Imagine a world where everyone around you is someone you love.
You see the person on the right and believe with all of your heart that they are doing their best.
You look to the left and see someone who just keeps trying even though life is hard.
You look in the mirror and see someone you genuinely love and give credit to for all of her heart, soul, and capacity.
Every one that we encounter is 100% lovable.
We are born into the human race with inherent value and lovability.
Achieving a world where we love those around us requires looking REALLY closely in the mirror.
Closely at our own stuff.
Because if we are finding that there is someone we just don't love that's on us.
It reflects our ability to love...not their lovability.
Personally I have found that looking at my own issues costs.
Sometimes It costs me the image I have of myself, who I want to think I am right now.
It costs me thinking myself to be right.
Or better than someone else.
Or better than some standard I have that qualifies me as a good person or a worthy person.
It means I must give up some pet stories that say "Of course I would feel this way. How else could I feel" if I was mistreated, disrespected, neglected, etc.
Why would I want to accept that I may be deliberately inflicting suffering on myself?
It may mean that I must accept that I am not a victim of my circumstances and therefore must work to achieve new results here.
Give up something that feels very important, my reasons, and loving someone I viewed as unlovable or unworthy of love.
It is expensive.
It is WORK.
And it is easy to arrive at a place where as long as the car is running, why look under the hood, right?
If I look under there and see that a hose is broken or a belt is almost gone I will feel like I need to fix it.
I can live with a little disdain if it just happens once in a while, right?
But I want to pull myself to a new level where I'm looking in there all the time, like waaaaay before smoke starts pouring from under the hood.
I want to be ON MY STUFF so that I can create an amazing experience right now. In the future.
Whatever is going on in my life.
As long as I believe that my feelings are dependent on what is going on outside of me, I have to manipulate the world to only present what I think is good.
I'm not going to hold my breath for that one.
But I am willing to set some targets for myself.
One of my lofty goals is to be able to love others unconditionally.
The ornery person at church.
The cranky neighbor.
The driver who cut me off today and shook her finger at me.
The professional who kept my money without providing the product.
The critical family member.
I know that each person is lovable.
If they aren't being loved by me, THAT IS ON ME.
And if I am choosing NOT to love them, there is something that is more valuable to me than loving them. Than having the peace of being around someone I love even when they make that noise or tell me how to drive.
What is it?
If I want to know, I have to be willing to look at myself. Closely.
I have that opportunity every time I feel upset or annoyed or frustrated.
It means that I have set conditions on how someone must behave or else I will feel.....fill in the blank.
Looking at these conditions is the beginning of setting boundaries where I can deliberately choose what I will tolerate in my life and what I will not.
Out of love.
And then I can get to the business of loving them anyway. Even if I choose to...
*Feel a little chagrined when I am judging the ornery church member for being so ornery and judgy. And then love them anyway.
*Accept that people are allowed to act cranky. In fact, that's EXACTLY how they should be acting. Because the second I believe they shouldn't...I begin fighting against reality. People actually get to act cranky. It's life. And love them anyway.
*Recognize that the reason I am angry because the lady who cut me off took my lane change personally...is because I am taking that personally, and love us both anyway.