Owl Opinions

Martyrdom in Love & Service

There was a clip shared about a romance that started with “He was 29 and I was 45” and it was beautifully narrated with a rather sad ending. It was moving, it was very raw and real and it had the 45 year old woman in the role of the sacrificial matchmaker.

As romantic and sensual as it sounded, I shared this clip with a psychologist friend who gave me a good reality check on such romantic martyrs. Firstly, she was not impressed – didn’t they discuss having children when they started this passionate affair and how did he move on so quickly to the new found beauty if he was so in love with the 45 year old? I remembered how it took me a good 5 years to get over some loser who did not even give me one tenth of what this 29 year old Jean Michel gave. So yea it was clearly a very good passionate tryst and this martyrdom of oneself in love – that you will always be the one that got away, the one that was left behind, the one who is too old or too tired or whatever the fuck – is a tried and tested tale of yore to pacify those who want better but seem to keep falling into the same traps over and over again. The role of the sacrificial lamb is exalted in many religions and cultures and hence it seems very admirable.

I remembered how many times I had heard friends say, “why me”, “only me” etc. and I realised later that it has very much to do with our own psychological issues. If you do not address what went wrong in the first instance, it will continue like a cascade into the others along the way. This happens to whatever gender and it is very easy to sit and blame one party, when in fact it takes two in a relationship be it a marriage or a long term or short term one. We need to ask ourselves why we’re attracted to such people without always looking to blame just one side.

In another instance of martyrdom, I came across this lady who cleans offices. She is a hardworking, religious soul who has had a tough life. She worked for many years overseas, she lost her baby, has separated from her husband and she lost her money which she earned overseas to his overspending. Yet she insists on working hard for her upkeep. While it seems very admiral on the surface, when you dig deep you realise that she has not planned a retirement, she has hardly any savings and she lives a hand to mouth existence because she does not fix the issues she has but keeps putting plasters. She has a knee injury which she claims is the reason she can’t go back overseas to work. When you ask her have you got proper treatment – no, because there is no time to go to the doctor and get medicine. I tried explaining to her that a stitch in time saves nine. She is still struggling to understand it. She holds onto her faith diligently praying to every deity as she feels that will tide her through. I understand that but I find it hard to understand how one does not see the folly of short term fixes instead of long term gains. She is convinced her life is over now because she has had a tough life where things did not work out. Yesterday she was be-moaning not winning the lottery – she got only 2 numbers that matched. She was asking her god why he did not let her win the lottery. I did not bother addressing this – the chances of chance are so slim that one is better off being smart and working towards realistic goals. Instead, she works hard but not smart, prays and hopes for miracles and lottery wins.

She is a lovely soul but with a naïve outlook and understanding of life. Similar to the naïve outlook of martyrdom and sacrifice when it comes to love. Both these have given me valuable insights into how easily fooled we are when it comes to such matters. I do believe that while there is honour in honest work and honest love, it does not mean that we settle for martyrdom in order to feel validated.


Meet Lilanka
“what is meant to be comes about of what one does”.
An eclectic personality with a penchant for creativity, Lilanka is an old soul who loves life, laughter and stepping off the beaten track. She finds joy in nature, travelling and venting her existential frustrations via her writing while calming her body with food and her soul with music. Her motto is – “what is meant to be comes about of what one does”.
A collection of eclectic expressions from life according to Lilanka Botejue. From her creative outbursts and passionate views to her love for nature, food, music and archaeology, Owl Muses is an attempt to capture these moments in time.
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