Martyrdom? Never been a fan.
I even look at the idea of self-sacrifice with a raised eyebrow and a side-eye.
And here’s why:
Since our ‘self’ is our offering; our ‘self’ is what we seek to give of to others; our ‘self’ is our service in and for the world … how in the world have we become ok with self-sacrifice; sacrificing the very thing we seek to give, offer, be of service with, in and for the world? It just doesn’t make sense. I don’t know who sold us that bill of rotten goods but:
self-sacrifice and giving of our ‘self’ in service to the world don’t go together – they can’t go together.
You can’t sacrifice the very thing (your ‘self’) that you’re offering in service and then be able to provide that service well, effectively, impactfully, joyfully, whole, complete, or even in good faith. The taxi driver doesn’t take her taxi and run it into the ground; ignoring all need of maintenance, oil, gas, fixing, and upgrades and still expect to be able to continue to provide an effective taxi service – certainly not one people would value and pay for. The fisher-woman doesn’t allow her net to develop gaping holes and edges so frayed that it could never catch a hippo, much less anything that would be of real service to her fish-buying customers. In either case what would be the point? In both cases you are the taxi; you are the net.
And the question remains: if you sacrifice the very thing you offer in service to the world, what would be the point?
Self-sacrifice ultimately means we’re offering ourselves in half, in part; we’re offering mere shells of ourselves in service to others. Why would we do that? Why would we be ok with that? Why have we become ok with that? Who said that was a ‘thing’ we should do?
We can’t afford to do that self-sacrifice thing to ourselves anymore! Not only because of the cost to others we desire to serve, but most importantly because of the costs to ourselves. Self-sacrifice invariably looks like one or more of the following: sadness, melancholy, anger, poor health, diabetes, poor nutrition, bad relationships, no relationships, overeating, under-eating, not eating, high blood pressure, addictions of so many kinds, diabetes, lack of exercise, unhappiness, constant complaining, lack of hope/optimism, low energy, heavy energy, no energy, low vibration, mental illness, stroke, heart attack, loneliness, isolation, and on and on and on. And yet we continue to offer this shell of an existence; this shell of our beautiful, magnificent, Divine, and powerful selves – that which is left over of ourselves after we self-sacrifice – this we offer as our service in and for the world?
Self-sacrifice …it simply doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you really look at it now does it?
Self-care is absolutely essential to the service we want to offer; the service we want to be in and for the world.
Self care re-members those parts of ourselves we sacrificed, so that we can be whole. Self-care reminds us of our duty, obligation, and birthright to be, live, and thrive in this life; to experience this life whole, complete, and full of (fully connected with) our Goddess-Self; and therefore serve in that same Divinely exquisite manner. Self-care reminds us that when our service is our ‘self’ we must be responsible stewards of ‘her’ in all her needs so that we can give of that gift of ‘self’ in her whole strength; not in her weakened parts. Self-care allows us to be whole so that we can serve whole; be full so that we can serve fully; be replenished so that we can serve continually. Self-care assures we be well, so we can do well, so we can live well, so we can give well. Self-care provides the example to the next generation of ‘self’-givers how to truly give of themselves in ways that maintain and sustain them for the job and thereby end this cycle of self-sacrificing and martyring of the very thing we seek to offer in service to and for the world.
When your self is your service, when your offering is you, the greatest offering you can give and the greatest service you can be is the experience of you through self-care; the experience of the self-cared you.
There is no more powerful, no more impactful, no more change-making, no more essential service you can offer in and for the world than the self-cared you!
In another post we’ll discuss what true self-care looks like, and while it’s not all bubble baths, spas and massages, interestingly enough, once we free ourselves from the self-sacrifice and martyrdom mindsets, you may be pleasantly surprised the part those very things can play (that you may well want them to play) in your own true self-care.
Until next time, take good self-care of you, and, as always,
BE … ILLUMINED!
Are you sacrificing the very thing you’re offering in service to the world?
How can you experience, and what can you offer the world, through the self-cared you?