While reading Gerald Jampolsky‘s powerful book, Teach Only Love, a particularly compelling passage jumped out at me. The gist of it is this: In every encounter we have with another human being, that person is either offering love to us or in need of love from us. In that instant, I became a better person.
Not long after, I walked into my gym and saw Bill, a member I knew fairly well, doing standing calf raises with his back to me. Impulsively, I wrapped my weight belt around his forehead as a goofy way of saying hello. He was not pleased. He whipped around and, in so many words, most of which were unprintable, told me he would punch my face in if I ever did that again.
Instead of reacting on the same level of consciousness—”Oh, yeah? Take your best shot, you jerk!”—I thought, Cool! Here’s my chance to see if this love stuff really works! I immediately began radiating love from my heart and bathing Bill in its healing glow. I also tried to apologize, but he turned away, muttering angrily.
After hanging up my jacket in the locker room, I headed to the pull-up bar and began my workout. I dropped down from the bar just in time to see Bill striding purposefully toward me from the other side of the gym. “I mean it, Phil,” he fumed. “If you ever do that again, I’ll take you out to the parking lot and pummel you.” With that, he spun around and stormed away.
This time, I followed him, pumping love instead of iron. “Bill,” I called out, catching up to him. “I’m very sorry. I had no idea you would be so upset. It won’t happen again.” I continued apologizing until he turned to face me. “My sister used to do stuff like that to me,” he sputtered. “And I hated it.”
Bingo. Bill’s outburst had nothing to do with me; I had inadvertently triggered a painful childhood memory. What happened in the next moment was astonishing. The heavy, negative energy that had enveloped him, the almost palpable rage that had engulfed him, vanished. It was as if a magician had uttered “Abracadabra!” and had replaced a violent thunderstorm with sunny skies. Instantaneously.
I tried apologizing again, but Bill cut me off. “Don’t worry about it,” he said calmly, dismissing the whole incident with a wave of his hand. “No big deal.” An hour later, we were both in the locker room, preparing to leave. “So long, Phil,” he called out. “Have a good day.”
Wow. If I had responded to Bill’s anger in kind, the confrontation could have escalated out of control. Even worse, from that day forward the tension would have been thick between us, and my enjoyment of going to the gym every morning would have been tinged with dread. Instead, love healed the situation, it healed our relationship, and it very well might have healed the pain he had been carrying around all those years.
Here’s another way to choose love and turn adversaries into allies.
May you choose love in every moment. It is a wonderful place to live. After all, divine intelligence does not keep score by how many possessions you accumulate but by how much love is in your heart. Why wait another minute to begin living that truth?
Click here to view all my posts about relationships.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.