Transforming Inner Judgment

I’ve been reflecting on how annoyed I got at the beach when the woman next to me was singing or how I feel at the grocery store when someone is talking so loudly on their cellphone everyone can hear them. How might I exude loving-kindness to those who annoy me? Victor Frankl, in Man’s Search for Meaning, talks about the space between our experience and our response. And I’ve come to realize that for me, the most important thing to do when I feel myself noticing ‘annoyance’ is to sigh, deeply and intentionally, and to literally ‘let it out’. I’m learning to practice what Jesus says in John 13:34: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” So now I’m trying a new practice: sigh deeply and say silently in my heart toward the other person, ‘I love you’. It works most of the times I remember to do it. I’m also encouraged by the fact that even Jesus got annoyed.

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