They say you must choose a sacrifice, and they are right.
They say you must find a goal high enough to be worthy of its sacrifice. They are right.
But sometimes, we don’t pick our sacrifice. Sometimes, the sacrifice picks us before we have the chance to choose it. And then, rather than selecting a sacrifice for the goal, we find we must tailor the goal to the sacrifice – or rather, create a goal out of the sacrifice. We must create out of nothingness, build out of rubble.
When writing this, it occurred to me that this harsh reality is well-portrayed in the youth TV series Trollhunters. The amulet – a beautiful yet binding magical artifact – chose Jim Lake to be “the trollhunter”. Little did he know, in picking up the amulet, that it would bind to him and endow him with a great and irrevocable responsibility. There were times, in the future, when he wanted to be rid of the amulet. But he continued to accept his fate and make the most of his destiny, for the good of his entire city. Particularly toward the end, he even forfeited his own glory and elements of his humanity in order to finish the job. He became ugly to defeat something ugly.
Sometimes, you pick the sacrifice. Other times, the sacrifice picks you. The test of strength is not the willingness to pick a sacrifice – as we are all inevitably faced with the sting of suffering – but your courage and creativity when the sacrifice has chosen you.
Don’t strive for the unreachable shore – the unattainable goal. Surrender, and let the tidal waves lift you to a higher place – to your true destination.