The Martyr

The Martyr

 

“Let us all be brave to die the death of a martyr but let no one lust for martyrdom.”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

The Martyr devotes everything in order to save the world. Sacrificing her lifetime to serve the common good, to be the change, to fight for a better world. Besides her undoubtedly honorable and devotional pursuit, she is convinced the higher goal she is following means to forget herself. But this is not exactly what was meant by spiritual leaders or philosophers.

The Martyr’s self-sacrifice can become a form of limited egocentrism, disguised as selfless altruism. Behind her sacrificial, earnest doing, there might be wounds and a deep longing to be seen and understood, admired, appreciated and loved. However, in order to really serve the higher goal she is following, she needs to learn to know about her authentic needs, take care of her wounds and longings in a balanced way so she can really devote most of her energy to her pursuit in an authentic way and on a long-term basis.

If you pick this card, you might be trapped in a Martyr’s story. You might believe you have to sacrifice something of yourself. Double check if you really have to, and what other strategies there are without losing focus on your pursuit.

This might be some inspiration: Contributing to the good life of all human beings can be based on our own good life. Good life in the means of deeply listening and following our purpose which entails finding a sustainable way to nourish ourselves inside and out, daring to trust and risking to step into the unknown. In this way we might recognise that our own, the world’s or other people’s deepest needs are not contradictory or incompatible  – rather, they organically belong together. There is difference in the needs but no such thing as an “either-or”. When we acknowledge this, there is a chance to learn our own way how to trust in life, to nourish ourselves well and at the same time serving and co-creating change to happen.

 

Questions:

*In which way, on which fields do you tend to sacrifice yourself, your needs and interests?

*If deeply loved and appreciated yourself: What would change?

 

Exercise:

Observe yourself in a situation/recall a situation when you’ve felt that you needed to give up or sacrifice something for the sake of someone else, a good cause, a value… then focus in reconciling your personal needs and the needs of that cause/person.