Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thoughts on being unkind, spreading loving-kindness

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Do you ever have unkind thoughts for another and then feel guilty for it?

Last night I had sadness and guilt weighing on my heart so heavy that I knew I needed to uncover and deal with it. After much internal dialogue I realized that I had been having unkind thoughts towards another that I even went as far as verbalizing these thoughts to a dear friend yesterday morning. The sadness appeared shortly after and remained until I finally questioned the reason.

I was sad because, although this person had unintentionally hurt me in the past, I had no reason to respond in the same unkind way back. Even though she would never know of these thoughts, I knew and it hurt me deep in my sould that I would have this reaction to her.

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The actions of one should never cause you to react the same in return.

One of my values that I hold to a high standard is being non-judgemental yet that was exactly what I was doing - judging her.

Oh the tears flooded my eyes to this thought.

Then the question I pondered - How do I change this?

The answer was simple. Loving-kindness.

According to The Joy of Living by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, loving-kindness is a Buddhist philosophical term that all "beings - even those we dislike - experience the same sense of joy and freedom that we ourselves aspire to feel."

"Look on everyone you see with an open, loving heart." ~Santideva, The Bodhicaryavatara

Instead of unkind thoughts I should have compassion and send loving light their way. I know, that's easier said than done. You don't have to like that person or their actions but spreading a little love may help you like them and yourself a little bit more. Why? Here's the kicker -

"If we were to make a list of people we don't like...we would find a lot about those aspects of ourselves that we can't face." ~Pema Chodron from Start Where You Are

Wow. How're you feeling now?

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So today I made it my goal that if unkind thoughts arise I would change those thoughts into something positive. I would then visualize love flowing from my heart to theirs. You know what? I felt so much lighter, freer, happier, and loving.

So now I ask you, are there people in your life you could should spread some loving-kindness to?

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