I woke at 2:45 am - worry stifling my sleep and dreams. Revolving thoughts swirling: about my children, my career, my home, my life.
Have you ever had a night like that?
It's amazing how narrow my viewpoint can be, how selfish I really am. I tend to view so much of life through the effect it has on ME. And only me.
My sister visited recently and I mentioned this to her while on a walk--that we are privileged to have the luxury of minor problems. We're not consumed by wondering if our children will have enough to eat today--or whether we'll still be alive at the end of it.
Instead of using that extra mental space to do something worthwhile, we often use it to dwell on and fabricate new troubles for ourselves. As if our lives are so good that they can't be trusted--we feel the need to manufacture fear and worry.
This preoccupation with self touches every realm of my experience: my mothering, my writing, my blogging, my marriage, my life.
What is the antidote? How to get rid of self?
I never knew how selfish I was until someone else came on the scene to think about regularly. That first someone was Steve. But then three other little someones followed and the struggle to sacrifice showed clearly my self and love of it staring me right in the face.
When the pull of self grows ever harder to bear, I know that means a call to sacrifice is also at hand:
Sacrificing my sleep (tonight) to think about them
Sacrificing my leisure time to pour fuel on their budding dreams
Sacrificing ideas I have because I choose to give these hours to them instead
Sacrificing my career growth for their character growth
The miraculous side of the struggle to sacrifice is that once the battle is fought, the releasing of self yields victory and joy--the very qualities I'm so desperate for!
God's son set the ultimate example in this, and as I follow His lead I begin to find the freedom of saying goodbye to self:
I'm sacrificing my present to give them a future. And it's a worthwhile sacrifice.
"He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly."
~ James Allen, As a Man Thinketh