Filled with Loving Kindness: Mix with Care

You carry all the ingredients to turn your life into a nightmare — don’t mix them!


If we spend any regular time reflecting on our lives, we know on some level what those ingredients are–the ingredients that, if mixed, could turn our lives into a nightmare.  If that strikes us as strange, then perhaps we owe it to ourselves to spend more time in reflection.

Even our own questions about ourselves are the sure lead:
Why do I always . . . ?
Why don’t I ever . . . ?
Why do people think that I . . . ?
Why should I . . . ?
Why would I ever . . . ?

What other questions do we find ourselves asking ourselves?

I came to understand many years ago that we cannot really ask a question to which on some level we don’t already know the answer.  That may seem absurd, at first, but that perspective is built on this: we are incapable of asking a question about something about which we have absolutely no insight.

When Hafiz says says that we carry within us all the ingredients necessary for a nightmare–DO NOT MIX–he is acknowledging this reality.  The pain, the hurt, the brokenness, the shame, the betrayal, the secrecy, the mistakes, the crimes, the confusion that has been worked on us and that we have worked ourselves–we know them.  Like these pieces of ourselves, they are ours to tend and to work with.  Mixing them is not a good idea.

So, when I invite loving kindness into myself, it is for some sort of healing of these things. When I invite loving kindness into you, it is for some sort of healing of these things that are also in you.  But, when we invite loving kindness into US, we acknowledge that we all struggle with demons and brokenness, that we are utterly bare and raw in this regard, and that none of us holds any sort of thing that we can use as judgment over the other.

In other words, our broken pieces bring us, finally, to the place of unconditional love.  In love with each other, in love with our own selves and all of our own broken pieces, we rise to do the work that today requires.  No shame.  Peaceful.  At ease.  May we be whole.

Bob Patrick

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