Lovingkindness Challenge Day 7 – Expand Your Circle of Love

Reflections on Lovingkindness Day 7 of 10: Expand Your Circle of Love

Do you like certain people but not others?

Perhaps you secretly like one of your children more than the other(s)?

Do you find yourself judgmental, critical, or even hateful towards certain groups of people?

Do you pick and choose whom you love and whom you don't?

Here’s my takeaway from Sharon’s Day 7 Meditation:
Expand Your Circle of Love

Today's meditation was about sending lovingkindness to a group of people.

On day 7, Sharon invites us to focus our lovingkindness practice on a group of people and include the opposite. For example, if you send lovingkindness to your family, you would also send it to people who are not your family.

Lovingkindness connects us with common humanity by not excluding anyone from its influence as it is unconditional and all-encompassing. At the level of common humanity, "I" becomes a "we" as we are merely one droplet of water in a vast ocean of people.

The differences we see in each other based on the color of our skin, hair, race, where we live, or our behaviors all vanish the deeper we go, as in the cellular level, we are all the same.

The same principle applies in the psychological world as we all have our consciousness and unconsciousness and are collectively connected in the archetypal level of collective unconsciousness.

"This is not to say that we ought to become blind to our differences as in my view that needs to be embraced. The fact that we are all different, unique and special, and yet we are all the same at the same time is a paradox that we get to hold."

I focused my lovingkindness meditation on all the parents in this world and all the people who are not parents. I reflected on how parents did not want to be parents and did not plan for that and how there are people who desire to be parents but cannot.

I felt the deep sorrow of childless people and the grief of parents over the suffering of their children in this fast-changing world full of many dangers. I felt the joys that parenting brings as well as the freedom childless people have in their lives.

I got a sense of commonality of the joys and sorrows and that there is no such thing as "it is better to have things this way versus that way," as life always has two sides to the coin.

This is why we get to embrace all forms of life and people by expanding our circle of love to include everyone: whether we know them or not, whether we like them or not, whether they are "good people" or "bad people" does not matter as, in the end, we are all just people.

My invitation to you today is to love your child as a whole. With all the "good" and "bad" behaviors, with all the things that are easy to like and love as well as the ones that are not so easy.

My invitation is to love your child when they throw a tantrum when annoying and don't listen, especially when they get angry.

My invitation is also to recognize the grace of having a child as there are so many people who don't, yet it is something that they would wish the most in this world.

This is why you get to parent not only for yourself but also for all the people out there who do not have children and for all who do not have their parents.

May You BE Safe, BE Healthy, BE Happy and Live with Ease,

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