Self-sacrifice NEVER works

Photo by Lisa Thornberg/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Lisa Thornberg/iStock / Getty Images

by Caroline Stewart

Self-sacrifice NEVER works.  Giving that dishonours you is nothing more than a sinkhole for happiness and joy.

Yes, I'm totally speaking from experience here.

I'm a self-professed, slowly recovering, people pleaser.  I come from a long line of people pleasers before me; all of whom are women.  

I say I am slowly recovering because I carry about my life totally oblivious to the fact that I'm even doing the people pleasing thing again.  Then BAM, I'm hit with another reminder of the chaos my people pleasing causes.

Like yesterday for example.  I've spent the last couple years of my life feeling totally indebted to my parents.  They offered me support in some of my most difficult moments and I have been making choices with the sole purpose of repaying this support.

Now here's where the people pleasing becomes a problem.  In order to do what I thought was right, I made choices that went TOTALLY against my personal values and life vision.

I somehow thought that by self-sacrificing I would repay the debt I owed.  I purposefully stepped away from the things that light me up and bring me joy in favour of those that appear to demonstrate my gratitude.  

Then yesterday came along and I just couldn't do it anymore.  The self-sacrificing became too much.  Everything in me screamed for release.

Now...guess what happens when something under pressure finds a weakened spot?  Yup, you got it.  EXPLOSION!

Because self-sacrifice NEVER WORKS.

It's a bandaid.  And a pretty shitty one at that.  It's the kind of bandaid that doesn't even really cover the wound that we are trying to fix and keeps falling off every time we change our clothes.

Self-sacrifice covers up the truth of what's really going on and denies us the process of healing.  Being open and honest is the only way to truly heal.

When we step away from our desires and vision, we step away from who we are.  We think we're doing the right thing by sacrificing, but what we're actually doing is DENYING ourselves and others of our TRUE GIFTS.

Gratitude and accountability DO NOT equal self-sacrifice.  We can offer all the same things while still honouring ourselves.  Yes, it takes more vulnerability and definitely more self-awareness.  But it's essential to our happiness and to authenticity.

And so I commit to no more self-sacrifice!  Sure, I'll likely relapse into doing the people pleasing thing again.  As the saying goes, 'old habits die hard'.  But, awareness is the first step to our liberation.

And I'm just gonna keep taking those steps...