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Day 24 – A tire shop, tears of joy, & the habit of tender love.

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” – Peter Ustinov, English actor & writer

That succinctly states what we’re up to this month in establishing the habit to Love Unconditionally.

Life is so much more enjoyable when we give love.

As I write this I’m waiting for my car in the wide open lobby of a tire repair shop, surrounded by 12 of my brothers and sisters I’ve never met…

And they have no idea how much I’m loving them right now 🙂

But who knows…maybe they feel a bit better because of the love I’m sending their way.

The moment I think, “I love you,” toward them, I find myself suddenly fascinated by them.

What’s going on in their world? What are they thrilled about? What are they up to today? What’s weighing down their heart?

I can’t help but feel a compassion welling up inside toward each of them.

I’ve been at this shop before many times…but never felt this much joy in my heart here.

Probably because I was lost in my own digital world. Or lost in thought about my own schedule, consumed in myself, not sending out love.

The very minute I turn my heart out toward others everything changes.

I think it’s impossible to look at someone and sincerely think, “I love you,” without opening the door to the heart.

At least every time I have done it my heart starts to open and soon enough I feel compassion flowing out of me. It’s an amazing, humbling feeling.

Oh my…now silent tears are streaming down!

Thankfully there’s no awkward looks because most eyes are focused intently on the devices in their hands.

As I think, “I love you,” toward a man dressed in hospital scrubs and clogs, I wonder what he has already faced this morning.

Has he been awake all night? How is he holding up with the demands of his job?

My mind flashes to the amazing doctors and nurses who cared for me all night and day for weeks on end a few years back. I’ll never forget their love.

I wonder who is thanking God for this man for saving their life?

I thank God for him. I love him. I’ve never met him yet I feel compassion toward him.

“I love you brother. I hope you feel the love I’m sending you right now.”

Now watching out the window as the service man Joey pulls my car into the garage, “I love you brother. Thank you for serving me. I hope you’re enjoying your day. I hope you feel loved.

Now the two mature women engrossed in conversation. “I love you sisters!” The smile in my heart grows wider.

Periodically someone new sits down and I get to send my love to them.

Am I crazy? Am I weird? Maybe so!

But if this intense joy I feel in my heart is crazy and weird, sign me up every single day!

When I first sat down I turned on my phone, checked my email, then skimmed through facebook…and I didn’t feel like this.

In fact, I felt a seeping emptiness with every moment I pursued distraction.

Now I feel love pouring in through my soul and flowing right out the other side…

…It seems love is spilling out of my heart and literally splashing down my cheeks.

They say, ‘all you need is love’. I believe it.

I vividly remember laying in a hospital bed in 2012, feeling trapped, anxious, depressed, and despairing, as I focused on everything I had lost.

Each day an intense battle with torturous emotional and physical pain.

Love saved me then — every single day.

People would come and visit which helped pull me out of despair. I’m forever grateful to each of them!

But visits were fleeting and mostly I had to fend for myself in the battle raging in my mind.

Darkness would consume me…until I returned to love.

Love dispelled the darkness every time I remembered to start sending it out again.

When a nurse came in, and I said, “I love you! Thank you!” in my thoughts, it always shifted my heart.

And I believe it blessed their life too.

I have zero doubt that thoughts are things.

I am fairly sure nobody in this tire shop consciously knows that I am sending love their way right now.

But I would not be surprised if they feel it.

I have no doubt that every loving thought I send blesses their life somehow. There is no possible way it cannot.

There is no such thing as a thought with no effect.

Every thought impacts life in some way, either positively or negatively…

…Just like every word and every action too.

It’s fun to wonder about what good is being produced through the love lasers I send others…though I may never know.

But regardless, my heart is full!

So I will keep loving like this anyway…because nothing compares to the joy of living in unconditional love.

I invite you to recommit yourself to love again by saying, “I will love everything today.

Write it down on paper. Write it in your heart. Then go do it in your thoughts!

I know you will be so glad you did.

Each of your seemingly small thoughts today will serve to deepen your habit of tender love.

Make today amazing!