The Magic Sweatshirt
Can't Help but Smile
In July of this year my husband, Jess, and I took a road trip to California. We drove from Scottsdale to Los Angeles, made several stops up the Pacific Coast Highway, and got as far north as Monterey. One Sunday we stopped in Carmel for breakfast before making that winding drive along the Big Sur coast. The morning was overcast and cold, so I ducked into a store to pick up a sweatshirt. Being in Carmel, that store was a boutique and I allowed the fashionable and friendly young salesperson to talk me into buying the pricey sweatshirt with the patchwork letters: L-O-V-E.
Now that it's "winter" in Arizona it's finally cool enough (on certain days) to wear the sweatshirt. Recently while out doing some holiday shopping, a woman smiled at me as we passed each other on the sidewalk. I smiled back and a few paces later realized that she was reacting to the L-O-V-E on my sweatshirt.
Then another stranger smiled and another: an elderly couple making their way to a bench;
a teenager whooshing by on a skateboard; two friends conversing in French; a mother maneuvering a baby carriage. As I wove in and out of stores, smile after smile came my way.
What struck me was that the smiles weren't just polite. It seemed these people couldn't help but to smile. It brought them a momentary joy simply to read the word "LOVE" and to smile in appreciation, as if I had given them a little gift. Surely the exchange was mutual and I, too, was a recipient.
You think it was magic stitching around those patchwork letters? Whatever the case, that sweatshirt was worth every penny.
All the Good
Mother Teresa was known to say: We shall never know all the good a simple smile can do.
Even though I wasn't thinking about it when donning the sweatshirt that day, the result of my "sending out the love" was that nearly every person I encountered returned it. Love came back to me in multiples.
Send it Out
As this year draws to a close, we can scan it to find quite a bit: the ongoing bombardment and raucous exchange of opinions in public, private, and global domains; the tumult on so many levels throughout the world; our own unsettled hearts and agitated minds. Yet, as always, we can look within the year and also find personal triumphs and miraculous stories of love.
This Week's Call To Action:
Louise Hay, who died this past August at age 90, offered an affirmation: I release all that is unlike love. More than just something that "sounds nice," I find this affirmation surprisingly practical. I don't take it to mean that we are to deny the variety of feelings that we experience on any given day. Rather, it's a reminder to interpret them all from the perspective of love, for ourselves and each other.
- Take some time this holiday season to reflect on the past year. What will you invite to come along with you into the New Year?
"I release all that is unlike love."
- Louise Hay
See you next year in the current,
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