Rejoicing figure, Cheryl Casey/ Shutterstock.com
People mill about the magazine rack near my cozy chair at Barnes & Noble. In between chapters, I send them silent love bombs. I hope, somehow, their day is brightened, that they will feel unexpected relief. I especially focus on the grumpier sorts, or the two loud women, or the dude who smells of cigarette smoke, or the crying child and angry mum (my personal fave).
On the other side of the rack, a scrawny pair of corduroy legs with a metal cane catches my eye. I feel . . . a bond. For years, I was convinced that my dwarfed, arthritic body could only bring me rejection and pain. Eventually, Iʼd realized Iʼd adopted those practices toward myself. Ouch. I wonder if the tired corduroys have done the same.
Silently, I begin the “Prayer of Thy Healing Angels” from Lorna Byrne. I started this habit a while ago when I realized how disconnected I felt from the world. Iʼd reserved my energy for a small circle of friends and family. But there was suffering all around and I felt powerless to help. I was not particularly philanthropic. Activists made me squirm.
Years of soul-searching, though, left me with a deeper compassion for myself and so a growing empathy for others. Even the chowderheads. The very least I could do was send them light.
Iʼd thought my love bombs would be altruistic. Then a weird thing happened. It was helping me. Comforting me.