A very comforting thought to me, is that I don’t have to be perfect for wonderful things to show up in my life. I remember when Jack and I were in the process of buying the home that we are now living in. I wanted it so bad, and I was so afraid it wouldn’t happen, I almost made myself sick. When I think back on how I must have looked (energetically), “a spring wound a little too tight” would fit. And yet, it did all work, even with a few sleepless nights, irrational arguments, and the worried thoughts that seemed to jump out of thin air and ambush me…  and it worked in such a magical and wonderful way (one that I couldn’t have imagined or made happen), that it is easy in hindsight to see the hand of the Divine in it all along.

I was reading something the other day, about lining-up (inside) with our dreams and it basically said, “The one thing that you must watch for is negative thought. Doubt, fear or envy will hold up your manifestation indefinitely.”

I’m sorry, this is just not very helpful! It’s unrealistic and discouraging, and it  intimates that we must become enlightened (who else never has a negative thought?) before we can experience the lives of our dreams. It also reminds me of the worst part of religion…the idea that there is a God sitting somewhere watching our every move, just waiting for us to mess up so we can be punished, or our Good can be withheld, or we can be taught a lesson.

We are all in the process of learning, making some mistakes, doing some things right, wondering, pondering, knowing and forgetting. …but there is a Grace, an Energy, that is huge and good and always flowing and quietly comforting us as it calls us to move along with it (with some delightful surprises along the way!).

Don’t think of the things you didn’t get after praying, think of the countless blessings God gave you without asking.” Anonymous

19 thoughts on “Surprises

  1. You know, Mary, what you say is part of why I don’t put my fanny in a church pew any more…not to say that it will never happen again because I do enjoy the fellowship of a church as a whole and the peaceful feeling that I get from simply being forced to sit still for an hour or so once a week. But having been, in the past, a Sunday School teacher, head of the dept;, head of the Christmas pageant, an usher, I truly found after going to art college and studying the different religions and spiritual concepts of other and older cultures, that the stricture and dogma of organized religion no longer served me in a way that I was seeking. Now, although I step on bugs, I would lean more to the concepts of Buddhism. My religion for me is of a more spiritual nature and a more straight-forward, honest way of what I consider religion to be, as I find here with you. I remember years ago, our young assistant minister dropping into my home for a cup of tea while waiting to visit a parishioner a few doors away who had just lost her husband. In conversation, I said that I had trouble with the negative aspect of repenting my sins on a regular basis as part of our service in the United Church (canada)…and his response was: from the moment we put our feet on the floor in the morning, we have the prospect of sinning. Yikes, what negativity. When our minister did not want his narthex invaded with props for our Christmas pageant the week-end before it began so that the children could practice their spots on stage, I told him that I’d listen to him standing on a street corner and to get over it…he did but tried with the next pageant co-ordinator, the same thing…children, I said, are just as much a part of the church as the adults…and this all had a way of turning me off…When I said that I neither believed nor disbelieved in a god or Jesus, he said, ‘ you believe as a child believes and just accept that’….At that point, I got totally turned off with organized religion. Religion to me encompasses more than the dogma of it. It is how we treat people; how we continually and hopefully learn how to conduct ourselves in this world and that we have a belief that supports us spiritually and sustains us in times of trouble in our lives and hopefully at other times as well. Simply the beauty of what surrounds me in the country is a balm to my soul and who put it all here?? And so I thank you, Mary, for humanizing religion for me. This suits me just fine.
    SandyP in Canada

  2. Very well put Sandy, I couldn’t agree more! I am grateful that my parents brought me up exposed to something though. For me, it was first a Methodist church, then United Church of Christ – but for years like many young adults, I didn’t attend any church. Then around age 35, raising young kids, and moving right next door to a Presbyterian minister, the wife invited us and we went. Soon after, her husband retired and we were so fortunate to have the most inspiring man take over the pulpit for the next ten years. They were such important years for me and I read voraciously on all manner of things religious/spiritual. Was it this particular man that got me going again? Or maybe just a time of re-awakening, picking up where I sort of left off in my teens? Who knows? Since that man retired and we moved, I’ve not found a ‘church home’ since. And I, too, don’t like the rigid services, stand up, sit down, recite this, pray that – but that’s ok. My sanctuary is the open desert on walks with my dogs, coming here in the morning to gather with the flock; my sanctuary goes wherever I go. Are we not instructed to treat our bodies as temples of the living spirit? We are never separated from however we each view our God, or Higher Spirit. And I dare say, Mary, attendance at White Feather (daily! excepting weekends) undoubtedly rivals many a church. Love to all! – oh, I almost forgot to add the Abraham message for today. I read it right before coming here, and it’s one of those days when it so echoes Mary’s.

