Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Backing up into Hello Love

I almost ran into someone in the Trader Joe’s parking lot yesterday. It wasn’t fun. I had pulled into the narrow entryway when someone started to back up without seeing me. I quickly started to reverse but then saw a man standing by the store entrance with a rather horrified look on his face signaling me to stop. I turned around and there was a woman pushing a cart almost directly behind my car. She look startled to say the least.

Thank goodness I didn’t hit her. I took a moment and said a small thank you that I avoided that.

I apologized profusely and she kindly accepted the apology. She ended the conversation by telling me to just be careful when I’m backing up. It’s a kind of interesting philosophical life question. What might you hit if you start going in reverse?

In any case, the man by the storefront was glaring at me like I’d done it on purpose. And even though the woman had been gracious, I began to feel very small. I pulled into the parking space, turned off the car and just sat there for a few minutes beating myself up.

I found myself saying things like, “And here I am with a Hello Love sign on the back of my car. What kind of Hello Love is that? I’m just a flaky, spaced out pregnant woman who is not being present. I should just go hide.”

I found it interesting that I had immediately thought about Hello Love. And my inclination was to apologize for having such a sign on my car when I’m driving like such an idiot. My immediate desire was to disappear.

I think we tend to do this to ourselves in other situations. I’ll be honest, I’ve even been reluctant to go out and hold up the Hello Love signs since I’ve been pregnant. I immediately leap to the feeling that people will think I’m just a crazy pregnant woman standing on the corner.

This gets to the root of – at least MY PROBLEM. And I suspect others might feel something of the same. Somehow, unless I’m in the best, most radiant, most amazing state, I don’t think I’m worthy to be talking about love. I guess I feel like I need to be inhabiting a kind of transcendent place to spread the love or to not feel silly daring to be that vulnerable.

I wonder if it’s why many people don’t dare to extend. I wonder if the monologue goes something like, “Well, I’m screwed up in so many ways, no one would possibly love me so why should I dare extending love to anyone else.” It’s a kind of protective stance so we won’t have to suffer rejection.

But that’s what we’re all learning about in this experiment. It’s certainly what I’m learning. No matter what state we’re in, no matter what blunders occur, no matter how many mistakes we make, we have an opportunity to stand in love. Others may not be wanting or ready to accept that love if we’ve really botched something, but we never have to apologize for continuing to stand in the stream of love.

Every moment, there’s an opportunity for us to forgive ourselves and continue to stand in that rare place of being daring enough to extend love and vulnerable enough to receive it.

1 comment:

LoveNLive in LA said...

Hello Love!

The exercise of self forgiveness is such a tough one to master. Cheers to you for going there. Miss You!