A story-book life….

Jack having a late-evening snack (and Luke watching every bite..hoping for an opportunity to grab a little for himself)

There’s been so much good stuff happening in my life lately, and quite a bit of it I’ve shared here on the blog, but some I’ve held back on. Not because I don’t want to share my life with you. I do. But sometimes, reading about a person’s life (when they are in a period where everything seems to be so wonderful) doesn’t feel that great.

For years, I couldn’t look at the Omega Institute’s catalogue (and all of the pages with smiling faces of the spiritual teachers that would be holding workshops the following summer) without  jealously. Instead of feeling inspired by reading about their accomplishments; books published, appearances on Oprah ect., I felt less than and would think, “what is wrong with me?!” Their lives felt different from mine and if I had to articulate what that difference was, I would have said that I didn’t measure up, that I was somehow not as smart, nice, talented, cleaver, friendly, positive, enlightened, connected, ambitious, young……

Everyone I know goes through periods of feeling like their lives are missing something, be it friends, career, an intimate relationship, money, health…and when we are going through one of these spells, and we look at other people’s lives (that seem to have all of these things and more) sometimes it can make us feel worse; like we are fundamentally flawed…at least this is true for me, and I’ve talked to enough people in my life to even dare say that this might be a part of the human condition.

This is what I started to write about yesterday, but wasn’t ready yet. As I sat outside this morning (at 5 a.m.), this idea came up again, and as I considered whether I’d give it another try today or not, I heard an owl call. Then I heard another call back. This lasted for about a minute and I knew it was a sign to move ahead with today’s post. …about sometimes feeling different, sometimes feeling defective, sometimes feeling alone, sometimes feeling like we’ve missed the boat….

Today’s message is:  You have not! You are an infinitely important part of this world….of the story of this world, that is being written every moment of every day. I am writing a story-book life and you are in it….and you are writing one too, and I’m in yours.

“Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come to being“. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

30 thoughts on “A story-book life….

  1. You are serving a beautiful purpose in my life as I read your blog each morning. Your cats bring a smile to my face as I also have a cat. I identify with so many of your readings. Brene brown has a new book Daring Greatly and she speaks of vulnerability, which is definitely under this morning’s theme. When i see clients, there is always that piece of “not being good enough.” it just seems to be a very common theme.
    Thank you, Mary, for being a part of my morning along with my cup of tea.

  2. I’m sure the people behind the faces in Omega’s catalogue have felt exactly like all of us do – and probably it was what motivated many of them to become accomplished “experts”in their field!

    This kind of thinking (that we are fundamentally flawed) can be so compelling. When I start to feel that way it can be like quicksand and I can expend a lot of energy trying to escape.

    Thank you for bringing this to light today Mary, this is something we all struggle with in varying degrees and at different times in our lives.

  3. I think this might be my all time favorite post from you Mary! I can identify with every single word and thought. And it wasn’t until I retired, and turned my focus to working on myself, that I was able to believe in, live, and be in this story-book life. And each and every ‘character’ here, on this blog, indeed feels part of my/our story. I am so grateful. I am noticing the chest that Jack is eating on…it looks like a ‘wave’ painted on the end of it…Wave, Enso…representing the universe and search for enlightenment…a sacred symbol in some spiritual teachings…This blog has become a safe, a sacred, a spiritual place for me to visit every day…and your post is like reading that first wonderful chapter in a great book, awaiting the surprise on the next page…and never wanting to put it down! Thank you so much! XOXO

  4. Thank you Mary!

    You are definitely a major player for great good, in my storybook.

    It helps to know that no matter how much I think I accomplish, or how understanding and compassionate I think I am, in my mind it is never enough and apparently I have some company in that thinking

    I love the patience, perseverance, and apparently great faith Luke is portraying in that snapshot. All is well, he will get his proper share in good time… .

    From Fran

    • Oh, Fran, I so hope you are right . . . about Luke, I mean. Every time I see that face I want to go out and buy him a T-bone steak. ;-}

  5. Dear Mary, Your honest posts, frank sharing and mystical musings are very much a part of my life…..and my story. I draw strength from not only your heartfelt writing about your own life and the way you live-out your beliefs in divine trust, but also the way others share their stories and comments about that! Thank you for helping this grand story unfold!

  6. You are certainly in my life, Mary. So much so, that I often think if we met, we’d just love each other, get along like a house on fire, and all that. Then I remind myself that you are helping me to see myself. That really, I’m meeting myself when I read your blog. I suspect I would like you, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish. It is a bit fun being something of a senior groupie, though!

  7. What a beautiful blog today! I am struggling with something right now in my personal life and trying to do the right thing but am at a point where I do not know which road to take. I wish you lived closer to me so I could set up a time to hire your services….as I love the way you think and the way you express yourself to us….it opens up my mind.

