“The thought manifests the word;
The word manifests the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let them spring forth from love
Born out of compassion for all beings.
As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become.”
― Juan Mascaró
Love and compassion reside within all of us and live in each of our moments. They are guide posts, pointing the way to our highest selves. We are given a lifetime of opportunities to slow down and nurture and cultivate the love and compassion resting within ourselves and the now.
Today, I found them patiently waiting for me inside an empty lunch bag.
I often make my husband’s lunches while he showers, and prepare our tea and toast to eat together before he leaves. As I pondered what I would include in today’s lunch, I caught myself feeling the love I hold for my husband. I will add the Seitan jerky he loves and the seed and nut mix. Oh, and the banana chips, and some dark chocolate. I started putting together the salad, and decided to run out the garden to pick some lemon cucumbers, dragon carrots, cherry tomatoes, nasturtium and purple cabbage. His lunch would include the sunshine.. As I added each item to the lunch bag, my heart continued to swell. That empty bag was now full of my love, my patience, my compassion, my hope, and my kindness.
Those moments are all around us and within us, and we need only allow ourselves to experience their true and lasting happiness; transforming our conditioned minds by balancing our self-interest, creating new habits, and developing our highest selves. With that lasting happiness comes the ability to shoulder our expanding compassion, helping us to acknowledge the suffering of all beings and become willing to offer our love to them all.