choice and it might seem like a life of misery to others yet she wouldn’t change a thing. Inspiring and a great lesson.
The following quote would not have me agreeing not so long ago and it might not be true for me still, not always, but it allows me to understand my mother better. It is true for her and that’s what matters.
It takes a special type of person we might think and yes there’s something saintly about it and of course it is like unconditional love is pure and spirit like. However, there is also something very human and natural about it and I have no doubt many do this without much thinking or consideration. They are simply led by their heart and intention of love always. By giving to others she also gave to herself!
I feel blessed to continue learning from my mother and moments of understanding and awareness become more frequent as I grow myself in the role of a mother and a human being. It gives me not only peace but fills my heart with love that often felt unreachable and missing. It is as if my heart grows into understanding of itself as it aligns with love that always had existed around me and continues to exist. It all begins and ends with love.