I finally and truly begin where I left off ten years ago. Before I begin the love meditations, I profess my ignorance of what or who Love is. I only know Love indirectly through my heart, Jesus’ grace, and signs provided by God. Therefore, I can never wake up thinking I am ready to give love. Only God can do this, through me. I also wish to state that I have very little faith that this will work, in spite of having experienced its benefits ten years ago for a weekend. I might say I have much faith, but I know that my heart has grown small and puny, weak from stealing rather than giving.
I know that I still hold grudges in my heart, and there is much evil that must be purged. I know that just because I may not have direct access to these things, they will rise up in dreams and moments of hunger and stress to try to conquer me. I pray to God and Jesus Christ first for forgiveness, for a blessing, and for strength that I might succeed this time, knowing I must do this to do God’s will.
I truly begin where I left off because I must do this now to survive the coming years, not because I want a new high or increased self esteem.
I begin with Love for myself. I do not hate myself, nor do I love myself in a perverted way, but I love myself because I am happy with who I am, with my own skin, with how God created me. I love me because I am a child of God, and must first see myself as worth saving if I wish to pray for others’ salvation. I offer love for all of the parts of my body, including parts that I have cursed in the past, parts that I have wished were differently sized and shaped in the past. I now no longer wish for any part of me to be different, except where healing needs to take place, such as in my heart and areas that stress has damaged, and in my poor eyes.
I continue with love for my puppy. While this is one is easy enough to say, it must be done as she shouldn’t be left out just because I might think it obvious. I love my dog no matter how ornery she might seem to be, and love her as she is–I don’t wish for a different sort of dog.
I love my roommate. In spite of all his faults, and his heart often seeming to be in very wrong places, I love him, because not many other people probably do. I love him simply, with God’s love, carrying no expectations for understanding from him or expectations for him to change who he is. I carry my love of the heart with me past his room, and give him some. This is not perverted, or sexual in any way. I breathe easily and naturally when I pass his room in my mind, giving him my love.
I love my neighbors. I love the man and his son next door, working through a difficult situation where the man is recently divorced and must live in a small apartment with a son who is almost a man and thinks he already is. I love his son in spite of the son’s lack of any social graces, and in spite of the fact that he loudly slams the door ten times each morning. I offer them my love in much the same way I offer love to my roommate, simple, unconditional. I love my neighbor upstairs, who at times has been incredibly annoying with the woodwork on his back porch, and leaving his dog out to bark, and yelling at his wife, and speaking to me with guy talk familiarity that makes me uncomfortable. I love him, and wish him the best in his endeavors and pursuits, hoping he will find his bliss, love his wife, and she love him.
I love the apartment complex management people, and the maintenance crew. I love them as fellow human beings, struggling to remain upright and steadfast on this earth, trying to do their jobs the best they can and rarely meaning anything personal when they behave less-than-professionally. I begin to spread my love across the entire apartment complex, praying that God will continue to bless us with peace and prosperity and safety. My love goes out to the other apartment complexes in much the same way, and to those without homes who walk the greenbelt area nearby.
I pause to love those who’ve gone before me, my mother, my younger brother, my oldest brother, my aunt, my two grandmas and grandpas and my great grandma. I love people I knew back in elementary school, praying that if they are lost, they will find their way, their paths, their true calling.
My love carries me across downtown Austin, and I stop to love every household along the way to work, through west and south and central Austin over to the east side. I love people sitting high up in highrise condos and office buildings, loving them for being God’s children, praying for their safety and for their prosperity. I love people down on the streets, searching for their bliss, their true callings, for homes of their own. I love people newly arrived from Mexico and Central America. I love illegal immigrants as well as legal ones. I love the animals who are lost, and the ones who never had homes to begin with.
I love all of the young adults studying at the community college, the universities and the private schools and trade schools throughout the city. I pray for their success, I pray that they will seek out the positive in every single day, find their careers, find employment after school, find true happiness in community and in family. I pray that they will seek to be bigger, better human beings than they might currently be or think they are, putting aside petty squabbles and differences, leaving off with grudges from ex-lovers and old teachers, healing their hearts so that they can be the best of humanity, the brightest.
I see my sweet mother looking down on me from heaven, and smiling at me, because I am filling myself with love, and praying that this love will find its way out into the community. My mother is glad for her son when he does this, instead of whining about the past and worrying about the future. I allow my heart to heal a little more from any anger that might be yet lurking inside. My love goes back in time to days past downtown, along the lake and in the neighborhoods by the city. I love people who may not live here still, love old friends who are no longer friends, but maybe somewhere in my heart they might yet be.
I may grow tired physically of this exercise, but I do not let my heart stop just because my mind and body might tire. My heart longs to be filled with sweet love again from God, and for me to stop hurting him.
I love people who do not click well with me, people who are hard to love, hard to talk to, disagreeable by nature, and bitter about how life has treated them. I love those who have been wronged by society, the police, the government, by people of a different skin color, by their parents, by people of other religions. I pray that they will look past the deeds of a few and look at humanity as a whole, and see the light of Love from God yet pouring down on us. I pray that they will find peace and closure for the memories they yet hold as grudges.
I love animals in zoos around the state, the sick ones and lonely ones and unhappy ones. I love their keepers and the families that go to see them and maybe laugh at them. I love the animals and children who are deformed, disabled, weak, and considered ugly.
I love all of the people I grew impatient with last month because they didn’t return my calls and emails.
