This was an interesting practice that really was close to giving affirmations, but Oneika Mays explained it was about us and not the person. That we offer words of compassion to a loved one, then to ourselves, then to a familiar stranger, and then to a difficult person. And she told us about how her familiar stranger was her mail person. And then one day she asked his name and then he wasn’t a familiar stranger, but a named friend. And that is the true meaning and work of Metta.
Metta meditation is loving-kindness. It is focusing on loving. Love as a verb. Love is an action, not a thought or an emotion, but an action we do.
Love is justice in the community. It is a celebration because it is not something we have alone but we embody in a community. Love is accountability that my actions have an impact on others.
The thing that surprised me about the practice and discussion was when Oneike Mays said, Metta allowed her to “call people in with love, instead of out in anger.”
Metta is focusing our energy on love. Loving those we love, loving ourselves, loving the familiar stranger, and loving those who are difficult, or our enemies. And isn’t that really what the gospel is really about? Jesus told us to love God and love our neighbor. And our neighbor is everyone other than us. Those we love, the familiar stranger, and the difficult person.
One of the things I strive to do at Treehouse is to love all and accept all. We are a ministry that espouses being all-inclusive. And we say our mission statement is Loving People, Loving God. And I always thought that was backwards. Because Jesus said, Love God, Love Neighbor. But I was told that when the mission statement was written the students said that loving God is easy, we can love God because we know God loves us, but people, Loving people is hard. We don’t know if people love us, but God’s call is not about what is easy. God loves us, even when we have turned away, even when we don’t love God.
One of the things I have been focused on a lot lately is the text speak LOL. Most of us know that means Laugh Out Loud. But I want to change it. I have lately been saying Love Out Loud. Because that is what we need more in the world. And if I can focus on loving my loved ones, myself, the familiar stranger, and the difficult person, then maybe I can show more love in my little corner of the world. And metta wants us to show loving kindness and be love in the world.
If we can all be more love, more loving and share what God has given to each of us. That is my hope for how to incorporate metta more into my life, but being more loving and actually loving out loud in every aspect of my being. And showing that to the world to be an example, as Jesus was. So we can all be a little more loving.
Love Out Loud.