time to leave the past in the past, and see with new eyes

Luke is Jack's perfect travelling companion

Jack loves taking back roads and finding the longest possible way to get from one place to another…he is a true meanderer. When I was first dating him, we went out for a ride one day and I really had to go to the bathroom, so I suggested that we go directly back to his house and he said OK.

40 minutes later, after going over miles of dirt roads, past farms and fields and cows, we pulled onto what seemed like almost the exact location we had been 40 minutes before. When I said “This looks so familiar” he casually said, “Oh it is. My house is only a few miles up the road. I thought you’d like to see more of this beautiful county!” I had been wiggling in my seat for the past 40 minutes, praying every time we went over a bump that I could hold on, and we had only been a few minutes from his house.

I was in the bathroom thinking, “He is clueless, and selfish and inconsiderate. Maybe we shouldn’t be dating. This might be a mistake.”  When I came out of the bathroom, he knew that I was upset, but didn’t say anything for a few minutes (which led me to add to my growing list of his shortcomings; “unable to communicate”). At that point I told him that I was going to go home, and he said, “Wait. I am so sorry, I just wanted to be with you a little longer and I knew when we got back, you’d have to go home. I didn’t realize that you had to go to the bathroom that bad or I wouldn’t have driven around. You have to believe me Mary.”

Preconceived ideas about someones motives, second-guessing them, pigeon-holing their behaviour can ruin relationships, sometimes before they even begin. I was 45 years old when I started dating Jack, and had experienced my share of poor relationships. I didn’t realize, at the time, how afraid I was, how guarded, how much I was looking for signs of trouble so I could get out before I got hurt. I didn’t trust myself to make a good decision when it came to my love life, and this fear of not being safe, led me to over-analyze and dissect every move Jack made that looked like potential trouble.

Seeing the present through the scared, troubled, eyes of the past, only ensures that I will see more of the same. People say to me all of the time things like, “But looking at everything through the eyes of love doesn’t even make sense! I have to be on guard. I can’t be a Pollyanna about life or I will really be in trouble. There are real things to be worried about out there!” But just the opposite is true. Our work here is develop an inner trust first. It isn’t an easy thing to do. All of us have been hurt by others, and all of us have hurt others. But If I stay in a wrong relationship (or job, or circumstance) because I am afraid there is nothing better for me, or turn down an opportunity (or a new relationship) because I am afraid of getting hurt, then in both cases, I am letting fear make my decisions, and the path will lead to a smaller, less-happy, duller life, and this isn’t really living.

We can start today taking steps into the new lives that we would love to be living, and the place where we start is in our own minds. When we change inside, the world begins to show us a new reality too.  A really good affirmation to say to yourself, over and over is: “I can trust myself.”

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live“. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

25 thoughts on “time to leave the past in the past, and see with new eyes”

  1. Oh Mary,
    Those eyes are wonderful! How do you manage to get such expressive pictures?
    My husband too, is a meanderer so I’ve trusted myself to send him off on treks with a grandson who is also a meanderer while I stay focused on my own path. That way we each accomplish what satisfies our soul and don’t drive each other crazy.
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Thank you for your acute observations,
    Love from Fran

    1. That is so great Fran! I had originally written, “Jack is a meanderer and I am not, so he drives me a little crazy!..I love this connection

    2. I love this Mary as no one knows this better than I how it is to be taken in and be hurt in a relationship but I moved on and found a wonderful man who I have been dating now for 9 months and because I once again can trust myself I am finding happiness again at 75!

    3. I love the paragraph about preconceived ideas! Such wisdom. Thank you. It reinforces what I’m trying to live.

  2. Mary, this was the perfect posting for me today! Last night, my boyfriend and I of 16 months had our first fight. He disrespected my time (I waited for 2 hours!) but he was helping a friend through a difficult time. I finally left, but when he discovered that I wasn’t home, he immediately called, apologized and I believed him. I know that his heart is bigger than his brain, but the fact that he immediately apologized and meant it, allowed me to move beyond my fears of “this romantic mistake” and forgive him. As we age, we bring those bags with us, and sometimes they are heavy. But, if we can look beyond our own fears of other failed relationships, we can find a happier place of being. Thanks for your post! I really enjoy your blog!

