It’s Veterans Day and I feel a deep debt of gratitude for all those who have served and who are serving for America. No matter all the politics left or right, this country remains a unique experiment in freedom and liberty. And it brings to mind the understanding of sacrifice in our lives. Veterans make a commitment to something much greater than themselves, a feeling of standing for principles, fighting for others, defending people they don’t even know.
And many others are making sacrifices every day for something they believe in. Mothers make that sacrifice every hour of every day for their children. Fathers work jobs that may not be to their liking to support their families. Teachers, nurses, firefighters, EMTs…I could go on. There are individuals whose life is all sacrifice, let’s say Mother Theresa. For many, living a life of sacrifice is the key to their victory.
I also think of the ability to love ourselves, even in the midst of sacrifice. The ability to practice self-care, to breathe life into our giving and to celebrate our seemingly small accomplishments gives a new meaning to the word. The roots of the word mean to perform sacred rites, elevating the definition from biblical days. I believe it has come to mean recognizing the divine in what you do. Whether you are serving your whole country or the blossoming potential in a young child, you are recognizing a sacred duty.
And so it is, that whether you are in the midst of a cycle of sacrifice or in another time of your life, acknowledging the divine within you becomes a key to your own victory. Many of those I work with do not recognize the goodness they are doing for others or the lessons they are learning. There is a tendency to focus on the mistakes, the not-so-perfect relationship or job, or the negative self-talk that seems to creep in even when the door is locked. Let us care for ourselves as we would care for our best friend, our spouse, our child or our elderly parent. Let us give ourselves credit for who we are and what we have become. There is always room for improvement, but let us start with recognizing that we are a portion of the divine, sacred souls to be cared for. To ignore that divinity is to brush aside our very beliefs in the greater sacrifices we can make. Great love has many manifestations. Give some of that great love back to yourself today.