Nurture Part Four: Connection To Others

Part Four: Strengthen Your Connection To The Whole

When we give love, we receive love.

Of course this is not to mean that when we are loving towards another, we will get it back. What it means is that it feels good for our inner being to extend love to others, no matter who they are and what they mean to us.

I recall the scene in War and Peace when Prince Andrei was on his deathbed, and he was able to show love and compassion for his enermy Anatole. It was a great sense of relief for him; he felt free.

It can be easy to love those close ot us, but to be able to view the whole world without judgement and send them positive regard, this takes practice.

“You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

This is an example of Metta, which means “loving kindness”. It is a Buddhist concept, and refers to a method of culivating compassion.

When we show compassion for others, we are more likely to feel compassion for ourselves. Just as when we forgive others, we are more able to forgive ourselves.

It starts with ourselves, which is why I have left this until last.

Today, perhaps more than ever, we need to be reminded of the Buddhist concept of Metta – loving kindness.

Metta has 3 layers. At the core there is love we give to ourselves, without which no other love is truly possible.

The next layer is the love we extend to those around us, that we already know, and are then able to nurture.

The final layer and the ultimate goal of Metta, is to be able to feel loving kindness to everything, all beings and all things.

We can practice Metta in our yoga practice, our meditation, even just by reciting the prayer below. You will notice how good it feels you think loving thoughts as opposed to judging or holding onto resentment.

As an act of self-care this is important because it helps us find peace within ourselves.

As always though it is a case of balance. We need to balance the love qand regard with ourselves with the love and regard we have for others. When this goes out of balance, either way, we are not at peace.

I know for many of you, self-care is a challenge because we may think of it as selfish to take time for ourselves, to put ourselves first, and to say no when something isn’t right for us.

However, when we start to view self-care as the foundation of compassion for others and being good for the whole of humanity, we can free ourselves from this guilt.

If we don’t look after ourselves, we are no use to others.

On the flip side, when we take care of ourselves, we are better for those around us, and ultimately for the rest of the world.

Spread the love rainbow warriors

Classes for this week:

A shorter gentler sequence on the subject of Metta