Here is a love based moment that forever changed my life and my attitude. It’s not about romantic love, but it is about all-encompassing love.
Years ago I was offered a job. I believed it to be a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. For family reasons, I had to turn down the job. I would like to tell you that I was instantly at peace with the decision, but I wasn’t. In fact, internally I was fuming about how it always seemed to be me who had to make a personal sacrifice for others.
I recall the moment clearly… when my thoughts were interrupted by a forceful “excuse me” from a stranger parked in my driveway. I looked up from sweeping my garage to see a man standing beside his mobile dog training van… clearly this man was at the wrong house, or exactly the right place depending upon how you look at it. He was charismatic and warm and we struck up a conversation. It didn’t take long to figure out that he was wise and character driven.
As we continued to talk I learned that this man trained dogs but also had a much higher calling. Twice a year he made a trip around the world to bring baby girls from orphanages in China to the United States. He had personally helped to save ten or more children. Pretty noble work. He was great story teller and I hung on to his descriptions of China. I asked him how he found his way to become a part of something so much greater than himself. He told me that the decision to do what he did was the easy part. His difficulty came in dealing with the effects that his decision had on the people around him who loved him. He said his wife was near the end of her rope, because his noble cause was financially draining and took him far from home. She felt abandoned and confused. As he contemplated his own life, he cocked his head to one side, “What my wife doesn’t understand is that when I cross the Chinese boarder I lose something I never miss….Myself. I become selfless.”
Wow. I felt that one. I got a chill that chased up my back and I knew his story was also speaking to me. It helped me find my way.
Selflessness is love’s purest form. Sometimes I briefly forget the bigger picture and this lesson of selflessness. Inevitably my selfish motivations remind me that a road based upon one’s self undoubtedly leads away from love. In my life I am most grateful for losing myself within the larger flow of those who love me. It is with them I find my larger peace and purpose.