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OTHER ITA SITES:
Are You Making a Sacrifice?
When I was a university student, an ice cream-loving friend of mine gave up ice cream for Lent. It became a joke among all of us as we watched him suffer through keeping his promise, and almost a party when we brought him three gallons of butter pecan just after midnight Easter morning! We often talk about Lent as a time of sacrifice. Of the sacrifice Christ made for us. And the sacrifices we should make.
The idea of “sacrifice” isn’t a pretty one—it’s a painful one! But it implies temporary pain for future gain. In our study of creating greater abundance, what do we have to sacrifice? We have to give up our old ways of thinking. That’s not easy, even if those old ways are hurting us.
Old habits are comfortable. They’re familiar. We carry out the habit, we know what’s going to happen. And it may not even be pleasant, but it’s predictable. What happens if we break the habit? That’s the problem…we don’t know what will happen, do we?
For many of us, we’re sacrificing the way we think about:
Money. If we think that “money is the root of all evil,” how well are we going to attract it? If we think that rich people are somehow bad, are likely is it that we’ll become one? Sure, there are rich people with bad attitudes. There are those who got there on the backs of others. There are those who take their financial success as a sign of superiority. But we know it doesn’t have to be that way.
Life. Why are we here? If we think we’re here to suffer, it’s reasonable to believe that the Universe will be kind enough to comply. I’m not sure who first wrote this poem, but I’m taking it from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich:
“I bargained with life for a penny
For Life is a just employer,
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Do you see life as being willing to pay a penny’s worth of value? Or more? The Universe won’t second-guess you. If you only ask for a penny, it will assume you know what you want, and be accommodating enough to give it to you.
Ourselves. This might be the hardest of all. Do we see ourselves as average? Stuck? Not as smart, or not good enough? Then we’re not. But even our self-limiting beliefs are comfortable. They become part of our identity. But these beliefs have gotten us into whatever position we’re in. If we want to change that position, we’ve got to change the thinking. If I want new furniture in my living room, I need to get rid of the old furniture to make room, no matter how comfortable I’ve gotten with it. If I want new thoughts in my head, I need to sacrifice the old ones.
What do abundance writers have to say about this? In “Lesson Twelve: Overcoming the Thought of Lack,” Charles Fillmore says:
--We must learn to let go, to give up, to make room for the things we have prayed for and desired. This is called renunciation or elimination, and may even seem like sacrifice to some people. It is simply the giving up and casting away of old thoughts that have put us where we are, and putting in their place new ideas that promise to improve our condition...When we cling to the old ideals we hinder our progress or stop it altogether.
So sacrifice isn’t such an awful thing. Its short-term pain makes room for long-term growth. And as long as we know where we’re growing to, it’s a process to welcome.
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