I try to create “the beloved” in my life and around me. I needed so badly to find direction while thrashing around in pain. My life was getting daily more restricted and I needed to find purpose. Not easy when I couldn't do obvious things like volunteer work. Even writing, my usual outlet, was curtailed because I couldn't sit at the computer. So how to make life count? How to put back creativity?
I did the “loving kindness” meditation every day and ended with “may I dwell in the beloved.” No one ever defined “the beloved.” I am not sure where I got the idea from, but it grew and took shape.
The Beloved is surely a loving frame of mind, a beatitude, I thought hopefully, till I checked my Bible. No, I don't want to be poor in sprit, mourning and persecuted! There must be a more optimistic way to be blessed.
So the idea of the Beloved grew. I have met (a very few) souls who have carried with them an aura of peace and kindness – nuns come to mind, so perhaps the Beatitudes are not so far off the mark. Could I aim at creating a kindness bubble? Not like a protective white light, which I have never been able to maintain anyway. More like a deep peace that I can rest in – and hopefully transmit to others, rather as one prays for another.
Could creating a warm, safe, kind space be as much of an art as painting? Or gardening? Yes, gardening is a good metaphor. My green-fingered friends manifestly gain huge pleasure from their efforts. I can see how satisfying it would be, an organic, ageless task, with texture and beauty. I can't do that, although I would like to, because I can't bend and anyway my past efforts have produces bolting tomatoes with a few shrivelled pompoms as if on stilts, and cabbages like broderie Anglaise.
But could I nurture kindness the same way, sowing a compliment here, a hug there? Could I make a loving space, and prune my excesses (stop enthusing madly), remove my brambles (stop snapping)? I could certainly prune more demanding relationships and weed out negativity.
Gardiners plan ahead – pay it forward – and have patience, which would be needed as I am restless by nature. This is a great metaphor, including watering, feeding (friends over for coffee?). Before I started my kindness garden, my efforts to help, listen and nurture felt disjointed. There was no frame. When you volunteer, you have a label for your disparate activities – they add up to a cohesive whole. Now I am tending my garden and a myriad of small acts coalesce into meanng.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING from CANADA