Sometimes I walk by a beautiful person and feel a pang of insecurity.
A pang of ah, I should work to look more aesthetic. It's not crippling. But when I'm paying attention, I'll observe that slight disturbance in my mental landscape.
I've had this pattern for a long time.
Now yesterday, I walked past a beautiful couple, and like usual, I felt that pang. I was about to let that pang turn into a not very productive train of thoughts.
But it occurred to me to instead summon loving-kindness in that instant.
So I did the usual loving-kindness exercise - I wished the couple well. I wished them peace and well-being and I wished for them to be free of suffering. And I did the same for myself. We all just want to be happy.
I turned up the corners of my mouth into a slight smile. And I connected with the warm energy of loving-kindness, also known as metta.
And surprisingly my insecurity just dissolved. It wasn't even there as a shadow of its former self. It was entirely gone.
Even more incredibly, I was able to reproduce that insecurity-dissolving effect again. I felt intimidated by my VP at work, but was able to summon loving-kindness towards him and myself, to dissipate the anxiety.
Powerful stuff! Especially considering I've only been doing loving-kindness meditation for five days...
I'm so so excited to practice it more and especially to express it to other people.