HOW CAN I ‘PRACTICE’ LOVE?
I’ve been sitting in the Burbank Airport for the last several hours, indefinitely delayed, waiting for my flight to take me home. And as I sit here, I am “practicing”?
What am I practicing?
I am Practicing Love.
I notice that there are so many times in my life where I am rushing around, so busy going places and getting things done, stuck thinking about the past, or imagining the future that I stop really seeing the people around me as people.
In a way, I turn all the people around me, whether the crowds in the airport, the people on the street or even my own kids and family into just OBJECTS. And sometimes they even somehow become OBSTACLES that are in my way as I am trying to get to where ever I am going, or get done whatever I am trying to do.
When they become objects, I “de-humanize” them and forget to see the magic and beauty in them.
So, today I am choosing to “practice love”.
I am choosing to slow down and be present, and look at these people around me as “real people”. People that have done amazing things and who have faced huge challenges in their lives. These are people that have kids and spouses and families that they love. People that are silly, and smart, and who have dreams and fears. People just like me.
There’s this big huge bald guy sitting by me. At least 6’6″ and 300+lbs. Burly arms covered in tattoos. A grungy black shirt with a skull on it. He’s the type of person I would be afraid of running into alone on a dark night… And the type of person that I would avoid at an airport. He feels threatening to me, because he is different than me… and to my subconscious mind, different means scary.
My subconscious jumps to judgement. I throw him into this box of who I think he is, rather than being open to find out who he really is…
… and so as I practice love, I went to talk to him.
His name is Jack. He is a software engineer. He is flying to Atlanta for a job interview. He’s nervous. He has lived in LA for 7 years ago. 3 years ago he got divorced. He was devastated. He is kind. He is gentle. He is funny. He is a good man. He just wants to be happy.
He is just like me.
And somehow my heart feels a little bit bigger because I made room for Jack in there.
Hmmm. Practicing love.
Sometimes practicing love may mean having a conversation, or giving a compliment, or looking for a way to serve, and make their day a little better… and sometimes it doesn’t involve any words at all, just choosing to see them as a real person and silently sending love.
As I open my heart and practice love, what is possible…
When I practice love, I wonder, how much more can I love and be present with my kids when I see them tonight? How much more can I love my ex when I see her as I pick up the kids? How much more can I love my clients, my friends, my neighbors?
How much can I love a total stranger who I have never met? How much can I love someone who is totally different than me? How much can I love someone who hurts me or makes me feel small?
and at the source of it all… how much can I love myself, in all of my shadow and all of my light?
Practicing Love… this feels like a game worth playing.
What about you? How can you practice love today…
You have one life to LOVE… love BIG.