Quite a few years ago I sat in my living room and watched a conversation unfold. A friend was looking into a possible job opportunity and wanted my husband’s input on the matter. It was one of those “get rich quick”deals. He said, “Pretend I have a million dollars and I’m willing to give it to you right now.” “Ok!” “What are you willing to sacrifice to have it?” Then he elaborated. “I could be a millionaire right now if I wanted to sacrifice for it, but I don’t want to give up certain things. I don’t want to have all my time and mental energy devoted to my job. I don’t want to be a workaholic and never see my wife or children. I don’t want to do things in a shady manner or screw anyone over for it. I don’t want to give up my values. So the question is, what are you willing to sacrifice to have a millionaire dollars quickly?”
Several days ago my husband asked me the same question. “What are you willing to sacrifice?” We weren’t talking about money, but something just as important. It really hit me hard and got me thinking. What do I value enough that I’d be willing to give up other good things for it? To take hold and make it so important that it takes precedence, becoming my priority?
Sadly, I haven’t been great at this in the past. I was searching for my own self worth. I put what I truly valued on the side lines for the instant gratification of feeling like a good person by saying “yes” to other’s wants when I should have said “no.” I put what I valued aside to get feelings of validation because I didn’t face the reality that the approval I needed was my own. I played a part so others wouldn’t truly see me – a person I thought was weak and broken. But I’m neither and I no longer have to pretend because I can see myself as worthwhile without the input of others. Now my eyes are open to what really matters, what the treasures are in my life and where I want to be. Now I can gather them up and sacrifice for those things I find more important than all the rest. No doubt there will be bumps along the way as I learn to navigate along the new path and avoid the pitfalls of my old habits, but it will be a journey worth taking and one that will be deliberate which makes the quest more enticing. Making the path one that I forge, not one that I have settled for. That is a good feeling.