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Dr. Seymour's Gift of Love

Dr. Seymour Love gave me a wonderful gift on the bus the other day. After years of driving alone in air-conditioned luxury, I’m back on the Metro with the bus riding citizens of Portland, Oregon. Having lived in major cities around the world, making use of the public transport system was an obvious choice when I arrived here. To my surprise, Dr. Seymour Love showed up just in time to show me the spiritual gift that riding the bus can be.

As I grabbed a seat, I glanced around at my fellow passengers. It’s hard not to notice the large garbage bags of aluminum cans, the unshaven faces and sunken eyes of the city’s homeless and addicted. I often see mothers on the bus, navigating bulky carriages, disappearing into their phones whenever they can as their wide-eyed babies reach for their attention. I look up from my own screen during an occasionally long stop to see the driver securing a new rider in a wheelchair.

I feel myself contract when an emotionally unstable rider rumbles nearby or the acrid smell of an unwashed body hits my privileged nose. I am never (at least not so far) in any real danger. I am just sharing a ride with others who ride the bus. Ordinary people doing their best, making it through days and circumstances I cannot fathom. 

Before I can stop myself, before I am given any kind of choice, my mind assesses these other souls negatively. Judging their situations as the by products of the bad choices they must have made. Even though I am also riding the bus, my thoughts decree that I am clearly superior to these others. My mind quickly gathering facts to prove my advantage to be true as I sit back and get comfortable in my pride.

Until Dr. Seymour Love showed up, I dismissed my mental assessments of others as impotent. If no one can hear what’s actually going on inside my head, if I just keep my thoughts to myself, I was content to believe that these thoughts were not hurting anyone.

But these thoughts were hurting someone. 

They were hurting me.

Judgmental thoughts have been coloring my consciousness my whole life. They are like hideous wallpaper stuck to the inside my head. I have had to live with them, hear their silent ugliness, swallow their bitter taste. Feeling powerless against their swift emergence from my psyche without my consent, I also felt clearly not to blame or creatively responsible, but they are a part of me.

But I would be beyond sad to learn that I was forever stuck with this unbidden mental garbage. Perhaps I am unable to stop the thoughts from blighting the shore of my consciousness. It may be this way for the rest of my life. But the last thing a suffering person needs is any kind of judgment from me. Whether verbally stated out loud or allowed to hover unchallenged between my ears, these thoughts have power.

Dr. Seymour Love, the giver of my gift, is a character of mine. Thankfully, like his name suggests, all he wants to do is to see more love. When I pull his latex face over mine, I never know what he is going to say, but his loving agenda courses through me. As I can be self-focused, Dr. Seymour is my opposite. He is looking out through his eye holes in search of the gift in each person he comes across. He is my mentor, my teacher and guide. In many ways he is me…perhaps a more evolved version of me. In other ways, he has his own wisdom from which I receive great benefit.

Although I know he would love it!, I don’t take Dr. Seymour out in public. On the day he gave me his gift, he was sitting invisibly inside me and looking out through my eyes. As we rode along together, I was habitually glancing around, judging, when Dr. Seymour Love sat up brightly and starting sending love to everybody on the bus.

The first time Dr. Seymour Love’s agenda overwhelmed the strident judge in me, I was immediately struck by the gift of his antidote. Not just to others, but to me and the collective conscious as well. As Dr. Seymour wiggled his eyebrows and cast his love magic, I quickly spun around to look at the other passengers behind us. Before my mind could find a way to throw any of them beneath the wheels of the bus, Dr. Seymour threw them each a heart shaped penny of love. Each penny instantly blocking the withering poison arrow my mind was poised to release in their direction.

I am aware that revealing this spiritual practice may sound like taking a spiritual bow. But in many respects, I am embarrassed to have made it this far in life without looking at the man in the mirror. I needed to make this change. For all that I profess and hope to be in this life, I am woefully late to the party of cleaning up my inner garbage.

I carried Dr. Seymour Love's gift with me and spent a lot of love pennies everywhere I went...the gym, the grocery store. When I lied down in bed at the end of that day, it felt as though I came home to rest in a clean room. The space around me was bright with light, fresh air and empty of the ghosts of scorned figures. Expressing loving thoughts a thousand times a day is not just a gift for the collective consciousness of which we are all a part but it could also be seen as selfish (or better yet, self care!) to want that peace of mind for ourselves.

What Dr. Seymour Love offered me was an invitation to a higher integrity. To commit to offer love when no one is watching, when no one may ever know of your offer. To be honest, it simply feels better. It’s not always easy and sometimes I forget and fall back into old mental habits. But now, if I forget Dr. Seymour’s gift, I feel the pain of my own scorn boomerang back on me and slap me awake. Where before, I would carrying on judging unconsciously, but now I forgive myself and dig into my pocket for change.

As I ride around my new city, navigating the diverse tapestry of humanity, I realize that the bus is a chance to embrace every soul sharing the ride downtown and through life. Dr. Seymour Love taught me that sending love isn’t just a selfless act but a daily practice of selfish serenity. After all, in a world that often leans towards judgment, choosing love becomes a revolutionary act. One that paints our shared reality with the vibrant hues of compassion and unfiltered empathy.

And a bonanza of a billion heart-shaped pennies.



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