  3. a zinger of a post, mary. on jan 10 you wrote about intuition. put that together with todays ‘trust yourself’; a sound recipe for guidance in this adventure of seeing the partner i seek.

    sending love to you and yours for the weekend you want……

  4. Mary, you know just where to aim the arrow of truth! Thanks for another terrific post that will, once again, make me pause on my road and check myself to see what ‘space’ my perceptions are in. You are truly a marvelous travel guide in ‘life.’

  5. I loved this Mary. I used to worry about the pollyanna thing too- but it’s amazing when you choose to see the good in all how much more good comes your way.

    If you don’t mind, I would tweak your affirmation to “I trust myself.” Learned this from coach Cheryl Richardson to say it as if it is already true…. and then it becomes true sooner too. 🙂

    1. Thank you Barbara! Sometimes I use, “I am becoming….”, or I will….” when the ego really has a grip on the mind and wants to argue every positive statement…You are right, stating from the end is the best but sometimes, it can be “too big a leap” so an affirmation that is moving toward my goal can be a good way just to start.

  6. My dear husband of forty years has an annoying habit of saying “Trust me” a little too often. Well, maybe that worked when I was barely 20 and he was (and always will be!) ten years older. On top of that he had been my professor – so I started out in marriage leaping from childhood as someone’s daughter to someone’s student and then wife. It took me a long time to find my own voice in our marriage and speak up for myself, – so now when he says “just trust me”, I say kindly, “I do, but I also have to think for myself and trust my own heart.” My two bits for today 🙂

  7. P.S. I hope Luke can feel the pats and kisses on top of his head that I am sending him from Arizona! E-lovies!

  8. Love this sweet picture of Luke! I love this affirmation, it has navigated me through some recent changes my husband and I have made with the sell of our home in Omaha, moving to a temporary urban space with 2 big dogs. There were some naysayers, some of them lived in my head! The affirmation, “I can trust myself” helped me keep those naysayers at bay… that and a whole lot of prayer! Have a wonder-filled day all.

  9. Hi Mary…I’m going to apologize up front for getting a tickle out of the picture of you trying to hold your bladder whilst steaming with emotion! I too have a beloved husband who is an explorer/wondering adventure-type whose outlook on life isn’t based on details, but on instinct. During those times when I think I will go nuts with his no-sense sense of direction when making important decisions, he ALWAYS chooses the right path and leaves me in the dust with my notes, goals, need-to-knows. I tease him all the time that I’m the so-called psychic in the family and he’s the one who just follows his gut all the time. He has taught me volumes about trust, acceptance and faith…without being a teacher, but by just being himself.

    1. no need to apologize Debra…it makes me smile to think about that too (and I was thinking that a few of my friends out there could identify!)

  10. I just celebrated my 6 year anniversary with a wonderful man who I met on Match.com. I was 53 when I started dating after the demise of a 28 year marriage. I was determined to find love and a good person. I met and went out with several men and never had a bad date. I was determinded to “do no harm” and to have a good time with every man I met, even if it was obvious that it was not the right man. I did exactly that. I am amused when people tell me how lucky I was, and complain about all the awful prospects out there and their horrible experiences. I truly believe you find what you seek with a positive attitude, and an open and loving heart.

  11. What a great post Mary. I too have/had trust issues esp. around relationships.I have been with my wonderful man for six yrs. now and we have such a happy life. I wouldn’t have felt deserving of this in the old days and would have found a way to sabotage the relationship. But I have learned that I am also a great lady and it’s my time. I deserve this great relationship! I’m sixty-two and he’s fifty-three. We got engaged in August! What a lovely diamond he suprised me with! We figure we’ll get married within the next ten years! No rush. No pressure. We’ve got some loose ends to tie up first.
    Thank-you for your wonderful blog Mary.

    1. Good for you, Cindy, discovering your true ‘Goddess Within,’ and living a sweet life that you undoubtedly deserved from day one. I have seven years on you, and I’m still learning! I think you’re way ahead of me, but I plan to make great strides during this year. Peace and blessings to you.

  12. Thanks Suzanne.It is a daily process for me. With spot check inventorys of myself. I strive for physical,mental and spiritual health. But I take baby steps.(which is absolutely ok!)
    Bless you too.

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