The thing about sacrifice is that we often do it for the people we love. We sacrifice our home to move for our partner's job. We sacrifice relationships with others to commit to one. Sometimes, people sacrifice a friend for another. Sacrifice is inherent in relationships, and sometimes we need to sacrifice an old us in order to make way for the new us. But the trick is not sacrificing who you are - the parts of you that are beautiful and unchanging.
I read this recently from the poem The Invitation:
It doesn’t interest meif the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
Sometimes, we make sacrifices that give up small or large pieces of ourselves. We give up things that change who we are, and potentially also challenge our self worth by feeling our true selves are not good or worthy, and one day we don't recognize ourselves. If we're lucky, as I have been this year, those voids in us and the parts of us that we are burying eat us alive until we burst - and have no choice but to just Be. Be who we are. Because who we really are today cannot be changed - not if we want it to, and not if someone else tells us it needs to.
I spent many years believing that things about myself needed changing. That I was too needy, or too emotional, or sensitive, or too much in touch with my intuition, my emotionality, and my heart. I was told these things, and being that there aren't many people around me who are the way I am, I believed it. In time, I pushed those parts of myself down - to be tough, to be normal, to be simple. But by nature, I am intense, and I am complicated, and I question everything. I am also compassionate, trustworthy, honest, and loving. And loyal. But as the poem indicates, loyalty to myself now has to come first. Even if I lose all of the people and things around me (and I have lost a lot this year for the sake of my own heart), I have to first be loyal to myself and who I am. And I now stand up and believe that there is nothing wrong with who I am. You cannot truly love yourself any other way.