Taking the Self Out of Love
In Sunday’s post, I made a list of some of the things I think love is. I knew when I made the list that it was anything but comprehensive, but I’m honestly shocked that I forgot to list what I consider to be one of key elements of loving someone. Then again, maybe I’m not surprised. Unselfishness is one of the things I struggle with most in my relationships.
I was reminded of the importance of unselfishness today in a conversation I had with a friend who is a wife and the mother of one of the sweetest, most beautiful little boys I’ve ever seen. In addition to the aforementioned roles, my friend works full time outside of the home and is (well, was) the partner in a fledgling Etsy shop.
I said “was” because a few weeks ago, my friend felt called to spend more time with her husband and son rather than doing the things she’s most passionate about for the Etsy shop. In a selfless act of love, she gave up her spot as a partner in the shop.
I chose to share this example, rather than countless other unselfish acts I can think of, because this one hit home with me–and I think will resonate with many of you–the most. Who among us doesn’t want to pursue our passions? Who doesn’t want to be known for something we’re good at doing? But what if that thing came at the expense of a relationship? Would you be willing to give it up in an effort to love someone(s) more deeply?
For me, the act of dying to self for the sake of another is an art I have not yet mastered. Daily, I find episodes of selfishness cropping up in my interactions with others. I want to go where I want to go, do what I want to do and talk about what I want to talk about.
But I want to be more like my friend. I want to be sensitive to the needs of others and how I might love them more fully–even if it means giving up the things that I want.