Does selfless love exist beyond mother and child?


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I commented on Imiel's blog recently, but thought it would make a nice post anyway. I'd love to hear your thoughts too, so please comment.

Here's Imiel's blogpost titled "When two mature persons are in love – by OSHO"

And here's my response: "
Dude, I love it... but I also disagree to some extent. I understand true love and giving without asking for anything in return. Selfless love is definitely a higher state of being and we should aspire to it, but it is rare (mother and child is the most perfect example though). Relationships and humans are MUCH more complex than being able to simply say LOVE without asking for anything in return. A relationship is not entirely about love. Love is the supreme bond, but a relationship requires a lot more than love. Friendship, companionship, affection, trust, truth and lies, sex, parenting, values, life philosophies, morals, intellectual stimulation, conversation, work and play, music, spirituality/religion/beliefs, passion, silence, happiness, sadness, compliments, arguments, personality... it goes on. 

One does not have a relationship purely based on love. You may give love selflessly, but what if they want more than love... what if you want more than love. Is love enough? I don't think so. Love is fueled by all these things, but it is not the sum of the parts. You can love someone as much as you want, selflessly, without expecting anything in return, but you still feel longing, or you still have needs that must be met. If not met, love will wither and die. And I don't think it fully relies on maturity either. No one is "mature", we're all learning and changing all the time. The trick is to align all of the stuff I've mentioned with someone else, grow and learn together, be together... love is sometimes placed on a pedestal. What is love after all? How do you define love? Is it worship? Is that too much? Is it absolute? Is that too much? What is too much love and what is too little? Is it a need, a lust, a passion? To me, love is companionship... a life partner, someone that complements your being. It will not be perfect, nor without passion and even hatred at times, but when you think about it, you love that person because of who they are and who you are because they are with you, and moreso, you love BOTH OF YOU together. 

Maybe I'm not enlightened enough, but giving love selflessly has lead me into trouble before. It is abused. A mature love is one where your needs and wants are also met and you're clever enough to know when they aren't. If your needs and wants and love are not met, then how can you possibly GIVE SELFLESS LOVE, because you will need that love for yourself. You can only give love once you love yourself entirely, then you give it as a gift, not expecting anything back, but it's just stupid to be in a relationship where you are the one giving and the other is taking. It's not healthy for you. As the post says though... two mature people. But as I say "mature" people are rare, if not non-existent. Humans are not and never will be perfect and wholly capable of selfless love (mother and child excluded). It's a continuous dynamic battle of give and take... and balance is what we should seek, not 100% giving. Seek to give, but also seek to receive. The world usually balances out and if you do give, you'll find that you do receive... and I won't feel guilty that I require reciprocal love. There ya go though, maybe I'm just not enlightened enough, but I truly feel that the recipe I have come to through my lessons is working quite well. I give... A LOT, it's in my nature, but it's not free. I don't expect a credit/debit style of payment at all, but I do expect my own personal needs and wants and passions to be met too. I simply can not give love otherwise. Love is a precious thing and I don't believe you should give it away freely. Love, like trust, must be earned. IMHO."

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