What would you sacrifice?

2
Posted January 25, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Leaders We Adore
I recently read a fantastic book called “Unquenchable Thirst“, a chronicle of author Mary Johnson’s experience spending nearly 20 years as a nun in the order founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. While the book itself  was phenomenal, as a Catholic, the most interesting tidbit for me were those about Mother Teresa herself. Most people don’t know that while Mother Theresa was a beacon of giving and love to hundreds of thousands of people around the world, she was also a Catholic sister who struggled greatly with her faith. She called it her “dark night” – difficulty believing in God, difficulty justifying her actions. It’s surprising when you hear it, that someone so devout and selfless could be so conflicted.

Mother Theresa is the world’s picture of self-sacrifice. She gave of herself freely and willingly all her life to affect the lives of those who were the poorest and most destitute in the world. She did so, without reservation, because it was her calling. She did so, at times, even without faith in God. She sacrificed tirelessly.

So I asked myself, reading this book, was Mother Theresa happy? She wore a simple smile. But knowing now how she struggled with her faith, I wondered, deep inside, did her work make her happy? (Knowing a bit about her, I’m sure Mother Theresa would say that happiness is something only God can provide, and that we shouldn’t focus at all on human happiness, but go with me here….)

Then, I asked myself, Would I be willing to make the kind of sacrifices Mother Theresa made?…….and what for? Would I make those sacrifices for my family, for my nieces and nephew, for my husband? Sure I would. I would sacrifice everything I had, believed, wanted, to ensure their safety and happiness. But then comes the questions I asked about Mother Theresa….what about my happiness?

That’s a question we all have to ask ourselves. If we would sacrifice ourselves for the happiness of others, why do we so often forget about our own happiness? And why are we so reluctant to sacrifice for our own happiness? Are there pieces of your life that are not contributing to your happiness? And could you sacrifice them to help you reach a higher level of happiness? Of course, we can’t all sacrifice in the way Mother Teresa did (I guess that’s why she’s now a Saint, right?). But we can make sacrifices for our own happiness daily. Say no when you don’t want to go to an event to take care of your health. Say yes when a friend needs you and you can give freely of yourself. Change your plans to spend more quality time with yourself – or with your family. Do what you need to do to ensure your sacrifices are for the right things, and the right reasons – that they make you healthier and happier.


About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is the author of "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works" and a career expert who believes in order to be empowered in your career, you must be surrounded with resources and a network that both supports and challenges you. Marcy began her own networking journey as a professional fundraiser in the nonprofit industry, honed those skills as a fundraising consultant, and in 2012 networked her way to nearly 1 million readers as the CEO of the professional development website Career Girl Network.

2 Comments


  1.  
    Anonymous

    Would you recommend this as a book for others to read? If so, what was the title and who was the author?




  2.  
    Chicago Career Girl

    I would absolutely recommend the book! It is called "Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Theresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life." The author is Mary Johnson. Although I'll warn, it's definitely not a book to read if you're sensitive to criticism of the Catholic church. The book is written by a sister who left Mother Theresa's order after over 20 years. So it's a beautiful picture of Mother Theresa, but also quite critical of her order and can be explicit in some of its issues with the church, specifically. I loved it – I read it on Amtrak over NYE and could NOT put it down!





Leave a Response