It takes a certain kind of determined mind to take on such a task. Some might consider it arrogance, but when we think about anything great that has ever been accomplished – whether on the grand global scale or in our personal lives – it usually requires a level of boldness.
Ernest Holmes, author of the Science of Mind, said that when we take the time in our contemplation to work on incorporating spiritual truths into our daily lives, it’s important that we focus on what we want from life, rather than how to get there.
What gets so many people stuck is that somewhere along the line we have bought into the idea that we need to “sacrifice” ourselves for that bigger idea.
Holmes defines sacrifice as “to suffer loss for the sake of obtaining something else.” In essence, we’re talking about a trade here with God – I’ll give you this (my hard work, my diligence, my martyrdom), and in exchange you’ll give me a good life.
It’s interesting to note that in the entire Science of Mind text there are only two references to sacrifice – this one (his definition), and a single other passage which in essence states that there is no need for sacrifice at all – that above all else we need to “free ourselves forever from the thought that God may be pleased by a life of sacrifice…”
So what would that look like in your life?
I know in my own life that when I feel that I am “sacrificing myself”, in truth part of me is holding myself back from a bigger idea.And it is this bigger idea that I need to embrace. In other words, I need to boldly go where I have never been before.
This requires not sacrifice, but surrender. And this is the more powerful truth. Surrender means I am acknowledging my vision, and I am sending out a signal to the universe that I am ready to accept to whatever is required to make that happen.
I don’t beg. I don’t subvert my own personal desires. I don’t manipulate others into assisting me. I simply allow the process to unfold. I plant my seed – my big idea – and then I trust that what needs to happen in order to make it real in my life, will occur. I don’t even have to hold on to the idea – I just maintain my commitment to the idea and trust that everything will out-picture as intended.
It’s almost like a Taoist approach – we know that the Way is clear when we get out of the way. Or as Holmes said: “To him who can perfectly practice inaction, all things are possible.”
Surrender sounds like it’s a passive state of mind, but in fact, it is the most powerful state of mind we can imagine. Our minds can waste so much time being bogged down with minutia we can never control. In sacrificing ourselves, we come under the false belief – and in truth a bigger arrogance – that if we manage all these details, everything will work out. Instead of success, what we end up realizing is that somewhere down the line we lost sight of our objective.
Surrender keeps us focused on the big picture, and allows us to more easily discern what details need to be managed to maintain our commitment, and what can be left on the cutting room floor.
There is a bigger idea for your life. Or perhaps you’re already living it. Either way – surrendering to it gives far more back to the world and takes us one step closer to living in a world that works for everyone.