For the longest time I believed that selfless love was a myth.
Helping strangers, every act of kindness, gives you joy and pleases your ego. Parents doing-it-all for their kids was biological and meant the survival of their genes.
In my mind, these are not selfless.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not think these are any less. It’s okay to be not-selfless. For me the reasons aren’t always as important as the end result.
I am not claiming to understand selfless love. But I have a perspective at least.
This is what I know now. Selfless love hurts. It’s a whole lot of pain. And one without any glory in the end.
Let me tell you a story.
This happened in Mexico. A friend of mine, Roma, went swimming in the ocean. The waves took him so far away from the beach. I remember that moment where I could see him only as a tiny dot.
Now, Roma is a strong swimmer. I wasn’t worried. Not until I saw a huge wave engulf him. I thought that was it. I felt fear on the shore. I cannot imagine what he went through in that moment.
Luckily, that wave brought him back and Roma survived.
When he came back, he was tired. Scared. He said he thought he was going to die. This was not a joke.
We took care of him. Made sure he wouldn’t pass out to prevent any risk of secondary drowning. (Secondary drowning is when you have water in your lungs which might cause breathing issues and could be fatal.)
But at night, when he retired to his room, he was in trauma. This man thought he was going to die. And if you have had a near-death experience, you know what your mind does to you for a while. All the what-if’s your mind presents you with.
What does all this have to do with selfless love?
Roma did not call his wife and his child. He did not tell them about this incident until he reached back home.
Think about it. In that trauma, no matter who is with you, all you want to do is talk to your loved ones. You want to tell them that you love them again. You want to hear their voice.
But that would have been selfish. That would be passing on the trauma to his family. And they would worry about him until he got back.
Roma went through the trauma and the pain without passing it on to his family. There was no glory to be had. When he finally told his wife, he was right there for her to be angry at. This was selfless in my eyes.
Roma was badass. Be like Roma.