My wife Marna and I adopted two darling new kitties, Gracie and Cali, (shown above) a couple of weeks ago. Gracie, the grey kitty licking her sister in the photo, was very skittish and initially would not let us get near her. But after much food bribery and consistent loving kindness, she now lets us pet her and she hangs around close to us when we are around in the house. When I pick up the kitties it is so tangible how delicate and vulnerable they are and I am moved to be extra gentle with them. Yes, Tender Loving Kindness has overcome Gracie’s initial fear and trepidation in being in a new place with strangers and now she sees us as her family.
For many of us, we have parts of ourselves that we are not very friendly with. When they show up in our so called negative emotions, we want to send them away forthwith. In fact, we often have a whole gang of Defenders: Inner Critics, Inner Control Freaks and Protectors who are activated when negative emotions threaten our sense of well being. What can frequently disarm these Defenders is practicing Tender Loving Kindness when our vulnerability is activated. This can mean literally stroking our heart and belly regions when we feel the vulnerability activated in those regions, as a loving parent would an upset child.
Amazing Grace! Blessings, Robert