I discovered something. Of course, not on my own. The discovery is as usual a mixture of inspirations of different people who shared their experience with me. I wrote part of this reflexion in the post ‘As yourself’ – never ever humiliate yourself in the name of love.
My needs or yours?
So I decided to keep observing. What actually happens when we forget our needs because of love? Well, it seems that very often we love each other “on credit”. I compromise and let you do something, but of course hoping that deep in your heart you know that I don’t like the idea (without telling you!). Then I keep recalling the sacrifice with intention of mentioning it once we have an argue. I will use it to negotiate.
Don’t you think that it doesn’t work? We wanted to “sacrifice our needs”, but in fact we have just tamed them hoping that our lover/ adversary will give up his plan. I didn’t express my wish, but ‘If-you-love-me-you-will-guess-it’.
Don’t you wonder sometimes how the hell some marriages got to date each other, got married and had children? Now there is not even a single dot of friendliness between them. That’s the “magic” of sacrifice. Let’s not talk about our desires. Let’s pretend that everything is OK, but inside holding a grudge against each other.
Why? In the beginning we all believed that ‘we will never let our love turn pale’. Then, first crisis and keeping the problem quiet. Second crisis and instead of talking… keeping quiet. In the end we don’t even hear the positive words, just ratty comments. We keep quiet until…
‘Because you always…!’
‘Because you never…!’
Love without sacrifice
I would suggest changing tactics. First, forget about sacrifice. If you sacrifice your happiness for someone you love, one day you will call it out anyway. You will expect that someone will pay you back. You will use your sacrifice as a pretext to expect things from someone else ‘because I did for you so much!’ Whereas you were the one who decided to sacrifice!
So yes, I’m against putting someone else’s happiness above mine, because I know that I’ll try to get paid back anyway.
I’m important. You are important. That’s it.
I’ll not sacrifice myself for you, but I’ll cooperate with you for our common goodness. Everyday from scratch (yet it’s an endless job!)
It may seem egoistic, but let’s think… A parent sacrificed his health because he wanted his child to succeed at school. Once the child has grown up, he will hear ‘I’ve done so much for you and now you want to live your life on your own?!’ – is that a real sacrifice and altruism? The parent mentioned his needs anyway and he expects the return. His child was “on credit”. Whereas the child will stay with a deep feeling guiltiness to be the reason of his parent’s suffering. Nothing would happen if he ate a sandwich instead of dinner a several times, while his parent is busy at the doctor’s, right?
So… don’t sacrifice yourself for your loved ones. They don’t need your frustration. They need you happy.
See you soon in Bethlehem!