    “In your action, you lose sight of the vision, you lose sight of your trust in the process, and you just bang around in a sense of futility. Hold the vision and trust that the Universe will acclimate to your vision. Hold the vision and trust the process.”

    Can’t you just envision a Higher Hand adjusting the focus for us, if only we’ll stand still!

  3. I too get sick of the constant “power of positive thinking mantra”. Yes, it often works and can be soothing. But it is more useful to me to know how to handle the negative thougths. One of the more useful things that I read over the years was an article in a magazine, “Make Envy Your Friend”.

    The article explained that when you notice yourself envying someone for something instead of turning that feeling against yourself…as if you don’t deserve whatever it is they have, or you’re just not good enough…use the energy of your envy as a guide, a marker for where you want to go, or what you want to have for yourself. But here’s the key: then do what you can do, to get it or achieve it (hopefully by dint of your own talent and hard work – NOT – by stealing it or killing the other person to get it). That last parenthetical remark is my own editorial comment.

    Here is a very concrete simple example: I was envying a friend who had lovely professionally done nails. I had naturally good nails inherited from my mother, but I never polished them or went to the nail salon. This was around the same time I had read the article on how to make envy your friend. So I took my hands to a nail salon and paid the big bucks to have them done everyother week, just like my friend, Sharon.

    I no longer envied Sharon’s nails because now they (or a reasonable fact simile) were sitting on my own hands. But after three months, I realized that the whole process was just not worth my time and money. And that even though my nails looked as good as Sharon’s, she was still her and I was still me (less $25. a throw for my nail appointment).

    And another thing, Sharon herself once said to me on the topic of envy, “Just remember, whenever you envy anyone and think you’d like to change places, you have to take their bad along with their good”.
    Mary Rita Scott, Upstate, NY

  4. Dear Mary. I love this post! It is so affirming and so very true. As a perfectionist who is much more forgiving with others than I am with myself, I needed to hear your words of truth today. What a relief to remember that sometimes in spite of ourselves, we are able to hold onto our dreams and realize what is in our hearts. The Divine guidance we all seek is always there, helping us along…even when we think it might not be. Life feels so much more free and happy when I can just let go and remember that it’s all good… matter what.

  5. Dear Mary,

    This message came at just the right time for me. I was speaking about this very thing to my daughter this morning….wondering why things weren’t “appearing” to work out for me even though I was doing what my heart was telling me to do.
    I am an artist and have known since I was a small child that I was meant to paint. I also have 4 grown children and 4 grandchildren. My family is the center of my life.
    Another one of my passions is a huge vegetable garden that feeds much of my family and takes up a large amount of my time in the spring. So, I am doing all of the things I love and feel I am called to do.
    I am “expecting” the universe to provide me with the ability (financially) to continue with the life I love. I try to stay open to any new inspirations or messages. Sometimes, I have doubts but overall I keep the faith. Thanks for letting me know that I don’t have to be perfect!

    Much Love,

  6. Mary,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful message. I am often worried about trying to be perfect. and never make mistakes. The drive to be perfect eats me alive! The strive to be perfect for everyone around me often leaves me exhausted. I appreciate hearing it is okay not to be perfect and to hear I need to listen to my own dreams!


  7. What I don’t like about the quote you mention is that it implies that I am so powerful that I can block the whole universe with my stinking thinking.

