“Sacrifice still exists everywhere, and everywhere the elect of each generation suffers for the salvation of the rest.” – Henri Frederic Amiel
Theater is full of dramas that exalt “sacrifice” as love. These dramas make the statement that any change is intolerable:
- If balance – once experienced – cannot be restored,
- If love – given freely – cannot survive, OR
- If one’s relational boundaries – as originally experienced – cannot be justly maintained.
And, of course, sacrifice is then both honorable and inevitable. Self-identification requires it. We cannot stand apart from the love which grounds us to meaning and purpose.
And, as you might have noticed, all of these stories put love into a perceptual vice grip. Once love captures the heart’s core identity, then result must reign down if life alters the meaning and purpose that we assign to it. Life loves its own impression so much — that we willing bear any cost to just to maintain it.
And while that makes for great drama, that perceptual vice grip does NOT honor the larger and greater reach of love. Life loves life — not the conception we bring to it. Flawed human beings are limited by the reach of our recognition. Life transcends itself – not by what is extinguished – but rather by what persists. We strive mightily to make our love persist in exactly the same way that life itself persists.
Let me give you and example: John, a furniture retailer, took a huge risk. He doubled his inventory and opened a second store. And he took that risk was because he understood the impact he could create. Not just for himself – but for others. John was proudly optimistic. People depended on him. He willingly shouldered his share of “whatever it takes” to make HIS business successful.
And what strikes me about this story is John’s acceptance. He accepts the risk and the need to do “whatever it takes.” He willingly chooses to commit to and collaborate with HIS dream.
And, for John, that dream binds together security and certainty. Why? Because he himself is both secure and certain about what he is doing. He does not question its meaning or purpose. He lives the dream of life loving life.
Think about it: everything we make from our efforts starts with acceptance. We accept our capacity to acknowledge what we want. We accept the impulse that makes our efforts necessary. We accept that security and certainty are lovingly bound together even when we are uncertain.
And really….we can’t help ourselves; there is more in the living of our endeavors than we care to imagine.
You see, life transcends itself by what persists. John transcends himself by binding together security and certainty. He knows what he must do and he embodies the promise of persistence. It doesn’t matter what happens. Balance, justice, and freedom always show up. Life, in its diversity, is freely given despite the limitations that we bring to it.
So what happens to John? His risk-taking succeeds. He passes HIS business on to his children. It persists even though he does not.
And that’s OK. Maybe even better than OK. John chased the dream representation. He lived his life through the perceptual vice grip so that his love could persist in exactly the same way that life itself persists.
Life loves life — not the conception we bring to it. Life loves life – by the impressions it places in us. And life persists, even though our representations do not.
And that’s where sacrifice comes in. Life loves life through the reciprocity of persistence. We trade everything for persistence. It’s our expression of life loving life.
Henri Frederic Amiel wrote – “Sacrifice still exists everywhere, and everywhere the elect of each generation suffers for the salvation of the rest.”
Vulnerability is what we measure because we value persistence — despite all cost and consequence. Salvation is what we create by suffering through the trial of vulnerability – especially when our current suffering generates a reprieve for later generations.
Thanks for listening!