"True love is not sacrificing your happiness for another; true love is being happy to sacrifice."
Thank you all for the wonderful feedback about the above quote from my book!
Below are some elaborations on this concept, especially in regard to sacrifices made for older versions of the human you see in the mirror (i.e. your so-called future self), and thus about the potential for being happy to lovingly sacrifice for your future self versus being in a toxic pseudo-loving relationship with your future self that keeps you stuck in a cycle of self-abusive misery.
Feel free to generously and lovingly sacrifice much for those you love, including your so-called future self, but never sacrifice your happiness.
If you're in the habit today of sacrificing your happiness today so you can be happy tomorrow, you'll probably still have that habit tomorrow, and so you almost certainly won't be happy tomorrow either. By sacrificing your happiness today allegedly in the name of your future self's happiness, you actually condemn both of you to unhappiness and misery, a cyclical sticky habit that will likely continue for a long time and quite possibly your entire human life.
If the sacrifices you're making today for the sake of your future self make you unhappy today, then that is generally foolish, toxic, and unkind--to both your present self and your future self. It will hurt you and your future self. In addition to the unhappiness you give Today You
, you also curse Future You
too by building that self-hurtful habit.
The primary factor in whether your future self is happy is whether you start right now today building the habits of happiness
, such as deep daily constant gratitude, appreciation, and full and unconditional acceptance of that which you cannot control. We're talking about an acceptance so full and unconditional that it is rightly called love, with such deep true unconditional love making you happy. If you really love, you are happy to love--truly happy.
In contrast, if one thinks happiness depends on reaching greener grass, they will willingly tolerate unhappiness today to spend today unhappily chasing greener grass. They will then not only be unhappy today by willingly tolerating unhappiness today, but they will curse their future self with the self-abusive habit of unhappily chasing ever-greener grass. Like Sisyphus's curse, it's an endless one.
For that person, there will always be greener grass to chase; the grass will always be greener on the other side; and they will thus always be unhappy.
There is a reason I use the word 'cyclical' 14 times in my book In It Together
An unhappy alcoholic is unhappy when he drinks, so he quits and becomes sober. Then he is unhappy sober, so he starts drinking again. He is unhappy after one drink so he has two, and he is unhappy after two so he has three. He is unhappy binge drinking so he becomes sober for a bit again, but he's unhappy in that so he chases the greener grass of sobriety again.
The unhappy addict unhappily chases greener grass. He always finds the grass on the other side to seem greener. Hence, why addictive behavior is cyclical.
The true loving happiness that is consistent unwavering free-spirited inner peace is the key to consistency, determination, and success. Such determined consistency is really just another name for being in a cooperative truly loving relationship with your selves over time, which is in direct contrast to the toxic pseudo-loving happiness-sacrificing self-abusive relationship a textbook addict has with himself. Where the addict is in a repeating cycle of greener-grass-chasing misery, we can all find liberation in the form of the spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) that comes with inner peace and true love.
So I end like I started: Feel free to generously and lovingly sacrifice much for those you love, including your so-called future self, but never sacrifice your happiness. Sacrifice lovingly, be loving, and be happy. Now. Today.
It's within your power of choice to start enjoying the unwavering true happiness that is consistent inner peace today right now, and then keep that habit for the rest of your life.
The choice is yours and yours alone. And, whatever you choose, I accept and respect it.
Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes