To Love Someone

Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan is what happens when self-help meets memoir in the literary world. It’s a treasure that is honest, often raw and frequently laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a collection of stories revolving around the theme of “the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say.” I shared snippets of the book in various classes this week which provoked some interesting, heart-felt conversations. Thank you so much, Lisa, for your kind and thoughtful gift of this book xo

One chapter, entitled I was Wrong, revolved around relationships and how apologizing for something is not the same as admitting fault. To openly say “I was wrong” requires courage and oftentimes a heaping serving of crow. We say (especially Canadians *wink*) “I’m sorry” all the time, and, as with many things said frequently or reflexively, there’s a risk of the words ringing hollow. “I was wrong” lays the foundation for meaningful dialogue, and it reveals how much you value the relationship.

In each chapter of the book, there has been a particular sentence that has made me pause and reflect. In this particular chapter, after acknowledging how she had let her father down, Kelly says “…what took me much longer to understand is that to love someone is to love the people they love, or at least, try.” I felt this at my very core. I have been on both sides of this equation, and neither of them feels very good. It made me reflect on the times I haven’t tried very hard, and it was a reminder of the sting when being the recipient. This reflection was a powerful nudge to take stock and commit – or recommit – to “love the people they love.”

This whole idea of loving the people who are important to the people you love is, in essence, what one of our studio favourite meditations is all about. We frequently weave in elements of Lovingkindness meditation in class, and the whole purpose of the meditation is that we are to extend lovingkindness to all beings, without exception. It’s an ambitious pursuit, but, as my meditation teacher Jon Kabat Zinn so aptly put it, “When you ask a lot, you get a lot.”

This is by no means an open invitation to self-flagellate on shortcomings but, rather, a gentle reminder that we’re all in this together, and life generally feels better and flows better when we’re kind.

Here’s the final verse of our variation of Lovingkindness meditation:

May all beings be truly happy.
May all beings feel safe and protected.
May all beings love and be loved.
May all beings be at peace.

Warm regards,