  8. Estyn, when I think of the upcoming Olympics, maybe I should include winter sports too, there are very few of them that give the gold medal on achievement not based on the fastest time. That is a no brainer, no human element really involved but for the state of the art timing devices. Figure skating and gymnastics for example, are another matter. The judges do their very best to be unbiased, but there is a subjectivity involved in meriting out that perfect ten. What is a ten to one may be a 9.6 to another. And is any performance ever really perfect? Do they not also now (I think in recent years anyway) throw out the high and low scores before determining the final score? Remember too, that most of the illusions we fall under, “the perfect house, the perfect complexion/figure/hair style, the perfect car, the perfect gift for her” (and boy don’t we hear that all year long, Valentines’s Day, Mother’s Day on through Christmas) – there’s a LOT TO BE SOLD there. And I don’t think perfection can be bought. Maybe the best we can do is stay as close to perfect in our intentions, in lining up our value system with what is important to us in life, and then going easier on ourselves as we trod the daily path, stumbling here and there, other days a smoother sail. I so loved the PBS show when my kids were young, Mr. Rogers. He ended most every day looking straight into the camera and reminding the children, “I like you just the way you are.” Perfection!, in our imperfection. To know we try our very best, though we may fall short of perfection, is simply human. A hug to you!

  9. Good afternoon, WFF family!

    Sandy’s and Susan’s post reminds me that everything is happening exactly the way it should. We are each of us unique – not just physically, mentally and emotionally, but spiritually, too. So I believe that “organized” religion is the perfect solution for those who need it, and it’s the worst solution for those who are spiritually somewhere else. While I’m grateful for the moral foundation 12 years of parochial school helped me develop, I’ve expanded my spirituality by exploring the world’s other great religions. I’m now what I call a “pendulum” Catholic ~ I move back and forth, attending Mass when the “spirit” moves me – but I remain focused on this:

    “… nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” ~ Luke 17:21

    P.S. And I don’t really believe in the concept of “manifestation” because it still promotes a fundamental concept of “it’s MY fault” if I don’t get what I need/desire/expect.

  10. Oh, how I can relate to being wound too tight, wishing with all my might for the outcome I wanted. Glad I’ve learned along the way– though still have my moments. Like right now obsessing over a cover for my book!! I’m driving myself crazy and keep telling myself to “Let go and trust.” Ok- so I’m working on that. ha!
    LOVE the photo of Esther and just love her name. Too cute.

  11. Thanks, Mary. I read this as I await the outcome of a job interview today – the job that I would really love to be offered! And so….acknowledging that I am not enlightened, but I am Light and, even though I believe this is the right vibrational match for me, knowing and trusting that there is a Divine Plan. If I am not offered this job, there must be some great surprise waiting. If I am offered the job, well, I will breathe a deep sigh of gratitude.

  12. What a great post and comments…every single one. I used to be a perfectionist, like many have described here. I am not even sure how I moved along the continuim from perfectionist to I’ll give it my best, I know it will be good, and I know my intentions are from the right place. The best example I can give is that before I retired, and was stressed out, in some respects, burnt out, I DID want everything to be perfect. I would balance my checkbook to the penny, every month as soon as the statement arrived. Since I have retired, relaxed, uncluttered my brain, I can’t tell you when I last balanced my checkbook! Months ago! I glance at my balance and if it is about right, I move on…a little thing, I know, but indicative of my comfort with imperfection. And if you knew me, it is shocking! Growing spiritually has so helped me to ‘relax’ about many things…the more comfortable I am with myself, the more comfortable I am with others, with events, with the unexpected…I know I will make mistakes from time to time…can’t grow without them in my opinion. And we need the contrast, I think…as long as we are secure and know our intentions are good, I think that is OK…I get the negative thoughts now and again, but am getting better and better at turning them around…I just keep trying…and looking for the signs of Grace, that I am on the right track. The best feeling in the world! Love to all…

  13. Grace is a quiet comfort. It’s always there for the taking. It is my Grand-daughter’s name! Lovely post Mary. Thanks, Cindy

  14. I tried to be perfect yesterday, it did not work, now I am back to just being me, glad yesterday is gone, and today is a blessing.

  15. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful post, Mary.
    Have you any recommendations for spiritual counselors on Cape Cod? I am dearly in need of guidance these days and have become myown worst enemy.
    I found you through Jon Katz and am so grateful.

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