BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 83
We are talking litmus tests today. A litmus test is a test we use to see how alkaline or acidic a substance is. And when the pH is neutral, the pH=7.0. This is what Google is telling me. Today the questions posed by Jody Moore is this: If we were to do a litmus test on the love or hate in our world, would the “pH” be over 7.0 or under? How about in our cities? How about our neighborhoods? How about in our homes?
I remember one of the apartments I lived in in college. We really took care of each other. One night, I couldn’t sleep – I’ve always had a difficult time with sleep – and my sweet roommate stayed up for hours that night doing “circles” on my face. She was taught in a class she’d taken on self-care that drawing small circles over your skin eases tension. And she stayed up for hours drawing those small circles on my face. I remember another time a roommate was going through a difficult time with her boyfriend, and I stayed up long after the everyone else was asleep, waiting for her to get home, so I’d know that she was safe, and so she’d know that she was needed and loved. I remember gathering at 4pm on Wednesdays, or maybe it was Thursdays, to watch Little House on the Prairie together as an apartment. We were kind of dorky like that.
In that apartment, I’d say we were above 7.0 on the love scale.
And not everywhere I’ve lived has been that high on the love scale. Sometimes people get caught up in watching out for themselves, or comparing, or gossiping, etc. And those would probably rate below 7.0 on the love scale.
“Is your desire to be right or perfect, stronger than your desire for peace and love?”
And we cannot control other people, but what we can do is control ourselves.
“What are YOU putting out? What are YOU contributing?”
And if where you’re at seems lower on the love scale, what can you do about that?
I’ve had roommates that were untrusting and unyielding and unkind. And I found myself being untrusting back and unyielding back and unkind right back to those roommates. I hadn’t learned otherwise – I hadn’t taught my brain to think otherwise. If I didn’t approve of a behavior, I fought it, rather than trying to understand it and love the person.
Misunderstanding creates misunderstanding. Dislike only creates dislike.
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”Martin Luther King Jr
Just as good and bad both exist in us all, love and hate both exists in us, as well.
“Inside our minds and our hearts, and in our bodies.”
What does it feel like to love? What does it feel like to hate? Have you ever thought about how those emotions feel in your body?
Let me tell you what love feels like to me. It feels as if my life is in absolute control, in the most out-of-my-hands way I can imagine. As if I cannot do or feel truly wrong – it isn’t possible. It feels like light – only no light I have ever seen with my eyes. It fills me. It then shoots out my eyes and my mouth and nearly my entire being. Remember Roald Dahl: “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely.” That is love.
And hate? It feels desperate. It feels sickening. It feels dark, if darkness were a feeling. It feels like I am in danger.
And I have both. Instead of resisting the hate, can I redirect it to love. Here is an example. I hate the sun being in my eyes. It hurts. And I can’t see. And I can hardly even think. I feel my blood pressure rise – everything annoys me. I hate the sun being in my eyes. But it happens. Can I redirect that thing I hate about the sun to something that I love about the sun. Can I close my eyes, and tip back my head, and feel my body soaking in the energy of the sun, and feeling love instead of hate?
Jody uses this example: Her elementary school children go to school before 8am. She hates that. She thinks that is too early for little kids. She hates it. And her mind wants to think about how much she hates it. But she redirects her thoughts to how much she loves the neighborhood that she lives in.
“Saying I don’t like something doesn’t remove the fact that I’m focused on it…
Focusing on what you love will enhance love in your life. Focusing on what you hate will enhance hate in your life.”
Can we replace our thought of what we don’t like with a thought of what we do like? Can we redirect our thoughts? Can we do it so frequently, intentionally, that it becomes natural to focus on what we love?
I think that’s how it works. I think that that’s how we invite more love into our lives.
“When you choose to hate, YOU are the one who has to feel it. When you choose to love, YOU are the one who feels it.”
Let’s try it on this week. We can talk more about it on Saturday in SO WHAT SATURDAY, but let’s see if I can find something that I don’t like that my mind wants to really think about how much I don’t like it. And let’s see if I can redirect that thought, to bring more love and light into my week.
“What we focus on is what we will create more of in our lives.”