Who do you think you are…and did you know that you could change it?!

Bodhi under our coffee table

Last summer I was invited to a party that I felt more like an intimate family gathering, but I accepted because I didn’t want to appear rude and ungrateful, and yet even upon arriving, I felt somewhat like an outsider. To my absolute horror, a few minutes into the event, I overheard the host saying something, that had the tone of, “Why is she here?”

My feelings were hurt, but I know that nothing comes into my life without me attracting it, and as painful as this was to witness, what I “overheard” was a match to what I had been thinking and feeling about myself  before the event. I was the one feeling like I didn’t belong, and then that uncomfortable thought came out of the mouth of someone else. A part of me wanted to defend myself on the spot and say, “Hey I was invited and I didn’t even really want to come!” but I didn’t do it.

The conversation that needed to happen was with myself. Our imagination is such an important and powerful tool.  But like any tool, we can use it to imagine ourselves as rejected, unloved and small or, we can envision ourselves accepted, loved and expansive.

How do we really know what we are thinking/imagining? It shows up as the people, circumstances and events of our lives…there is just no getting around this spiritual truth. People see us the way we, deep down, see ourselves.

We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them“. Numbers 13:33

16 thoughts on “Who do you think you are…and did you know that you could change it?!”

  1. OMG, I had something very similar happen to me a couple of years ago when I attended a friend’s family Easter. Most of the guests at this large gathering were from her husband’s family, so I think she may have wanted me there for moral support. But her husband’s brother turned to me at one point in the meal and said, “So Karen, what’s your connection here?”

    I was invited again this year and declined, and felt happy to do so. I had laughed at the man’s comment and enjoyed my Easter celebration with this family, but did think that perhaps I was a ram amongst the ewes … or is that a goat amongst the sheep???

  2. Morning
    This is very timely for me, too. I happen to be invited to a first holy communion party on Sunday. It is at the home that I had to sell after my divorce. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why I was invited until my old neighbor told me that they just really like me and didn’t think it would bother me to be there in my old house. So, I forced myself to RSVP and because of your post, I’ll be psyching myself up before I go that it is a good and honest reason that they invited me and it wasn’t meant to hurt me from being in the home that I had to sell. This is a right on time message for me. Thanks, Mary.

    1. Dear Lynn,
      What a really lovely compliment you’ve received! They like you and want to share a deeply spiritual event with you! I hope you will be able to attend and celebrate!
      From Fran

    2. Lynn, how lovely that these people value you so! Even though the *form* of the message may have been a bit off-putting (being back in the house~ understandably so), the message itself sounds like a loving one. Here’s hoping you have a wonderful time with people who treasure your friendship.

    3. Oh yes! What a compliment to you Lynn!. Their invite came from a place of good intentions and perhaps there’s a good reason (that will be revealed to you at some point) for you to see your former home!

    4. Lynn, maybe you’re meant to see the house once more for a reason or perhaps there’s someone you’re supposed to meet. Whatever the reason, you’re meant to be there and you will be able to go with a clear mind, knowing that the invite was sent out of a pure wish to have you present just for the pleasure of enjoying your company.

      Pretty nifty heads-up, if you ask me!

    5. Be prepared to be amazed, Lynn.
      The house remains walls and windows. You, on the other hand, left such a remarkable impression that new acquaintances want to share a very special occasion with YOU! What a great way to measure your personal growth after a life-changing event. Go girl and SHINE!

  3. For me, this is such a compelling, powerful and perfect example of our thoughts delivering exactly what we think. I’ve been in similar situations and wondered ‘what am I doing here’, felt myself withdraw and shrink, and now I recognize what kind of energy that directly signaled to others. Love the Bible verse you selected, Mary! It’s perfect! Wishing a great day to all!

  4. Ouch! Did this post ever strike a nerve with me. I have a talent that I am very good at but don’t give myself credit for it. I always feel most anyone’s work is somehow “better than mine.” Because I don’t like to be the center of attention or in the spotlight (because of feeling adequate? or not worthy?), I always downplay my abilities. I know another woman who works in the same medium as I and she is downright sloppy and not nearly as accomplished as I am. Yet she touts her work to all within earshot as being quite excellent. You can guess who gets fawned over and heaped with compliments while I’ve been hurt hearing comments to me such as, “This is probably beyond your abilities . . . ” or “I’m sure you could do this with a little more training” when I KNOW I can do the particular technique and have done it quite successfully, thank you very much!

    Your statement that people see us the way we, deep down, see ourselves really, really hit home with me. I need to change myself. Thank you.

  5. when that happens to me, and it does happen from time to time, I always remember the words “other people’s opinions of me are none of my business” and I move forward. My family always tell me that I am like the old saying “full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes”.

  6. One of my tasks as a community college instructor was to teach ‘study skills’ for some 25 years, largely to new freshpersons who thought they already knew everything. Sometimes we got lucky and could team teach it, making it 2:28+ in the ratio of Who really knew the ins and outs of collegiate work, and those Who thought every requirement was an imposition on their new freedoms.

    One time I brought in a large jar of honey and a big bottle of vinegar, silently illustrating two ways we could accomplish the curriculum together. I remember having to remind myself of all the freedom and opportunities the hard work of college had already brought me, and standing firm in those beliefs and methods. Often, a few semesters later, many a student would come back to tell us thanks for the wake-up calls….

  7. Bingo! I love, love, love this post. Who can’t relate to this scenario? I can usually get my head there but it’s seldom untimely; often days after the fact.

    Mary, I have to thank you for all your lovely encouraging wisdom and quotes. I text my sister many of your words on a near daily basis. She has been going through chemo treatments and you give us so much food for (good) thought.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts Susan (and for sharing them with your sister)…sending you both thoughts of love, healing and deep inner peace

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