So, I was driving in the Ozark Mountains recently, on our way to Hot Springs from Fayetteville. (I was driving our little car, not the big truck and trailer.)
It was a beautiful drive — steep and winding roads, awesome scenery. Suddenly, there’s a big Chevy 1 ton dually (if you know what that is) tight on my rear end. I picked up my speed a bit so I was driving the speed limit (even my 100-year-old mother accuses me of being a pokey driver) but he kept close on my tail. I studiously ignored him for as long as I could, then I got really irritated. “You f*#%r, back the f#%* off!” Of course, he couldn’t hear me. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying a spate of creative cussing.
Then I thought, “This is a perfect opportunity to radiate love!” In fact, I suspected that if I radiated love, the SOB behind me would back off. Wouldn’t that be something to write about in Tenacity Notes!
So I decided to radiate love. I tried. I really, really tried. But all I could manage to radiate was irritation! Which I actually found pretty funny. I had quite a hearty laugh at myself. By the time I was done laughing, we were at the road to the state park, and we turned away from the tailgating dually.
And that is the reason we practice — so that when we want to radiate love, we can.
It’s been a while, I know, since I sent out a Tenacity Notes. An old and dear friend of mine died totally unexpectedly, and ever since I have felt completely bewildered.
But now, as I rise out of my bewilderment, I find myself thinking, Why bother? When any day could be anyone’s last day, why bother with being crabby? Why spend any time feeling put upon? Why would I want to give any speck of my energy to being judgmental, or anxious, or fearful? Why use up even one iota of energy defending myself? Why choose to focus on worst case scenarios? Why flirt with hopelessness? Why believe that my happiness is dependent on another, or on circumstances? Why bother with any of that stuff? Why waste my time on it? Why choose to live even one moment of my life in that way?
And so I return, again and again, to the one thing I feel certain is what I do want to do with my time and energy — radiating love. I want to surrender to the practice, and see where it takes me.
I couldn’t find any string, so I’m using my wedding ring. In an effort to remind myself to consciously radiate love, I put my wedding ring on my other hand. It’s not as effective as tying a string around my finger, but it helps. I am certain that radiating love is an intriguing path for me to follow. If only I could remember to do it!
Practice, practice, practice.
This week, don’t be hard on yourself. Hour by hour, day by day, all this week practice not being hard on yourself. And when you catch yourself being hard on yourself, celebrate! Don’t be hard on yourself for being hard on yourself!
Let me know.
I’ve been having some interesting email conversations with people who really want to radiate love to someone or something. Or who really want to know that their radiating love is having an impact on someone or something.
But that’s just it — you can’t. The instant you go there, you’re doing something other than radiating. You’re doing forced air!
Radiating love has no goal other than to radiate love. Radiating love has no other focus and no other intent. Except perhaps the intent to know the delicious experience of radiating love. In that experience is the joy of letting go. In that experience is the exquisite curiosity about where this path is leading you. In that experience is the thrill of not knowing.
Radiating love is full of letting go. Letting go of control. Letting go of the need to know. Letting go of fear. Letting go of expectations. Letting go of having to prove anything to anyone.
Radiating love creates the path. Radiating love is the path. Radiating love is the light on the path. That is all we can know. That is all we need to know. All the rest is just details.
Radiating love is my path. Radiating love is the light on my path. That is all I can know. That is all I need to know. All the rest is just details.
I’ve heard from several readers that they are “sending love” to this or that person or situation or animal. As always, I’m grateful to hear what you’re up to.
Those of you who live in the frigid northland know the difference between a forced air furnace and radiators. In a forced air furnace, air is heated, and fans blow it through ductwork and into the room. Radiators, on the other hand, are large cast iron tubes that fill with hot water and do nothing. No blowing, no sending. They get hot, and the heat has it’s own movement. The heat moves into the room through it’s own volition.
When I talk about the practice of radiating love, I am not suggesting that you become forced air furnaces. I am suggesting that you become radiators. Love, like heat, has it’s own movement. It needn’t be sent — it will spread out into the world through it’s own volition.
I find that I want to take this furnace metaphor and run with it! But let’s leave it here for now. Sending love and radiating love are different practices and have different results, and I’ll be reporting on some of the results you tell me about.
If you’ve been sending love, no need to quit. But do add the practice of radiating love. And let me know.