I love everyone I’ve ever worked with at my former employer, and forgive them for any misunderstandings or sleights or attempts on their parts to be less than 100% professional with me. I love my ex-girlfriends and I love past friends, and I love people I met in Jamaica who may not have loved seeing me there. I love people I went to college with, who are now no doubt raising families and in the middle of their careers. I wish them the best for all that they do, and love every single one of them. I love old friends and classmates from high school, and hold no grudges against any bullies or former enemies. I love all of my old teachers, including the ones who might have caused me pain and stress at the time.
I love teachers everywhere, but I also love prison inmates and the homeless and the drug abusers. I pray for healing in the hearts of even the most violent and lost men and women, I pray that God will please shine a little bit extra of his loving light on them tonight, showing them a better way of being, of interacting with their fellow humans. I love the peoples of Africa who are being exterminated by each other and our negligence and inaction. I love their beautiful, shining pure faces and gorgeous smiles, and love the innocence in the eyes of all who still are God’s children. I love peoples of India, and I love the lady at the call center who I was so rude to on Saturday, I love her and hope that she will find it in her heart to forgive me for my lapse into being the old me. I hope and pray to God to bless her with great riches and rewards for her hard work.
I pray for the peoples of England, and folks all over Europe, that they might continue to worship in the old ways, while learning to love the new cultures and immigrants who come to their lands. I pray for Russians, and that they might find strength to become more not less Democratic in their ways. I pray for the Russians I’ve known, and the Russians who remain under the rule of those who might be dictators. I pray for the Chinese, that they will temper their prosperity with humanity, and love each other, and see the value in human life. Of course, I pray for the Iraqi people to find peace and work out their differences, and pray for the safety of our troops, and their success at securing peace over there. I pray for the other countries of the Middle East, and their peoples who might one day learn to enjoy free, peaceful trade with each other and tolerance of diverse viewpoints.
Tonight, I pray for little children orphaned by wars and famines and diseases, that God might find it in his heart to send just a little more love their way, more love for mothers without bread and fathers without work. More love for rulers and policemen and soldiers, that they do their jobs fairly and justly, and not abuse their power. I pray for each and every little pet living inside homes across the world, and the lost and discarded pets, that they might find loving caring homes as well. I pray for every single cell in my body, the blood cells and the tissue and organs–that each will work with its neighbor most optimally, filling with love from the heart. I pray for God to come and heal all that is broken with me.
I pray for constant, deep, abiding true Love, not shallow love and empty love and conditional love and lust–but, real love that mothers feel for babes and God feels for his children and dogs feel for their human companions. I pray for love for my father, and send him my love, and I say now that I love even his girlfriend and women he’s dated and tried to date, and I love my father in spite of anything he might do or say that seems to disrespect the memory of my mother. I pray for a deeper understanding of what he must be going through, and pray for the healing of his broken heart and aching soul. I love my father unconditionally, and send unconditional love to my aunt and uncle and cousins. I wish for nothing but healing and love for all of humanity, and reject any thoughts that tend toward violence and revenge. I seek only the true path, the one path that leads toward God, and this is Love.
I now turn to scan the news and say a prayer and send some love to each and every person in the news.
I love you, reader of these words. I love the men and women who made the software that powers this word processor, and the couples I passed on the trail this morning. I love the soldiers who were preparing for their morning hike, wearing fifty pounds of gear upon their backs. I love my dog lying next to me on the bed while I write this.
I love the young lady I passed on the Congress bridge–she smiled at me and ran at her own careful pace. I love the people who make it possible for me to have eggs in the morning, the farmers and the distributors and the stockers, and of course, I love the hens.
i love all the peoples of the earth. i love all the animals of the earth. i love all the plants of the earth.
i am picturing people gathering together in public places worldwide, in dwellings, in natural shelters.
i am imagining souls far removed from my sphere of consciousness, my culture, my wavelength, my time. all of them need love.
i am connecting my brain with my heart, where Jesus resides, and emanates great waves of love for all living things.
i am learning to love myself as i am, and not wish that i were someone else.
i am learning to love all of me that is alive, and leave off all of me that needs to die.
i am imagining an intense love for m, the lady with the black dog in my apt complex.
i love all of the people i’ve come in contact with over the past week, month, year, decade, lifetime.
i love these dear souls unconditionally, and let God judge their actions, not me.
i love people who are successful by society’s standards, and people who have fallen into its dregs.
i love the authors of the books i am reading, and feel love and compassion for those who have died.
i love the neighbors around me i do not know, and the ones i think i know, and love all the ones who i see occasionally.
i love all the people inside cars on the roads everywhere, and love all the people sitting in planes, waiting to arrive someplace.
i love the shabbily dressed, the disabled, the diseased, the obese, the elderly.
i love the small children who act up and speak out of turn, and the sullen, quiet youths, and the excitable college students.
i love all of these people with a love that i don’t even try to comprehend or understand, or grasp, or own.
it is a love i’ve only known briefly, once or twice, and i don’t even try to imagine those moments when i profess this love.
i love with utter blindness of faith, with only a childlike will to heal the earth, to pour God’s love out of me.
i love to cease the grasping need to own myself, to own my feelings, to possess that which i apprehend with my senses.
i love a little more and grab onto my insides with my mind a little less.
i love through moments of frustration and insistence that i know the future.
i love through the unexpected.
i love my little dog.