This journal page was prompted by something in a book I am reading at the moment. The book is Ayya Khema’s “Being Nobody Going Nowhere“. When talking about lovingkindness, the author suggests making a balance sheet at the end of the day. On one side of the sheet is: “How often have I felt lovingness towards another person today?” and on the other side: “How often have I felt anger, hurt, resentment, rejection, fear, anxiety, today when confronting other people?” This can be written or can be just in the mind.
Just undertaking this exercise for a few days has made me realise just how tipped my balance is and sadly, not on the side of lovingness. It has made me very aware of all the times in a day I respond, not with lovingness, but with irritation, indfifference, or resentment. It has made me realise that I have a lot to learn and a long way to go.
I am inspired by Ayya Khema’s writing though, and her assurance that lovingkindness is a skill that can be learned. She emphasises that acting in a loving way is never a weakness. For example, if you treat someone in a loving way and they respond by “taking advantage” of you (a real fear that a lot of people have, I think) then she says that it is their bad karma and asks “How you can you lose the love that you carry round in your own heart? If somebody takes advantage of you, it is another instance of learning whether your heart has already been trained”. She goes on to say that “The weakness that one may be afraid of showing is a fallacy because love gives strength not weakness. A person who has nothing but loving feelings feels safe and secure, totally at ease because nothing can sway them.” Ayya Khema inspires me to keep trying to perfect the skill of lovingness.
How do you keep your heart open and loving? Who inspires you? How does your balance sheet look at the end of the day? I would love to hear from you 🙂