I was recently asked by someone what I mean when I Dare to Ask myself or others to Be Love.
This month’s topic is about change so I thought I would share one of my more challenging stories about change and my discovery that through being Love, things can miraculously change and Love arrives.
South Africa is known for its negative narrative when it comes to commuter taxis. We all seem to have a story about taxi drivers!
Years ago, I would happily participate in conversations that would go something like this:
“I can’t believe the taxi drivers in this country, where did they get their license?”
“These guys have no respect; they think they own the road!”
“Taxi drivers are so rude, they push in and are the most dangerous drivers on the roads!”
Maybe you’ve got a few choice words of your own, right?
I was only too aware of my negative narrative on this topic so I decided to experiment with Truth and Dare to Ask myself to Be Love whenever I came face to face with a commuter taxi on the road.
But first I had to acknowledge, accept and examine my beliefs and access my willingness and courage to make the desired change.
My beliefs: I believed taxi drivers were ill-mannered and obnoxious bullies of the road, that behaved badly and drove recklessly.
Then I had to examine my thoughts, behaviors and spoken words.
My thoughts around commuter taxis were always negative, and my behaviors around them were aggressive and closed. My spoken words were all too often, if not always unkind.
And naturally, my experiences, which were always unpleasant matched my beliefs which only served to entrench them more deeply.
In SEEING my beliefs, thoughts, behaviors and words I could ACCEPT that these unkind ways of being are part of me. I could now access universal wisdom and Dare to Ask myself for grace and courage during the change. I knew that for love to present itself, I needed to bring love forth by Being Love. I had learned by now that Love (God) is found in the space that exists between myself and the other, a space that connects us, one we all too often close and shut down due to our individual limiting beliefs.
And so, my journey with this change began.
Every time I saw a taxi, I would open space on the road by slowing down and allowing the taxi driver enough space on the road to get his passengers to their destinations. Little by little, I was bringing about a new behavior in myself.
I then started to consider the drivers and people that were in the taxis. I thought about them as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends making their way to and from work, no different from you and me. I was changing my thoughts and could therefore change my words, and so I started to send a prayer of love for their daily safe passage.
Wise spiritual teachers from Jesus and Buddha are quick to teach that the road to love is not a fast one, but a worthwhile one indeed.
So, time passed and one day, after about two years of this practice had gone by, I realized that I was no longer triggered by taxi drivers and in my new vision of the world they were now just another vehicle on the road, and so my driving experience in South Africa went from unpleasant to pleasant.
Approximately six weeks ago it happened. After more than five years of my experiment with truth, I was driving down the road and noticed a commuter taxi driver politely wave me onto the road in the space between us. My immediate thought was, “Wow, what a kind man to make space for me on the road so I can cross lanes.” And then just 10 minutes later it happened again. Once again, I thought, “Wow what a kind man.” I had quite forgotten my attachment to my old pain story.
And then it happened again and again and again. Now, every day as I spend time on the roads in South Africa, without fail commuter taxi drivers make space for me, smile politely and I’ve even had the occasional greeting or gesture of knowing. All aggression gone, as love flows freely in the space between.
It makes every day so much sunnier, more joyful and so much more fun.
I don’t deny that I had to work to access the inner wisdom that we all have inside us, to believe in this possibility. I don’t deny that I sometimes struggled a lot to access grace and courage when looking at my beliefs and associated thoughts, behaviors and words. I don’t deny that in this instance I also had to access patience and allow time to unveil the love that is always there, as I let go of my story, my expectations and open to what is, so Love could arrive.
Living in an ego-driven world of instant gratification, grumbling and complaining about others, it’s easy to forget that all change starts with us and our individual ways of being in the world. As we race through life we expect to get to our ideal weight within a week after piling on the pounds over the years, we expect happiness to come towards us even when we are not happy within, and we expect love to be present even when we are not love.
Is there something in your life you’d like to change? Try an experiment with BEING Love. If you can BE Love, it becomes the fuel for true and lasting change.
Every morning I close out my meditation with this prayer as a reminder of the beauty of being able to travel the journey of this life as a Spirit and soul of love in this mind and this body that I have been given. It brings consciousness to my humanness and my daily ways of being. I thought you might enjoy it.
A Prayer for Love
With my hands in a prayer position, I raise my hands to my forehead and say,
“I ask for the wisdom, grace and courage for my mind to be filled with kind thoughts for self and all others.”
With my hands still in a prayer position, I move my hands to my lips and say,
“I ask for the wisdom, grace and courage for my soul to be filled with kind words for self and all others.”
I then open my hands and place them around my heart and say,
“I ask for the wisdom, grace and courage for my Spirit and body to be filled with kind feelings for self and all others.”
I then return my hands to a prayer position, and then place my hands on my chest and say,
“I ask for the wisdom, grace and courage to bring forth my body of being throughout this day, to allow for kind thoughts, words and deeds in all that I am.”
When I am alone, I then bow out in silence and thank myself for connecting with love. When I am meditating with someone, I bow with them and express these words. “The student and teacher of life in me, bows to the student and teacher in you. Namaste.”
Until next month when we explore the Purpose of Suffering in Opening to Love, stay graceful and courageous as you access your inner wisdom in your journey with love.
To all of you, who are my teachers, thank you. I love you all for your courage.
Warm love to you all,