The Sunday Blog: Assume Love—A Radical Option

Yoga is about attaining union. Union with what? Let’s say, union with unwavering devotion to love for yourself and others.

What does that mean?

Exhibit A: The other day I was running late and worried that I wouldn’t be on time for a dinner with friends. I guessed that I would be 15 minutes late, and my stomach was knotted thinking they might be angry if I wasn’t on time, or if I asked to push back our dinner. We had already canceled twice before. I texted to ask them if we could meet 15 minutes later than we had planned. The answer was swift: “No problem.”

Exhibit B: A similar issue had come up that same day, when I was late for a class that I had arranged to attend. I was going to be a half-hour late, and I anticipated the potential fury of the person who had done me a favor in allowing me to come.

15 minutes could be forgiven, but 30 minutes would be obscene. I kept looking at my watch, on the train, contemplating whether or not I would nonetheless go to class. I decided to make a go of it—at least to check out the scene and see if I could get in. When I arrived, the studio manager greeted me warmly, and I slipped into class at an opportune moment. No problem.

I have my own obstacles relating to my over-obsession with never-in-a-million-years doing anything to upset anyone (as if that was possible). I also notice that I tend to assume the worst about situations, which inevitably stresses me out. To help climb my way out of that, a phrase popped into my head: Assume love. Be in union with love. Rather than worrying about whether your friend is going to be upset and choosing the option of 100 percent appeasement (i.e., running around like an idiot to make it to dinner on time, or skipping class completely since I was so late)‚ I should, and we all should, just, assume love.

This means having faith that people will be patient and understanding—just as you would be. It means that even when someone is angry at you, there is still love supporting you, and even speaking to you, through that person. It means that even when you go through pain and difficulty, you are being held, opened, and transformed by love. Love is your mirror.

—Jeremy Lehrer

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