I don’t know the statistics, but I will tell you that in my experience (which is quite a bit in this area) there has been a serious uprising in suicide since the start of this year. This concerns me greatly and while I think there is a lot to be done on this front, I will say that I truly believe it starts with love. Not the ooey-gooey, googely-eyed love, but loving one another better, more, without reservation, and without judgment. I’m not exactly sure where we lost this or thought that it was okay to start telling people how to live their lives or become so focused on “me me me,” that we forgot about “us,” but somehow in America we have lost the compassion and true love for one another.
In my recent meditations I have been met with one overwhelming message: strength in love. I think about this in parenting as we get frustrated with our children at times because they won’t listen or aren’t acting in the way that we want. In our friendships when people are too busy for one another or it is difficult to make time to connect. With our spouses for not remembering something important or not having the time to spend together after a long day. It is so easy to get frustrated, blame the other, or try to find fault. How can we extend love instead?
If you’ve never done a Loving-Kindness Meditation, I encourage you to try this. If you have before, but haven’t in awhile, I encourage you to revisit it. I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to be filled with love and extend that love towards everyone in our life, not just the people we would normally think of. I included some directions here for one that I like quite a bit. However, there are all sorts of guided meditations online if you prefer someone guiding you through it.
Not only do I encourage you to do this meditation at times when you meditate, but I encourage/challenge you to do this all day long with everyone you encounter. With the cashier at the grocery store who was short with you or the co-worker who always seems cross. With the person who let you in front of them in traffic and the person who smiled at you for no reason at all. Regardless of what we are faced with, it is us who changes things for the future generations. Let’s teach others to love by our actions, our smiles, our words of encouragement, and most of all, our love.