Each of us who seeks greater meaning in life is confronted by an inner struggle. It is as if there are two people residing in one body.
One person within us is scared and insecure, jealous and vane and ego driven, with an insatiable appetite for possessions and for impressing others. That person will compromise anything to fulfill its needs becoming a workaholic at the cost of family or using lies and deception at the cost of integrity and in some cases conducting fraud or theft to steal from others to enrich itself.
It is a person never satisfied and always seeking more for itself.
The other person within us sees the world's problems and instead of blustering and blaming takes action to do something to solve those problems. This person recognizes the vast poverty and hunger in the world and instead of seeking more, sacrifices to share with those in need.
As the great peace advocate Peace Pilgrim (1908 - 1981) said, this person lives to give instead of living to get.
But knowing what is right is one thing and actually sacrificing to do it is another. It is something I wrestle with, and I suspect you do too, but we don't always do what we know in our hearts is the right thing to do. That takes courage and conviction.
And there is no public acclaim for having done the right thing, in fact most people are so caught up in their ego driven activities that they question the sanity of those who make such sacrifices.
Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Peace Pilgrim and Francis of Assisi are among those who during their lifetimes surrendered nearly all of their possessions in their determination to help others.
How much you and I choose to sacrifice is a personal decision but as we make that decision we know that at the end of this life, all of our possessions are surrendered. That our possessions were only an illusion for they never really belonged to us but remain in this dimension with our passing.
For many years I have had this inner struggle to let go of most of the possessions deemed as mine and have progressed from where I used to be, but feel a sense of responsibility to provide for my family. But I also feel a sense of responsibility to provide for my extended family, that of mankind.
In prayer and in meditation I seek guidance and in stages that guidance has come, each stage as I am ready to receive it. Perhaps this too has been your experience as together we make this life's brief journey.