Can you imagine a world where everyone is loved and loving? Now, can you imagine yourself loving everyone? Did your thoughts go to that one person in your life who is difficult to love and who possibly is not loving to you or others?
That shift from liking the idea of a loving world and then being blocked by the reality of what is halts most of us from believing it is possible. This disbelief in love inhibits our “loving” behaviour, and we often find ourselves waiting for the other person to act lovingly before we will. And that is how we get trapped into enacting the belief-behaviour cycle of “a loving world is not possible.”
So, if we want to alter our behaviour to suit a new belief — a loving world is possible — that would mean we need to enact a new behaviour that supports that belief. Right?
Seems simple enough. We would have to love everybody. Even those people who don’t love us. Even those homeless people who talk to themselves and avoid eye contact. Even those dumpster divers who throw our garbage onto the lane as they search for food and treasures. Even those family members who push our emotional buttons. Even Donald Trump! Simple enough, but not easy.
When I am confronted with a formidable learning curve, my best strategy is to take one small step in the bigger direction I intend to head. With regard to “loving everybody”, I began by simply smiling at everyone I crossed paths with whether I was walking, jogging, bicycling, riding the bus, driving a car, etc. This significant, but small act, taught me a wonderful lesson. The benefits were more than worth the effort. When I smiled at others, they smiled back at me. Try it for yourself, and see what you learn. As the smiling behaviour became my habit, I also discovered that I felt better, that is, lighter and happier.
More than anything, I realized that adding a positive behaviour to my repertoire is much easier than trying to stop a negative behaviour.
As an example, “love everybody by smiling” is a different energy than “stop judging everybody.” Remembering to smile reaches from the face into the heart and uplifts, while stopping judgment stays in the head and requires mental effort. Overtime, the new positive behaviour actually displaces the old negative one, and as my poem below describes we experience a lightness in being.
Lightness in Being
Childlike, but not childish,
with an eternal spring in my being,
I walk the earth lightly today.
Tho’ solid of centre, I move in and out
of this temporal world, presently untethered
by external and internal forces.
Glimpsing loving possibilities,
truth, beauty, goodness unfold and expand me,
displacing frustration, judgment, blame.
Like surging lava breaking through surface crust,
compassion swells my heart floating me above ground.
Such is the lightness in being.