On Monday night, Jake and I went to see Beautiful Creatures at the movie theater. There was a scene in the movie where the preacher is talking about sacrifice. I can’t remember the exact words but it was about how we think of sacrifice as giving something up. But how it’s really choosing something the more important/precious thing over something else. (Or at least that’s how I interpreted it.) When I heard this, it struck a chord with me.

There are times in my life where something feels like a sacrifice. Like not eating chocolate or baked goods I might want. Or not getting to sleep in. Even the boundaries I set for myself seem like sacrifice sometimes. And sacrifice seems like such a “burden.” I have to sacrifice, poor me. I’m such a victim. It’s another case where thinking of it as a choice point would allow me freedom and the ability to shift the victim mentality.

Thinking of sacrifice as choosing something over something else makes it feel much less about “giving up” something. Instead, it sounds a lot more like prioritizing. In this perspective, I have power. I am choosing X over Y and I could just as easily choose Y over X (or even Z over A). I am not the poor little girl who has to give something up. I am the powerful, confident person who chooses something more important for myself or others.

I am not a victim and I am not a martyr. I am deciding what matters most.

When I look up sacrifice in the thesaurus, I see abandon, surrender, forfeit, relinquish, resign, etc. Most of these seem to be associated with a lack of power. With giving up or giving in. What if letting go was an act of power?

What I’ve learned over the last few years is that no one story is true. No one perspective is right. No one way is accurate. All of the paths, perspectives and stories are possible and they are all available to me.

So why not choose the resonant one?

The one that makes me feel in control, empowered, and excited.

When I think of sacrifice as choosing something more important over something else, I feel less like a victim. I have the flexibility and control to change my mind. This is a resonant place for me.

So I’m going to go with it.

3 comments to Sacrifice

  • Karen, Thank you for the post. I totally agree with you. I now want to see the movie.


  • Cheryl

    Great thoughts. The question though is how you stay in that frame of mind of priority and choice and not slip into the victim mentality and deprivation? Know staying in the present helps. Love your blog!

  • Kim

    Yes, this is exactly how I see/feel it too. When the alarm goes off at that ungodly hour of 5:00 a.m. and at this time of year it is so dark out and because of, partly, the lack of day time light, my body cries for more rest, I, too, feel that sacrificial pull. I try to find it in my mind to think of why I am getting up, the ultimate rewards in that one sacred hour for meditation, yoga or even just reading and then it no longer feels like a sacrifice. It’s just those first few seconds and then I do my best to let it go. Because this year is about letting go for me.

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