“Love everybody, all the time, for no reason at all.”
It’s the time of year where wintry temperatures, even here in Arizona, evoke thoughts of quiet thoughtfulness. We look forward to warmth and spring, seeing parts of ourselves in each season of the year. I love that we cycle through four seasons every year, each shift in weather reminding us what it is like to feel hot, what it’s like to sit with family during the holidays, how wonderful it is to plant seeds and watch them grow.
Growing up in the Church planted many ideas that I still carry to this day. The eternal round idea still appeals to me, even though I have left many other pieces of Mormonism behind. We have the circle of seasons, cycles of the moon, the biorhythms in our bodies. Now I interpret it differently. I think that whatever I send out with my energy, is what I get back. After all, the Earth is round, not flat.
Today also happens to be graduation day. Today, at 6:30 sharp, I will be sitting with my youth in our mentoring pair as she graduates from our ten-month program. I have regrets but I also feel gratified. Each day I spent with the community at Phoenix Youth at Risk was a leap of faith, a laboratory for change, a group therapy meeting, a magical process.
Mentoring my youth wasn’t about changing her, it was about loving her without judgement. It was ten months of practicing unconditional love, remembering that she was the possibility of all possibilities. I wasn’t very good at loving her. I let preconceived notions hamper me. Sometimes I could not see her. I have a problem with that. Sometimes I don’t see my 5-year-old either, or my husband, or my 2-year-old. It’s easy to see them as obstacles. But then I wake up, remember that they are here happening for me, not to me.
As I reflect on my Mormon upbringing, the mentoring of the last nearly-year, therapy, and meditation, I see that these are mirrors in my life showing me me. So what do I do with that? I own my sh*t. If I own what’s mine, then I can move from there. Because it’s only then that I truly see the world and people around me, without the film of my own issues blurring them from me.
“May I be filled with loving-kindness,
May I be well,
May I be peaceful and at ease,
May I be happy.”
–Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart