Thursday, June 25, 2015

Giving Until It Hurts

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with a word of caution: beware the temptation to give until it hurts.

We are taught, in our culture, that many things worth having require sacrifice, and that is true. There's little that can be accomplished if we do not learn the value of delayed gratification, and even the most harmonious of relationships cannot endure without some degree of compromise. Then too, circumstances sometimes offer us the opportunity to improve the world at some significant personal cost.

But the necessity of sacrifice does not in any way make sacrifice good in and of itself. To deny our own needs and desires, to give something up, to suffer harm to our body, mind, or soul -- these things may result in goodness, but they themselves are never a positive good.

It's critical to remember this as we make life's hard choices.

Real goodness lies in the amount of happiness we bring to the world, the amount of healing we can work upon its wounds, the amount of damage we can forestall or prevent. If we can do more good through a particular sacrifice than we could without it, then the choice to do more good is worthy and noble. But the sacrifice itself is only a tool, not an accomplishment.

All too often, we accept harm to ourselves under the mistaken notion that sacrifice is good. But in harming ourselves now, we can easily reduce the energy and capacity we have to do good later. So if a sacrifice brings about less good than we might have done with that energy elsewhere, then the choice to deny ourselves actually becomes a net loss for the world, in addition to being detrimental to us as individuals. 

We should, therefore, never look for ways to sacrifice. We should only look for the way to do the most good, and be prepared to make sacrifices when they become necessary -- when we can weigh them against what they accomplish and know that we are truly making the most beneficial choice.

A martyr whose self-sacrifice brings little or no improvement to the world has only cheated us of a source of beauty and generosity.

Thank you, goddess of love, for the will to do right ... and the wisdom to do right by ourselves in the process.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Good Days

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with a wish that this day will be good for you, and a thought on how to nurture that outcome. It is simply this:

A good day begins with the understanding that you deserve one. 

Thank you, goddess of love, for the ability to value ourselves and be receptive to happiness.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee

Saturday, June 06, 2015

True Love

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with one grandiose idea and another more pragmatic one. Here they are:

The nature of True Love is this: to know that this person exists, and have the fact of his or her existence free you from having to be sad, anymore, ever.

Anything less is mere human love, and requires a ton of work to maintain.

A followup thought occurs to me now that I've spelled those out:

Only one of the two can ever be prepared for.

Thank you, goddess of love, for glimpses into your perfection and the strength to build and steady our bright-hearted imitations of it.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee