When we learn to bring our full selves to a cause, we allow ourselves to love. As women especially, we have been taught that true love is to sacrifice ourselves completely to a cause we care about—whether it be our job, our family, our relationship, or something else entirely. This is not love. It is denial of self. We are able to contribute so much more to that which we care about when we bring our full unique and beautiful selves to it. How much more we bring to the table when we are not denying ourselves our personage!
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“To care about something is to bring ourselves to it. When we give ourselves up for something, whether it be our families, our work, our church, or our causes, we bring an empty shell.
We have confused so much of our religious training to mean that if we are pure, we will have no person, no self. What most spiritual disciplines should advocate is the need to let the ego go, the need to let go of the addictive self, the need to recognize our unique oneness with all things. When we love a cause and bring ourselves to it, we bring the very best we have.”
The ego and the addictive self distort reality with self-centeredness. They make everything about us, and paint the world in terms of only how we are affected in a shallow, self-serving way. When we recognize ourselves as individuals in the context of our connectedness to everyone else and the universe, though, then we are able to create with others. We build something better together. We bring ourselves to a cause and can offer our own unique strengths and gifts to the world through it. This is ultimately what love is all about: co-creation. Bringing together two or more unique wholes to collaborate and form something better.