I’m on my walk this morning. It’s a beautiful, crisp fall morning. I put on some Frankie Beverly and Maze and as “Happy Feelings” is playing I do an impromptu 15 minute metta meditation sending love and happy feelings to the world.
As I’m going through my second round of the song, I pass the house of my neighbor with the little white rat terrier dog. The dog is chained in the front yard as it is on most mornings and it’s baring its teeth and barking like it wants to rip the flesh off my bones. He does it all the time. It never bothered me much. In fact, many times I’ve thought of going up to him and trying to make friends. Until…
A few weeks ago I see the guy who lives in the house come out as I’m walking by. Normally, I’d wave to a neighbor I’m passing, but I see this guy wearing a Trump t-shirt. Whoa! I know many of my neighbors voted for Trump. That I can excuse. But, to wear a Trump t-shirt seven months in to this presidency. That’s a bitter pill to swallow. Immediately, I assume the guy must be a racist. And since then, his little white dog must be racist, too. I glare at the dog as I pass.
OK… deep breaths. This is why we practice metta. It’s easy to love some people. It’s maybe easy to love most. Can I love even the Trump supporters in this time? Sometimes when practicing metta we run up against resistance and we have to back off a bit. Maybe we don’t start with the most difficult person we can think of. In this case, I send love to his little dog and go about my day. Hey, one step at a time.