Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Learning the Meaning of Sacrifice

One of the most common and most taken for granted sacrifices we see everyday is the sacrifice mothers make for their children. They sacrifice time, energy, money and attention to give life, teaching, education and love to their children. But sacrifice can extend into daily life for all us – not just for firefighters and mothers. Sacrifice is a deep spiritual practice that leads us to experience a profound sense of interconnectedness and oneness. It diminishes ego and shaves away barriers of separation. It may be as simple as giving a dollar to someone on the street or as big as risking your life for others.


The catastrophe in Japan has shown us the power of self-sacrifice in a way unfamiliar to us in recent history. When the earthquake and tsunami shook the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant the Japanese people set examples of civility, caring for others and unselfishness unprecedented in our time. Crisis brought out the best of them in the worst of times. Nowhere was this more powerfully illustrated than in the actions of the workers who exposed themselves to high levels of radiation as they tried to repair the leaks and damages at the power plant. These people knowingly entered into a dangerous situation. Each minute spent in the highly toxic environment meant days, weeks and probably years shaved off of their lives. Why would they do this? Like firefighters at the World Trade Center and those who continue to face danger everyday, they possess a sense of working for something greater than themselves. In the case of the Fukushima workers, they aim to contain the radiation and prevent it from polluting the seas, air and land as well as the people in the vicinity and around the world.


This is not an easy practice for most of us. The word sacrifice comes from the word “sacred” and literally means “to render sacred.” A good way to make the process sacred is to offer whatever is given to the Divine in whatever form you love.  How would you like to bring sacrifice into your life today? Please share your experiences and what sacrifice means to you today. It may help others to hear about your challenges and successes.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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