COLLEGE PARK, MD –
Last week we briefly mentioned a triumvirate of actions comprised of preparation, sacrifice, and progress. Acting in that sequence brings real happiness.
This week we’ll continue our exploration of this sequence with a dive into the role of sacrifice.
How it works
Easier said than done.
The way to take this beyond theory and into action is to first prepare for agitation. Agitation is going to happen – there is no way around it. Progress does not present itself to those sitting comfortably in their bad habits. Challenging bad habits usually leads to an initial phase of withdrawal (aka agitation).
Once the agitation has run its course and we’ve challenged a preconceived notion or bad habit we have by acknowledging it for what it is – something harmful – we will find ourselves prepared to perform the next step towards progress – sacrifice.
Building on last week’s tilling metaphor, sacrifice is the step where we’re really planting seeds of change (or progress). In any situation where we’re looking to end a harmful cycle, we will be forced to drop an old habit we hold dear to us. Sacrificing whatever love or attachment we have for a bad habit and accepting the hard work and training of going on without it is when progress will be imminent.
We all get used to our routines, even the harmful aspects of them. Let’s say we’re in a harmful relationship, God forbid. Regardless of how negative it is for us, we get used to talking, texting, and emotionally investing in the other person. It fills some time for us and, perhaps, a void in our lives.
For us to progress in that situation, we must first prepare ourselves by acknowledging that the relationship is harmful and leaving off denial. Then, we must sacrifice the negative aspects of that relationship. Whatever void it was filling is not being filled healthily and sustainably.
Once that sacrifice has been made, progress will immediately begin in the way of meaningfully addressing whatever void we were using the unhealthy relationship to cope with. We will no longer have the crutch of that bad habit to rely on to overlook our real issue. This is very hard, but it is the essence of progress.
Progress is a process. But without acknowledging our issues and sacrificing our denial, it is just a buzzword.