When a person is truly in a state of love, of compassion or of joy, sharing is natural. Giving is natural. If you love a song, there is no sacrifice in letting a friend listen so that they can discover the same joy that you found. If a child picks a flower to give to their mother, the giving of the gift is no burden, no sacrifice.
As far as love is concerned, there is no loss in sacrifice.
For a loving parent, though the task may be unpleasant, to change the diaper of a baby and bring comfort and relief is natural. To put in time and effort to feed and clothe a child is normal and natural. To allow a child to go without brings pain to the heart of one who truly loves, who truly cares.
The real sacrifice would be in selfishness, in allowing a loved one to experience unnecessary pain.
The more we open our hearts, the more we cultivate love and compassion, the more foreign the idea of sacrifice becomes to us. When your heart is open, the joy of another is your joy. To the compassionate heart, the relief another feels when their pain fades is your relief as well.
In love we are connected, united as one, part of the whole, inseparable from one another.
The idea that love is self-sacrifice is a misunderstanding. It may serve a purpose for a while as people move out of egoic thinking and into love, self-sacrifice can help people discover the joy found in giving, in sharing, in caring and in being connected with one another; but, ultimately, it is an idea to be transcended and outgrown.
Love unifies and if we are One there is no loss in giving, there is no loss in sharing.
If you love nature, seeing litter laying about is frustrating, it’s upsetting to see the world you love treated with disrespect. But, to restore the beauty of a natural scene is no sacrifice. To clean up the litter, to clean up the trash, is a natural expression of your love. The time and effort that you invest in cleaning brings you the blessing of relief from the sorrow you feel when you see the mess. The act of cleaning things up heals the unpleasant situation and brings relief and allows us to rediscover the joy of looking on the beauty of nature. In what way is that a sacrifice? How is it that so many people view working to clean things up as a burden, when it is clearly a blessing?
If you love your neighborhood and your neighbors, is it a sacrifice to work for the betterment of the neighborhood? The work is important; but, it is no sacrifice to show the people that you care about that you care. It is no sacrifice to work for the betterment of friends, families and neighbors.
Joy is an element of love and whenever we express love we tune into joy. There is joy in compassionate service itself, not just in the other rewards that may or may not come to us as a result.
Ego isolates, creates loneliness and cuts us off from one another. If a person is thinking in terms of sacrifice, they are focused on themselves and on what they are giving, what they are losing. That which is given always has strings attached and an expectation of a specific reward, a pay-out.
But, the real payout of giving lies in the act of giving. It lies in the joy we experience when we bring others joy. It lies is the connections with other people that we make. It lies in being able to connect with the wholly fulfilling and satisfying energy of love itself.
Love is always there for you. Love lies within you; and you can always choose to connect with it, you can choose to allow it in. If you want to feel joy and banish sorrow, pain and loneliness, the easiest way is simply to do something kind for another. In so doing, you will come to discover that those acts of kindness for other people are always gifts that you give yourself as well.
Thank you for reading and God Bless,