I wanted to sort out my thoughts about this and decided to do it here. How can I love someone I don’t know? How can I love someone I do not like? I think love is a choice and that if you control your thoughts you can achieve the love of everyone. It’s not easy and I haven’t achieved it yet, though.
I’ve been practicing. When I look at someone, I try to see inside them. See their soul and the beauty of who they are. It gets easier each time I try. Picking out virtues helps too. We all make assumptions about people based on how they’re dressed, how they talk, etc. We all size up strangers, even though it’s not culturally popular to admit that. But we do. I think it’s only natural to form an opinion, pretty sure we can’t stop that. However, I also think that we can control what we do with that opinion.
Several years ago, I was at an elementary school’s administrative office. The woman in front of me was pregnant, had a baby in a stroller and was talking to the secretary about her children that were enrolled in the school. It was revealed through the conversation that there were multiple dad’s and she needed to get the children on a free meal program. I don’t need to elaborate on my initial thoughts. At some point, I consciously caught myself judging her. I immediately felt guilty and began silently praying for her. That was a breakthrough for me in terms of avoiding judgment.
Fast forward to 2020 and I’m at the grocery store, bagging my items. The person in front of me is also bagging her items (duel conveyor belts). It was a particularly hot day. She was purchasing 2-liter sodas and snacks, she mumbled to herself that it was going to be a long walk home with the heavy bottles. I asked her how far away she lived. She answered that her house was just around the block (it turned out to be about 2 miles away). I asked if she wanted a ride and she said yes. She waited for me to finish and then we walked out to my car together. As I’m walking, I’m asking myself what on earth was I thinking? I don’t know her, if anything happened, no one would know what happened to me. I was starting to panic. Then, I made the decision that I would be ok until I wasn’t, so I wouldn’t worry unless I needed to. Another breakthrough. I drove her home without incident. She was very grateful. I was euphoric that I had helped her. I still think of that incident and feel good about it.
I guess the moral of my blog is that I’m happier and more at peace when I love versus when I judge. It’s my reward for trying to do my job.
Happy Valentine’s month <3