Today, I went grocery shopping. This is the second time that I have been since the pandemic began. My partner has been working throughout the pandemic. We have our two children to protect and look after, and so we decided a while ago, that he would remain the only one to step out into public. In this way, should anything happen, it would be easier to trace anything back to its roots. However, today, he was off work, and today, it was time for me to step out.
I wondered what this event would unfold. Nova Scotia, especially rural Nova Scotia, is a very friendly place. I think that it is renown for being as such across the world. The friendliness of Nova Scotia is incredibly endearing and one reason why I fell in love with the place. In rural Nova, we wave to each other as we drive past one another. However, as I set out and, being aware of recent events surrounding the pandemic and systemic racism, I had a sense that something out there had shifted since my last exploits into town.
But I know that we all need Love. As I drove by people, I raised my hand up from the steering wheel, as a greeting gesture. I don’t think that any reciprocated, but that was not my intent and it did not deter me – I persisted. I was on a mission to spread the Love.
When I got to the store, masked for the first time, I felt weird, like I stood out. “Seriously?”, I thought, “I’m here again? I thought I was beyond this and had become comfortable in my own skin!”What I began to realize, though, was that during my 2 month absence from the stores, masks had become much more commonplace. I was standing out, but I wasn’t standing out for this reason. Neither had it anything to do with my hippy-esque attire, coupled with mask accessory. I was standing out for another reason.
I am an extremely curious and amiable person. I Love to Love people. I am the one who stands out for having a friendly chat with the produce clerk or cashier for 10 mins. I am the one who received the shelf stackers’ pleasant surprise when I said “Hi” to her as I walked down the aisle. I am the one, who was recognized from my last visit, by the shopping cart sterilizer. After we exchanged a little pleasantry, he came after me and asked: “Do I know you? I just can’t see you under your mask.” “Sure, you do,” I responded, maintaining a safe distance away, while I lowered my mask. “We chatted a few months ago. I’m the girl with the water jars. Usually my man does it, but it’s my turn today.” “Oh yeah”, he replied, “I remember you….the jars…. your man… OK, well, it’s great to see you and I’ll let you get on” he replied, as he walked away with a perma-grin and a spring in his step; his demeanor having positively altered.
You see, people want to be seen. They want to be Acknowledged and Loved.
My quest into Love probably began around 18 months ago. I am not talking about romantic Love or unconditional Love for family. I’m talking about all-encompassing Love, unlimited Love. For everyone and anything. I decided a while ago to disarmour my Heart. I am consciously moving from contraction to expansion. And, to some this may seem like a very foreign and dangerous concept. But, for me, I have chosen to move out of my comfort zones. Because this is where Life really begins. This is where we come Alive.
I have been moving towards unconditional Love for everyone no matter what, for some time now. It does not mean that every one gets access to my Life, and it does not mean that it’s easy. I chose to have understanding, compassion and forgiveness for my Mother, from whom I experienced mental, emotional and sexual abuse. This Love expansion had to start somewhere, and it began with her. Since then, it’s been spreading out.
The other evening, as I lay in bed and closed my eyes, I mourned for George Floyd. But, then something unexpected happened. As I was grieving for George, someone else appeared beside him: his assailant. I was taken aback for a few moments but I leaned in. And I grieved for him too. Don’t get me wrong. This does not mean that I commend what he did. Far from it. It means that instinctively, something within me understood, that to do something so atrocious, he must be so deeply suffering himself.
I am so good at loving other people. I’ve come a long way in loving myself, but we are each a journey. Take one step forward and you most likely will take two steps back. The step back does not mean that you have made no advancement. You are indeed moving. A step back means that you’ve reached another layer, you’ve reached a new understanding. It means that you’re delving even deeper into yourself. It means that you are moving closer to your core. As I drove home, I realized that I had been judging myself for wearing a mask. I tried reasoning with myself for a little while, defending my rationale for wearing my mask. But, I’ve enough experience to know that wrestling with my mind, either positively or negatively, is not going to change anything. And then I stopped, and something came to me: “What if you just allowed yourself to feel that? Just Be”. And as I sank into allowing, I embraced myself. Simultaneously, a mantra began playing on my CD: Jai Ganesha: the Remover of Obstacles.
The inserted photo is of me doing a mediation. I have been doing this particular meditation for around 50 days straight now. It’s a meditation to open your heart, to cultivate compassion for all. This meditation has been one of the most transformative that I have done so far. It’s powerfully liberating my heart. I so long to be free, to merge into Love – the only Truth that there is.
And I’m on my way