Third Pitfall: Sacrificing Ourselves
Hi , welcome to the third video in our series, “Bargain-Hunting Pitfalls.” Today we are looking at the topic of ” Sacrificing Ourselves for Others.” There are lots of reasons why we might bargain hunt, but the one I’m going to focus on today is when we bargain-hunt so that we can invest as less resources so we can set those aside for somebody else.
The first problem that comes up with sacrificing ourselves for others is the same problem that always comes up when we talk about bargain hunting, and that is living in a mindset of scarcity. Scarcity tells us there are only so many resources to go around and we have to adapt to that limitation. Scarcity comes to us from the mental energy field, which is the earthbound part of ourselves which only knows how to adapt to circumstances. That’s opposed to our largest energy field, the spiritual energy field, which is limitless in its capacity for creation and manifesting and expansion and abundance.
How Scarcity Connects to Sacrifice
Scarcity tells us that there are so few resources in the world that not everyone can benefit at the same time. That means if I want somebody else to benefit I have to go without. If I love that person I might be very willing to go without in order that they may have what they need.
Before I had kids I really did not feel responsible for anybody. I was courageous and faith-based and I would take lots of risks based on what seemed to be the right thing to do. I always trusted that it would work out, that here was gonna be abundance waiting for me at the end. But then I had kids and another story lodged in my mind, the story of the sacrificial mother. That story told me that that I couldn’t follow my own path because now I had children.
Picking Your Story
Those two stories lived in conflict in me for awhile. Then a few years ago I had to make a decision between the two of them. I was given the opportunity to take a year-long series of classes on holistic healing. It was very clear to me that it was the right thing to do. My heart was excited my soul was leading, and the path opened up for me at just the right time. But when the instructor asked me if I was ready to commit I froze and said, “I’m afraid this might hurt my family.” He paused for a minute and then said, “How would this hurt your family?” I stopped, considered, and realized I didn’t really know what I was talking about.
Looking back I can see that it was the story of the sacrificial mother speaking from fear. That story tells me if good things happen to me then bad things happen to my kids. But my story of faith told me just the opposite. When I move in faith, when I allow my heart and soul to lead in wisdom everyone is benefited. So, of course, taking this course, which would benefit me and benefit the world, would benefit my family as well.
It became very clear to me those two stories both in my head were not saying the same thing. That’s important to know. We do have stories in our heads that don’t say the same thing. They actually argue opposite beliefs. Not only do we need to know they’re there, we need to consciously choose which one is our real belief story. Which one is coming from the mental energy field, limited and earthbound? Which one is coming from the spiritual energy field, limitless and expansive? Which one do we want to anchor our life’s path?
Taking Responsibility, Stealing Power
The second problem that comes with sacrificing ourselves for others is that when we take responsibility for somebody else we are actually depriving them of their power. It’s probably not our intention, but it means we are taking on functions in their lives that are theirs, that we are standing in the way of them finding the path that actually matches them. There’s one more story I want to share from when I was a young mother, when I was teaching my children to put themselves to sleep. (Well, actually I didn’t teach them to self-soothe – they they did it on their own!) I read a book by Dr. Marc Weissbluth that explained why it was important to allow children to put themselves to sleep, and how important it was that they learn how to self-soothe.
There was one paragraph in the book that really helped me. Dr. Weissbluth suggested that when you put your baby down you pat them on the back and say, “I believe in you. I have confidence that you can accomplish this!” You kiss them on the forehead and you walk away confidently. I realized that is the kind of parent I want to be. I don’t want to be a parent that tells my kids that they’re not able to do things, that they need me to get in there and make things smoother or clear the way or help them make decisions. I want to be a parent that says – you got this. I believe in you. I’m willing to step back – even as I hear you screaming other room as you’re trying to self-soothe – I’m gonna keep myself out of it because I believe that you can figure this out.
Who Are You Overly Responsible For?!
I use my role as a parent because that is my main experience of responsibility, but this applies to any relationships we have in which we are overly investing ourselves. We do it because we don’t really think this person is gonna make it without us. What if instead we stepped back and treated them with confidence? What if we understood that the reason they’re struggling is not because they don’t have wisdom but because we are blocking them from it? Are we willing to love them enough to step out of their way so they can find their way – even if it’s a little painful to watch sometimes?
We believe in them and invite them to find their own connection to the spiritual energy field. The best thing we can do for them is to pursue it in our own lives, being connected to our own heart’s wisdom and our soul’s guidance and allowing abundance to flow in. When we are surrounded by this energy they’re given the opportunity to see it and to take their own path forward.