I woke up this morning with the song “All You Need Is Love” in my head.
Probably because I’ve been realizing I have good intentions and I have a kind and loving heart but it doesn’t always translate into how I behave; especially with the people I’m comfortable with and online. Where I don’t filter myself all that well. And I went to sleep perplexed about that. Not worried about how others perceive me necessarily but more concerned about accountability to myself.
My aunt told me once “Don’t do things that others perceive as wrong, even if they aren’t.” And I unequivocally knew I believed the inexact opposite of that and have never waivered from it. “Do what you know is the right thing to do even if no one else understands or sees it that way.”
And that’s how I like to comport myself. Part of that is leading my life with love. Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Buddha, Jesus….on and on we have examples of people who led their lives through a gaze of love for all beings and creatures.
How does one get there? And I concluded the answer is tediously. Lol
As in slowly, gradually, by taking small steps towards it. Because unless something absolutely life changing happens most of us don’t have the capacity to change instantly.
What does that look like?
So the teenager left a mess in the kitchen, and left out perfectly edible food overnight and needed to get to the dishes. Normally all our encounters regarding chores go bad.
So I led with my heart and although the words I used (to my mind) seemed like the words I usually use, the tone, my stance, the unconscious shift made the encounter neutral. Which is a huge step forward, trust me.
So I thought ok…..
Let me look at the things that bother me a little or irritate me. I won’t tackle the things that I loathe. I won’t tackle any big ticket emotional items. But the dishes….got tackled easily….and amicably because I came at it with a completely different mindset. Really no mindset at all. I simply lemy heart talk.
I don’t know if this sounds strange to people. I have used this technique a lot over the years so to me it seems easy to grasp. But maybe to some it isn’t. So let me explain further.
Coming from the heart is a lot like sports (I think maybe). You sink into your body, you get out of your head, you breath deeply, you don’t predict anything, you simply stay in the moment, you aren’t guarded, you aren’t ready to attack…you are simply present and engaged, observing. Then you respond from your heart.
And you’re doing this from a soft gaze of love. I will sometimes literally soften my gaze sometimes just to further enhance the feelings. I’ve done it. I know I can do it. We can all do it. It comes easily and naturally with the people and things we love. But now what about for everyone and everything else?
Fortunately, this is something that I can practice. This is something I can actively do. This is something that can help me create the me I have always wanted to be.
And the idea of it is freeing, uplifting, hopeful and scary all at the same time. An exhilarating little feeling. Now if I can actually stick to it. Lol