0622141521bThe Oxford dictionary of American English indicates that the word Sacrifice comes from the latin root sacer meaning ‘holy’.  It’s the same root as the word sacred.

Merriam-Webster  says a sacrifice is “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone”

But SACRIFICE is a word that holds meaning beyond its simple definition.  It carries an emotional response.  It begs the question, “why?”.  It needs a context in order to be fully understood in its usage.  Therefore it needs all context to be fully understood.

As a teacher of spiritual practices my students are often surprised when they get a question they feel they’ve already answered.  In my experience, spiritual growth depends on asking the same questions over and over.  We hope to find a new perspective and new insight each time.  One of those questions is “What is Sacrifice?”.

If the flowers aren't pruned the basil will get stringy.

If the flowers aren’t pruned the basil will get stringy.

I’ve touched on this topic before in the blog.  I’ve talked about harvest and about corn but I’ve never written about it here directly.  I do talk about sacrifice in my book, Manifest Divinity.  There’s a whole chapter on “The Hart of Sacrifice” in When Gods Come Knocking:An Exploration of Mysticism from a Deist Perspective.   The idea of sacrifice and how I feel about it pops up pretty regularly for me.  It’s one of those markers that says “time to take another stab, or acknowledge the success, at spiritual growth”.

I find myself exploring this question again as I prepare for my upcoming surgery (see last week’s blog).  I am definitely “giving up something in order to get or do something else.”   I want to get healthier.  I want to be able to do more things.  I want to have more energy. I want control of my relationship with food.   It’s the giving up part that’s ambiguous.  I feel like I’m writing a blank check to the universe.  This surgery is my “whatever it takes”.

If the mint isn't contained it will take over everything else.

If the mint isn’t contained it will take over everything else.

In order to justify that act of giving up I need to have faith that I will see positive results.  In order to be 100% behind the “whatever it takes” I need to recognize the sacrifice.  I need to acknowledge that this is a sacred act.  I believe I’ve got a talented surgeon.  I believe I’m capable of following the protocols and going through the motions.  That’s not enough for me.  I need this to be a ritual of sacrifice, a holy undertaking, a sacred act.

Small sacrifices can have large results.  Large sacrifices often set us free to follow a new course.  They mark a new beginning, a different way of being in the world.  That is my adventure.   And apparently the sacrifice that is called for is the willingness to write that blank check.  I don’t know what I will be giving up in the long-term.  I do know that whatever it is, invoking the sacred helps to ensure it will be worth it.




Both of my books are available in paperback or as e-books from Amazon.



About lisaspiral

I've been writing and speaking about spirituality to small groups for years and am looking to expand my horizons. Hopefully this blog will inspire you to expand yours as well.

Posted on June 23, 2014, in Acceptance, Bio, grattitude, Pagan, spiritual, spirituality and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Wow, I REALLY love this post! I had NEVER considered the etomological link between the words sacred and sacrifice. How have I been missing that connection for more than half a century? Thanks so much for opening my eyes. And blessings to you and your upcoming surgery.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • It’s a tricky one isn’t it. Thanks for the blessings! (I mentioned to my ENT today that she should consider Ecuador for her retirement. Thinking of you!)


  2. Anything worth having is worth some sacrifice. Even when that sacrifice is hard. Maybe especially when it’s hard. I’ve been thinking about you a lot, Lisa, as you prepare for this surgery. Anything like this is scary and unsettling, but I know you’ll come through it strong.

  3. It’s interesting, indeed, how we can explore a question only to later discover the “answer” at many different depths. I find this very fascinating, too.

  4. I was at conference for my day job last week and happened to run into a guy I’ve known for years. He was my trainer. Didn’t recognize him at first. Why? Because he’d lost 110+ pounds.

    He did it through bariactric surgery and looks fantastic. But better than how he looks, is how he feels and the fact that he is off all of his medicine and sleep machine for the sleep apnea which also no longer exists.

    I say bravo. You know when something is right for you and I wish you every success.

    (Apparently your ability to stick to the diet before the surgery is key, or so he said. Good Luck!)

  1. Pingback: To-Do | Spiral Visions

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