On Friday I wrote about accepting and loving my weaknesses in the present moment. The logical extension of this is to accept other people for who they are in present moment. Unconditional love is revealing new aspects of itself every few weeks. Previously I would have tried to love an imperfect person because I thought it was the best think I could do to help them. There was a lot of intellect involved in my unconditional love. Now I’m discovering that I should learn to love unconditionally because it’s the best way to help me. Somehow love is simultaneously selfish and selfless. That’s pretty cool!
To did a little deeper, let’s use an example. An angry adolescent curses at me as we cross each other on the sidewalk. My instant reaction might be to curse right back at him. To avoid a conflict, I might just silently curse at him. In either case, I’ve started rolling in misery. Maybe I react a little less harshly and I think, “That guy will get his due. I should just mind my own business.” I’ve wished negativity upon this kid I don’t even know. It’s more subtle, but it has still driven me to misery. Now what if I was able to say to myself, “This person has a lot of anger inside of him. I hope my soft kind eyes and metta can help him discover find some peace.” If I could do this, I would be both keeping myself in a loving place potentially helping this person. Easier said than done, I know, but we really are helping ourselves and others by practicing towards this goal. Time to meditate.