I'm reading a book about meditation (I'm getting into this meditation thing...) called Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg. I read this today:
"When my friend's daughter Willa, then seven, heard about the London subway bombing in July 2005, she was deeply saddened. Her eyes filled with tears and she said, 'Mom, we should say a prayer.' As she and her mother held hands, Willa asked to go first. Her mother was stunned to hear Willa begin with, 'May the bad guys remember the love in their hearts.'"
First of all, kids are always blowing my mind with the stuff they say. Most of the time it's hilarious and unexpected, but sometimes, like with this little girl, it is so deeply inspiring. I never once thought of the bad guys. Much less their hearts and the love that might be buried somewhere inside.
I was recently hurt by someone I considered to be a good friend. I felt that I reached out in a time of crisis with love and understanding. I withheld judgement. I opened myself up and shared stuff I don't usually share. Then I was unexpectedly shut out and un-friended (not in the facebook sense...this was just the first phrase that came to mind - evidence that I am a product of my generation). I've been feeling hurt and confused. I'm having a hard time letting go.
This is most definitely a case where I need to heed my own advice that I can live with less and have more. I can live with less emotional baggage and grudges. I can live with less anxiety. Less reliving of scenarios from the past. And therefore automatically create more love, peace, compassion, and brain power to think about stuff that will actually get me somewhere. It's so hard for me to do.
This all reminds me of something else I read a few months ago in Return From Tomorrow by George C. Ritchie. He was quoting someone he nicknamed Wild Bill Cody - a man who was familiar with pain I have never known:
"He paused, perhaps seeing again his wife and 5 children. 'I had to decide right then,' he continued, 'whether to let myself hate the soldiers who had done this. It was an easy decision, really. I was a lawyer. In my practice I had seen too often what hate could do to people's minds and bodies. Hate had just killed the six people who mattered most to me in the world. I decided then that I would spend the rest of my life - whether it was a few days or many years - loving every person I came in contact with.'"
Wow. I certainly have a REALLY long way to go.
I know I run the risk of sounding like a beauty pageant contestant here...pledging to work toward world peace...but seriously what would the world, my neighborhood, my family be like if I was more like Willa and Wild Bill Cody? Just something to think about tonight.