The Stranger Who Has Loved You
Love after Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
When we sit to practice Loving Kindness we understand that we are priming our minds and our hearts to feel kindness toward others. We are working to make kindness reflexive, removing all those layers of protection and habit that have built up over the years to cover our innate goodness and open-heartedness.
What we so often overlook is that this practice also means to help us be kinder to ourselves. Pausing for a moment, see how it feels to aim for self-kindness in comparison to aiming for kindness toward others. Often this may feel less noble. Maybe self-serving. But how can we open ourselves to others if we can’t love ourselves - our perfectly imperfect, odd-ball, awkward, ham-handed, mis-shapen selves? Who better to practice extending kindness towards than ourselves? Inviting you this week to wrap yourself in wishes for your own well-being, “May I be healthy and strong in body and mind. May I feel at peace. May I flourish. May I know that I am loved. May I love myself just as I am.” And when you notice that inner voice using language you wouldn’t use on a loved one, rephrasing what you’re saying to yourself or, at the very least, adding “but I love you anyway”.
May we all know that we are loved and loving,
Your friends at CMP
Community Sits This Week:
Monday 6:30 PM Ridgefield Library, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield
Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga 45 Grove Street New Canaan
Tuesday 1:00 PM Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford (made possible by a grant from Bankwell)
Wednesday 12:00 PM New Canaan Library, 151 Main Street, New Canaan