Stop sacrificing your life by accepting a suffering that changes nothing!
This is a call to action because often reality doesn’t need to be hidden, apparently we need to hide from it. Reality, as the words that define it, must appear clearly in front of us in order to help us acquire the necessary resources to adapt even to what we don’t necessarily like. Or what doesn’t coincide with the stories created in our imagination, but still happens.
We believe somehow that if we suffer, we are better. Because we also believe that suffering is a virtue. Because we were taught to believe that. Because we think that if we sacrifice ourselves, someone will make us a statue. What does this symbolic statue really means? It means the validation of our suffering. It means acceptance and satisfying the need of belonging, of being „contained”. It means that we feel worthy and good only if others, one way or another, return us the favour of our sacrifice.
What we may sometimes omit is that our expectations don’t always coincide with reality. That no one forces us to sacrifice ourselves, that we don’t have to suffer if we choose not to. Sounds weird? Why? Both suffering and happiness are personal choices, perhaps unconscious ones.
Do you think, for example, that if you give up on yourself to satisfy the whims and needs of another person you will be happier just because you expect them to do the same? Think again. It's about your expectations and needs. And when what you dream doesn’t happen, you suffer. Because you gave up on yourself for the sake of some, often illusory, expectations.
Do you think that if you shut up and accept to play a secondary role in your own life, always putting other people and their desires first you will be more lovable? More enjoyable? Think again. The less you should sacrifice for those people who look for you only because they know they can obtain some benefits from your “goodness”. And the less you should care whether they like you or not. What are you looking for you’ll find only inside of yourself. Have the courage and look. Put aside all your dysfunctional and toxic beliefs which stop you to see yourself clearly. You’re not what others have told you that you are and you don’t have to do what they "dictated" you to do. Or what you thought you had to do because they made you feel guilty and ashamed.
You are the master of your life. Are you afraid? It's ok, it will pass. Once you face it and you see that you are much stronger than you have thought, the fear will go away. Have the courage to face your fears!
How long will you continue to think that by sacrificing yourself you will be able to change others? What price do you pay for this illusion? People don’t necessarily change for the sake of others, they change if they really want that. If they find benefits in that change. Or, rather, if the benefits of change surpass those of the present situation. But if you keep yourself silenced, if you give up on yourself, if you accept to be treated with lack of respect and consideration, if you "forgive" when you don’t feel to forgive, the other person will find no reason to change, regardless of their promises. Things are still working. They identified your weaknesses, why not take advantage of them, of your "kindness"?
How long will you sink into a suffering that doesn’t change anything, in fact? At least not in a positive way. Years are passing by and if you're not on your side, no one will be. This is a call to action. If there is doubt inside your mind, if hope has a bitter taste being overshadowed by self-delusions, I invite you to think again.
You are your best friend. Or it would be nice to be. Nobody knows you better than yourself, nobody can be there for you with more passion and dedication. Don’t turn the weapons against yourself, stop lying to yourself. The greatest hope and the worst despair won’t come from others. All of these are created within. And it all starts with the relationship you have with yourself.
Sometimes I’ve been reproached that I promote selfishness. What I'm promoting, in fact, is a healthy relationship with yourself. Because that's where it all starts. If, in order to have a healthy relationship with yourself, you distance yourself from people who darken your existence, assuming that some of them will tell you that you are selfish will be just one step in your evolution.
If you say "no" when you want to say "no," if you will honor your being through every thought and action, perhaps you will be considered selfish. A "selfish" person who doesn’t make anything bad to others. A "selfish" person who knows they can’t offer anything if they don’t have their “tanks” full if they aren’t at peace with themselves and their choices. A "selfish"person aware of their inner strength.
And if we all were "selfish" this way, the world would turn into a less selfish place. Ironic. Because each of us would act and be aware of what we can or can’t offer by becoming honest about what we expect or not to receive.
How selfish are you?
Dr. Ursula Sandner