Reading time: 3 minutes
It seemed as though I was awake all night…I think it was dreaming about babysitting for Madonna’s baby…that would do it…please don’t ask.
One of the benefits of being an ex-insomniac, not counting last night, is that I have a whole kit and caboodle of mantras to choose from. I learned long ago that it was perilous not to have something to fall back on during my extreme and lengthy period of night time wakefulness…usually leading to worrying about characters in books I’d read, or plays I’d seen or something else, equally ridiculous. It would seem I didn’t do serious worries in the middle of the night thank the Lord.
So last night I brought out my old playbook of mantras. Thank you, thank you, is a good one…not for anything in particular, just a general, overall, blanket thank you. Another great one for me is, I love my life. That feels pretty good if you’re awake at two, then three and four. When the mind gets tired of the repetition and wants to move into the nonsense worry zone, I can pull out any number of positive, feel good, short phrases. I had also learned to keep them short, having discovered they were more conducive to falling back to sleep than some long complicated phrase, that whilst getting applause for being positive, also gets a few boos for making my mind work a little harder and thus extending the already lengthy period of wakefulness.
When the alarm went off for my darling one at five a.m. I finally, and thankfully, fell asleep till six thirty. Needless to say, even after my morning constitutional, I was still a little spacey from lack of sleep. But I wasn’t to be stopped, I had a very important appointment…with my hairdresser.
Pulling off the highway and wanting to turn right, the roadway was blocked by a truck and a man waving everyone past him. His bonnet, I mean hood, was up and before you could say Jack Robinson, I had stopped and called him over to ask him if help was on its way. He seemed shocked, but managed to stammer that yes it was and thank you very much. And another thank you…and a third thank you. And yet…I’d done nothing.
I was shocked my own self. I hadn’t had a conscious thought about stopping, I just did it. But what did I intend to do?
Let’s look at your spark plugs, or maybe we could jump start your truck? Even the language I’m using tells you I KNOW NOTHING about cars…I can tell that this is photo of a toy truck, despite my limitations!
I could have called for help on my phone. See that’s what I could have done…I later told myself. But for the rest of my journey a quote kept popping into my head:
[success] Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. ~ The Dalai Lama[/success]
If I’d been less spacey and more well rested, maybe my reasoning, conscious mind would have kicked into gear with a thought about stopping and then I might have rationalized that I was pretty useless around cars and I’m sure help would soon be on the way…everyone has cell phones these days. True and true.
But I would have missed an opportunity to simply extend a hand of loving kindness to a fellow traveller, even though I actually physically did nothing. And I would have missed the opportunity, tiny as it was, to experience the joy and happiness that even an offer of an act of loving kindness can bring. Helping others, or even offering to help others is truly it’s own reward.
If you remember the times you’ve extended loving kindness to others, maybe you made soup for a sick friend, or listened to somebody’s troubles, or coached a team…how did you feel?
What is there in simple kindnesses that are so nurturing to the soul? What is there in the comfort that we can offer one another that feels so darned good? When we help others we are actually helping ourselves, for it all becomes a part of our consciousness, the very essence of who we are.
Let’s value every act of kindness, however small and make loving kindness a constant part of our journey. In the expansion of kindness, we expand ourselves.
Encourage one another.