This is where the phrase "give up to take up" comes in. It's often necessary to sacrifice something you've held onto for a long time in order to gain the benefit of a truly better way of life. It's not enough to relinquish something that's easy or that you you didn't care much for anyway. That's like a Christian who observes Lent deciding to forego a detested vegetable for 40 days -- it doesn't mean anything. As I wrote in one of my first posts:
The words “sacred” and “sacrifice” share the same root. Many moments in life can be special, but it takes significant loss for something to be sacred. Repeat: nothing is sacred without sacrifice. I think this is important to remember when a person is giving up something meaningful to them, including something destructive like an addiction. It means that a conscious choice to experience the pain of loss is a sacred act.The phrase "give up to take up" works just as well in reverse: "take up to give up." Less of any one quality is more of another one. You may take up exercise to give up being overweight, take up a hobby to give up boredom, or take up a volunteer activity to give up selfishness. The list is endless.
This brings to mind the old saying that "all goodbyes are hellos." Anything that departs from you makes room for something else to enter your life. You may not be able to recognize the value of what you are gaining by losing, especially if you are losing reassuring safeguards like certainty, security, strength or comfort. But so often in life we are able to look back and recognize that losing something we considered important opened us up in unexpected ways for growth, wisdom, humility and compassion. As the 13th century poet Rumi wisely observed, "some demolitions are renovations."
If there's some detriment in your life you want to give up, what discipline are you willing to take up to replace it? If there's a benefit you want to bring into your life, what sacrifice do you consider worthy to make in order to achieve it?
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