I started meditating this morning hoping to quiet the racing thoughts that had been moving through my mind all through my yoga practice. As my mind refused to still I remembered the subject of an email from Yoga Journal that was delivered yesterday to my inbox: “Wisdom – Forgiveness Heals”. I moved my hands into what at Yandara we learned as the forgiveness meditation (left palm facing up resting on the left knee and right hand palm facing out up by your shoulder, arm bent.)
I started to say to myself, “I love, forgive and accept myself and others unconditionally.” As I repeated the words I felt even more lost. I didn’t feel connected to that statement in my heart. And so I stopped and tried to just breathe. My mind kept on getting caught up in making stories and suddenly the image of Bilal, my 1 1/2 yr old nephew, flashed into my mind.
Bilal lives in my house with me, and is everyone’s favorite. The youngest of his generation (like me in mine!) he gets the most love and affection from all of us and if you ever meet him you will fall in love with him too. He’s the sunniest, happiest baby i’ve ever known, and i’m lucky that in many ways he is my closest friend. I don’t think it is an accident that he came into our lives right when everything seemed to be crashing around us. And because of him even on my worst days I smile and laugh like a baby myself:) Nothing teaches you better about being in the moment than a baby – and Bilal constantly grounds me into the present.
So what does Bilal love like? He loves all of us without any conditions. He gets angry at me when I stop him from something and hits me as hard as possible, with an angry scrunched up little face, and then moments later when I spin him around or tickle him he’s back to smiling and laughing. I realized today that we should love like we are still babies. When Bilal comes into my room and messes it up, or breaks something, or even accidentally hurts me I don’t get mad. I just let it be and hug and kiss him to make sure he’s ok. When I do something that makes Bilal angry, he forgives me in a moment and moves on.
Loving unconditionally is about constantly forgiving. Not just the other person but yourself too. When I thought of Bilal my mind immediately calmed – it could centre in on a feeling of pure love. Love that didn’t need to interest me, or impress me. Love that I didn’t need to interest or impress. A love for the sake of loving. And if anything love to see a smile, hear a laugh and even suffer the temper tantrums! So if you read this I challenge you all to love like Bilal, without expectations, without any conditions. Just pure simple love that doesn’t diminish if the other person changes or if you change. Be a baby, open your heart, and find that unconditional love inside of you.