In Loving Kindness, or Metta meditation, we’re supposed to wish people well, including the assholes who cut us off in traffic and the ones who don’t clean up after their dogs. It’s a method to contribute to the healing of the collective; raising our own vibration in the process.
It might allow us to, over time, turn our attention away from so-called lower energies. As we grow through the practice of Metta, we might find find we have increasingly less time and adrenaline to waste on a-holes. Instead, we gain the internal resources that release us from the need to react in non-beneficial, stress-inducing ways.
All this, in turn, could theoretically transforms our everyday focus into something less asshole-laden. We may start to tune into higher energies, and possibly manifest a more positive version of ordinary reality.
But there are times, right?
I know two people who’ve stumped me. There’s no peeling, uplifted corner on their substantial asshole-ery that I can get my Loving Kindness authentically beneath. There’s no opening for my efforts to hook into.
When you integrate Metta as a way of life, using it every single day AND in almost all challenging interactions, you may still find yourself stumped on occasion. When you do, it’s a cue to shift out, back into basic mindfulness, which may feel like noticing the resistance and allowing it without judgment, OR you can dig in and keep trying Metta, if that feels right. Sometimes it untangles.
Some of my non-yogi friends say, Let assholes be assholes, so what? Yes. Let assholes be assholes. That is one of my favorite mindfulness meditations.
Practicing Metta doesn’t mean assholes aren’t assholes, or that I’m trying to make them into something else through magic or delusion; it means the asshole in me sees and honors the asshole I’ve been affronted by, and my namaste has taken an edge that feels like, nama-I’m gonna keep your jerkweed vibes out of my psyche now, thank you.
Or perhaps, I wish you well; I’m rubber and you’re glue, good luck with that because it seems to have the upper hand on you. Except go back and remove the snarky tone and replace it with a tone of grandmotherly benevolence. It comes from a very warm, wholehearted, compassionate place. In Metta, you really do want all beings to transcend their predominant assholery one day, joining the rest of us in owning and working toward useful transmutation of our a-hole energy.
Besides, each of us carries equal opportunity to be the next ass-out, right around any corner. Grace spent is grace earned.
We have options.
Some people I know practice what could be referred to as modern day witchcraft. I also know and love many judgmental, uptight Christians. (See what I did there?) It’s ok; there’s room for us all. My witch friends have been known to put a person’s name into the freezer. See: binding spell for legitimate assholes. I’ve never put someone in the freezer. I wouldn’t want someone to put me in the freezer, so…
Essentially, there are many ways to wish ill onto someone you feel deserves it. I have heard many people wish Tom Brady’s leg would spontaneously burst into splinters, breaking irreparably. I can’t laugh at these jokes, but I appreciate the good humor of the sickos I hang out with who say these things.
There’s a part of me that firmly says, No. to wishing anyone unwell. That said, I do have an imaginary deserted island with a handful of inhabitants. My brain has, indeed, fabricated Metta that sounded like, May your puny, bigoted heart one day grow to be at least half as big as a plum…which was my cue to return to basic mindfulness.
Here’s a happy medium, with both of it’s feet planted on the other side of the fence.
Pray for Just Returns.
When you have been hurt by someone who has set their camp in the theocracy of assholery, and/or you have observed another’s ill behavior to have caused irreversible damage, simply wish them Just Returns.
You’ve seen it and so have I. Sometimes an individual has invested in the art early. They’ve doubled down repeatedly. They’re happy there, malnourished in spirit but thriving in body–much like a lamprey consuming the best efforts of others.
When a person like this has crossed your life path, destroying things in his or her wake, you may find yourself in a state of fury. Watching one of these people wreak havoc is painful. You may find yourself wishing them ill.
Don’t wish him or her ill. That is like investing in their commodity. You’re no martyr, but perhaps you’re not willing to be exactly like him or her, either.
You can try Loving Kindness first, but if it all feels like bullshit and you can’t get it to take root, it may be the wrong meditation to release you from the hex this asshole has put on your life. Wish them Just Returns.
The Universe is keeping track. God, if you are a believer, is aware. Carbon worshippers, you know bad things will befall that dreary mortal. From beneath their gloating shimmer, these people are suffering through this life just like you and I are. The fact that they are a perpetual, doltishly blind cause of suffering for others is what’s got us stuck.
Wish Just Returns for them on:
Their habits of taking too much from others,
Not cleaning up their dog’s feces,
and Generally putting themselves first, at the expense of others.
Just Returns is like the fierce little sister to Loving Kindness. It is, actually, a way to access compassionate release in a more authentic way. When we accept there are people in our lives we cannot use the feeling or word love in proximity to at all, we can at least try this.
A Just Returns Meditation:
Find a comfortable seated or lying position. Take three breaths and tune into your inner landscape. Feel the parts of your body that are resting on the chair, floor, or other surface you’re on. Take your pulse for a moment, to check into your body more concretely, and then read these words, or your own, with conviction:
May I/we come to experience an environment free of the negativity you have brought, and again know peace.
May we all experience the growth that will come on the tail side of this unwelcome disruption.
May you experience Just Returns on your action in creating this circumstance for others.
I wish you no harm, only Just Returns.
May these Returns proceed carefully and efficiently, in a way that serves you to stop harming others.
May we all move on wiser, softer, and stronger, with greater awareness.