Practicing Metta

Metta. A lovingkindness, friendliness that teaches us to extend genuine kindness and friendliness to ourselves and then outwardly to others. In Buddhism, metta is the first of the brahma viharas

The whole of the brahma viharas are new to me. It’s quite enjoyable to learn and mediate on them….and yes, I still love my Jesus. I also treasure wisdom and learning. Anyway…that’s a whole nother topic for a whole other day.

Today, my meditation practice has centered around this statement; to greet each thought with, “May I meet this too with kindness.’ In theory, sounds super simple. In reality, I have so much reaction and resistance within me that this could be akin to asking me to swim 5 miles wearing 50 pound bags of rocks. It’s a task that feels insurmountable; thus…it’s a practice my soul longs for.

Spending time in quiet breath, accepting whatever comes; I am surprised at what comes up. There is so much angry, so much resentment…mad, mad, mad. There are the regrets, the shoulds, the shames and embarrassments. MAY I MEET THESE TOO WITH KINDNESS.

Hmph. Mental eye roll. More minutes in this quiet with more emotions arising. Leaving. Don’t leave me. I don’t want to leave you. Fear. Arguing. Comparison. MAY I MEET THESE TOO WITH KINDNESS.

How does it feel when I meet myself with kindness instead of judgment or reaction? In my quiet space, I free my mind to do what it needs to do and breathe deep in my spirit; praying and hoping the two find a place to connect peacefully.

This is semi-foreign to me. I’ve done hard work within; I’ve sought and found my inner child; there is still, always work to do. Peeling layers of an onion, I remind myself. My instant reaction…I’d rather peel layers of cabbage. Okay sister, you go for it. This is your work. Be cabbage. I laugh at my self and wonder at my ability to create my own struggles where there need be none.

I’m here now. I am here with the shoulds. I realize there is equanimity among the shoulds, the scolding, the shame and the harsh self judgements.

Thoughts arise.

“Sit up, you are meditating in the wrong position.”

“You are fat. Why are you fat?” (I am pleased as I meet this thought not with acceptance; at least with a bit of grace because I am still ‘trying’ to love me where I am at.)

“Why did you switch to this new job. It pays well; but you are going to hate it. It’s against everything you theoretically believe. Furthermore, why are you 49 and needing to consider money. I’ll tell you why, it’s bc of your past poor choices. What makes you think you will do different now?

“Why should you be proud of yourself? You might want to consider how long it’s taken you to get here and don’t forget all of your past mistakes. This isn’t a big deal. You aren’t a big deal.”

“You won’t connect like you could, your fear is gonna get you.”

The thoughts don’t stop; yet my timer buzzes. Thank God. I decide to climb out of the negative rabbit whole and process. There is a constant push and pull in my gut. It rises and stops in my throat. I fear that if I let it out it will choke myself and everyone around me.

I acknowledge the struggle between letting go/surrender and control/fear.

I MEET THESE. I MEET ALL OF THESE. I MEET THESE WITH KINDNESS.

I process and continue my internal dialogue.

Why, hello old friends.

Hello Anger! I see you peeking around the corner, you’re okay.

Hiya Shame.

Hello sweet Surrender; I know you are feeling squished down.

Ah, regret, there you are.

Control, hello there!

Shame babies, greetings little ones. Please understand if I don’t feed you enough and you fade away as failure to thrive.

Oh…the Shoulds come marching in – Goodness!, you all multiply quickly.

Fear, hi!

Curiosity, welcome love! Doubt…hey there. Silly, you can disguise yourself as Curioustity but we know you are just playing around!

Dichotomous thinking, hi dear one! I know you are struggling.

Welcome everyone! I see you. Thank you for coming. I MEET EACH OF YOU WITH KINDNESS. What? I know; it’s new. Let’s try it though. Please? Please.

I meet you all with full kindness even when the pull is toward shame and resistance.

CHOOSE KINDNESS. CHOOSE KINDNESS. CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you forget; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you resist; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you disconnect; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you are embarrassed and ashamed; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you doubt; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you feel less than; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you sabotage yourself; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you are mean; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you are less than love; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you feel the “I cant’s, CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When the shoulds overwhelm; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you compare; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you are afraid; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you feel the “never enough’; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you choose the “too muches“; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you claim helplessness; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

I love you sis. CHOOSE KINDNESS.

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