- the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone
- an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god
- a person or animal that is killed in a sacrifice
Pagan religions believed in sacrificing life at an alter to appease vengeful gods and goddesses who would torture us without that kind of worship. Virgins thrown into volcanoes or flayed… To prove our love of a god that would kill us if we didn’t pay the ultimate price of death as tribute.
Through my life I have been asked to sacrifice many things at the alter of love. Martial arts, snowboarding, motorcycles, friendships, my film career, my sex drive, my clothes, my sense of humor, my sense of security, my health, money, desires, pride, confidence, my past, and eventually even my own happiness.
In moments of anger or sadness I would count all the things I had given up and wonder “when is it going to be enough?”, “when will I be worthy?”… In the end I realized the answer to those questions was never. I realized the resentment that built up in losing all those parts of me were in fact things I allowed someone to ask me to let go of, when in reality I probably never really had to…
Sacrificing to the God of conditional love… A vengeful God that would never forgive me for the original sin of just being myself, with the knowledge that actual love is about sacrifice because you want to, not because someone gives you the condition to. No one has the right to force you to give up one thing you love in order to keep them. I’m reminded of song lyrics “that’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion, trying to keep up with you”. Sacrifices forcing me to lose faith in the existence of true love.
If the God of love was false then I would choose to reclaim all those parts of me I lost… At least the parts I was still young enough to reclaim… When love failed me a second time even though I met every condition with a concession, I did just that… I hit “fuck it” and I dug clothing out of a closet I hadn’t worn in 2 years, and I set out on a quest to find people to enjoy life with, as myself, instead of a man someone else told me to be as a condition for their love.
The day I met my wife, I went to confession, I told her everything about myself that I believed she would immediately dislike… Unapologetically proclaiming that none of those things would ever change. “Take me as I am, or leave now”… Magically, somehow as I emptied all the skeletons in my closet, she said “ooooh, pretty!!! You could use some more calcium but otherwise, they are lovely”… Somehow she called all my flaws “colorful” and loved every single one of them.
Over the first week we were together I remembered more and more things I was afraid she would ask me to sacrifice at her alter, and yet with every step forward, she smiled and stayed in step by my side, and still was fascinated by me… This man, who would tell her anything she asked, honestly, without hesitation… with the goal of chasing her away now if she was every planning to let me go, before I “fell for her like a blind roofer”. Until I had no choice but to redefine my belief in what God was… The love of all things, the complete acceptance of all that I am, and all that I want to be. The love I would give back to her would be absolute… because love is a self reflecting mirror… if someone is offered unconditional love, it is painful not to return it in kind.
She became my goddess because like my new definition of love… she loved all pieces of me, even the broken ones… Our first full weekend in a hotel she taught me that only in loving myself unconditionally could I have even found her, or could deserve to be loved, Honesty at the center of all of it. How can someone love you if you hide large parts of who you are? You would forever live in fear of discovery, and a tiger can’t be anything but striped. It was only in finding her in that way, unafraid of being exactly the man I always had been inside, stripes and all… that I could quickly discover that I was worthy of being loved by a merciful goddess… A goddess who would not ask me to sacrifice something I loved for her… I found my Freyja, my queen, my gift… And My destiny.
Since the invention of wealth, marriage has been a property contract. A way for wealthy men to purchase young women in order to ensure that their wealth is passed down to someone with their genetics. “Important” rules like virginity were passed down through generations leading to religious laws like stoning a woman to death if she was inspected on her wedding day and found not to be “whole” and “unsullied”. However, a woman’s value was a burden not a gift… Requiring a dowry of wealth in order to be passed off to a man who would now own her and shoulder that burden of caring for her. Many of these rituals still carry on today with weddings being paid for by the father of the bride. Up until the 1980s women were still considered property in many states. Sexual and physical abuse in marriage was not a crime in many states up through the late 90s.
What were women sacrificing for marriage? Everything… It was their “purpose”, to be a vessel to create sons to carry on a name and some imagined wealth. Women would sacrifice their value, their sense of self, their entire lives… just so that a man could rule over them with absolute power and authority… That isn’t love… Buddha once said “possession and love are one of the only opposites in the universe that people often mistake for each other”… Just as gods and demons are often confused… No true god would require that someone sacrifice their soul at the alter of love.
Does this mean we don’t change for each other? Yes… but it doesn’t mean we don’t change because of each other… We see pain we cause in those we love, and we make a shift… our compass changes it’s path for unconditional love on its own. Suddenly we find what once felt like sacrifice, things like monogamy… is something we now not only want, but cherish. Monogamy means pure honesty… It doesn’t have to come along with any sacrifice apart from total trust and faith in the honesty being met with love, rather than rejection.
I would never want my wife in the way “traditional marriage” would have her be purchased by me… It is why I proposed with the cheapest ring wal-mart had to offer (and later sculpted her ring myself in a computer, had my great grandmother’s diamond set in it, and gave it to her 3D printed after we were wed). I would never want to purchase love. It would have no value if it came with a price tag. Unconditional love is infinite, and there is never a need to trade it for anything. If I bought her she would suddenly come down to whatever price point she gave… Even if that price was millions it would depreciate the value of unconditional love. She would become mortal in that moment when her life was given a tag with a dollar figure or some other means of sacrifice, and so she would lose the one thing that made her unique… a desire to keep me, without the need to place a value that I must sacrifice in order to simply say I am hers completely… and complete.
I can worship her completely… meaning I don’t need to sacrifice parts of who I am or wish to be in order to be with her. I can be with her without losing pieces of myself that I would long for and resent… That is more valuable to me than all the wealth in the world. She is a partner not property… and my best friend, who knows parts of me that I still haven’t figured out. She pulls out the good that is already buried in my heart and lets it shine for others as well. I have learned to offer love without condition, and truly set free those who love me and yet can’t be around me. Those require no ownership. I want to show her off to the world shining in all her radiance… And have the world know she is free, and still chooses me. That makes me feel more special than owning a harem of 100 women who are with me because they have to be. Serve me because their lives are sacrificed to me. Only a demon would require such.
Silly men, destroying the world to hoard wealth and all the while missing the one true joy men can have in this life. The feeling of being worshiped by a goddess who chooses you, who calls you her king because she wants to, not because she has to. Who stands by your side, rather than at your back waiting for the moment to dig a knife in and twist… A woman who hungers for you because she is attracted, not because you will beat her if she doesn’t submit to you. Love without sacrifice… is the only love there is.
You can’t purchase love like we share… can’t acquire it with all the wealth in the world… Can’t demand it with ultimatums… can’t ask someone to choose love over anything. If you offer someone unconditional love, they can’t help but reflect it back over time (most people anyway… if you recall in “emotion” there are those who will never feel unconditional love because they lack the honesty to offer it) . It requires no sacrifice from either of us… And because of that I know I would be willing to sacrifice all just to be by her side, not because she demands it, but because I would rather be there.
What do I sacrifice to be hers? Nothing… And yet, all I thought I once wanted, has shifted into focus… and love has changed me into the man that most who claimed to love me, always wished I would be. There is no choice to make. There is no sacrifice to appease vengeful selfish need. Love just is… and if you truly love someone, they are already free, and yet completely yours.