What exactly does it mean if I say I sacrificed myself for….
In my young upbringing, we were taught to forgo our candy as a sacrifice for children who lacked food. Many similar teachings would be instilled in me at a very tender age. I did not understand the meaning of sacrifice. I could not understand what not eating my candy would have to do with children who had no food. It was never explained any further. If it has been, then I missed it all. That’s just the way it was and the way we did things.
Today, in my golden years, of course I understand what the concept of sacrifice meant then. Why not teach young children the word prayer instead of sacrifice.
Seems to me I grew up thinking that sacrifice was giving up something I wanted. That did not feel like a pleasant thing to do and I certainly did not feel I wanted to do it. It felt more like a punishment than something positive. I was too young to understand its meaning and conception.
Years have gone by since my early childhood upbringing. Our ways have changed. We use different words, words that are easier understood by children. Words that mean something at the tender heart of a child’s education.
Today, I cannot use the word sacrifice. It has that connotation of punishment for me. Praying for those who lack food is far better and more positive for me than not eating my pudding. It is an empty action for me to not eat my pudding because other children lack food. It was never explained properly to me what could be the effect of my sacrifice and, if in fact, there is such an effect that would provide food for those who have none. Would they be getting my pudding!
I have always used prayer. It is more constructive and a far more visual and interactive offering for me. I suppose that the word offering could be used for sacrifice. Then again, if the word offering is not explained it remains a non interesting and useless bargain to let go my pudding.
How can I reconcile the action of prayer from what I was taught as a child and what I know now. They seem to be two separate things. Prayer (way back when) used to be for asking, always asking. “I want a new bike, I promise to not eat candy all week”, my humble asking and prayer of sacrifice.
Prayer at this hour is to be thankful, to pray for the well being of another, always positive and affirming thoughts, words and actions.
Not everyone will agree with me on this. We all come from different upbringing and that determines the shape of where we come from in order to come to where we are now.
What does sacrifice and prayer mean to you….whatever that is….that is fine and just right for you.
Sacrifice is practiced all over the world, in every group, church or home. It all has a different meaning. There was a time when I confused sacrifice with bodily abuse and similar things.
How we mould the mind of a small child.
“In Love and Light of Spirit” © Hélène Vaillant