    • Julie – you can always contact Mary to speak with her on the phone and have your very own private session with her. Click on the tab at the top of the page where Mary talks about her work and how to schedule a session.

  8. No doubt this is truly the human condition to feel we are not good enough. I’m currently taking the workshop based on Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way.” We are working through much of that darn old self doubt that comes up and letting it go to free us to be our beautiful, creative selves. Just on week 2, so can’t see where this will take me the next 12 weeks!
    Loved the photo of Luke so wanting a snack!

  9. When I post, I try not to read what others have said until after I’ve posted myself. I save all the posts for later in the day when I can sit down and read through them and feel connected with them. I don’t know what to say about your post today, Mary, because I’m almost without words…(but not quite !!) This is something I’ve also experienced in my life and I’ve had many good things happen because of my textile work..teaching, going to art college, working in my studio, writing articles, being accepted into juried exhibits but all of while feeling that I could do more, to look at what others have done and yet, when I really became honest with myself I realized that it wasn’t the glory and attention that would make me happy, staying at home with my dogs, in my own studio, in my nest here in the country is what makes me happy. Yes, I go out to speak to quilt guilds and I enjoy sharing whatever I can with others. I admire others who have taught across NA, shared their talents with others but I am not gifted in promoting myself and I think there is a shyness in me that doesn’t allow this. Also, I must look at the confidence it takes in others to get out in the world and promote themselves and I don’t know that I have it as they do. It just isn’t in me and I had to admit this and find what it was that made me most content in my mind. You’ve expressed it well, Mary but I’m humbled that you’ve shared it here. It’s another…’oh, do you feel that way, too’…I guess I’m not the only one.
    SandyP in Canada

  10. Usually there are many posts by the time I get to reading here in the west – and I loved every one of them today – I love thinking of us all in one big story book, – Mary’s words of encouragement binding us all as we each search and discover more and more about ourselves and this life we are living. I’m not sure where this image is in the Bible, but it’s about all of us being a cracked vessel, a cracked pot, but there is no reason that pot cannot still be of great service, and great beauty, flaws and all. And in Ecclesiastes, “There is time for everything under heaven, – there is a time to draw in and reflect, and a time to shine, a time to dance, a time to cry”, – etc. We would not be human if we were forever in the throes of celebration, or accomplishing and achieving 24/7 without coming up for air, for space and downtime. Yes, we are all flawed, but like a pot, there is infinite space within us to carry the Spirit which will never forsake us. Just gotta be still and listen to it, and feel it. Love to all!

    • Susan, Your post also brought to mind Leonard Cohen’s line “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” I love that idea. For me, it opened my eyes to the beauty and usefulness of my flaws, most (all?) of which I’d never have voluntarily choosen.

  11. This is a good reminder to Appreciate the times when all is well and flowing, to throw wide your arms to embrace it unapologetically. Use the joy to stash in an energetic savings account to access on days when things may not be so bright. We are all creating our own stories, whether through deed or attitude. I love being part of this rich story and am so happy to have so many interesting characters in mine !

  12. Mary this morning’s message came across loud and clear to all of us reading and enjoying your blog. We all have these moments of self doubt. We also have to remember to we can’t be running at full steam all the time, these images we see are just snap shots into people’s lives, crafted to make us question ouselves. They make us doubt our abilities and our accomplishments. Mary your blog is a tonic we sip each morning, to set us on our way, hopefully thinking a little more deeply about situations as they arise and how we should handle them. You are most definately in my life story book. Thank you.

  13. You have helped me so much Mary. I’m still blessing my wonderful heart each day until this is all figured out. I’m so happy for your happiness right now! We all deserve it, I believe. Enjoy!
    I just figured out what breed Luke reminds me of. The Belgian Tervuren. He is just lovely. 🙂 Cindy

  14. OH my! How Spirit works in our lives….in MY life. This is exactly how I have been feeling about my life lately, and I so appreciate your honesty about your feelings. And the quote at the end is perfect. Thanks for reminding me that i am not alone….

  15. Oh Mary. How did you know. Lately I’ve felt the theme for my life is “a day late and a dollar short” and that what I want most dearly—a farm, to write—is destined for anyone else. My heart melted at your words.

  16. Who can’t relate to this post? Oh, Mary, you are certainly a huge part of my life. I am constantly thinking of your words with many of my daily thoughts, problems, joys, etc. This post is so right on. At times like the one you described above I usually just tell myself to take a deep breath and remember that I am exactly where I am suppose to be for good reason and to pause and take it easy but sometimes it’s too much and I find myself out of sorts for too long of a period of time and anxious. I like that you termed this the human condition. Sweet! So I’m normal and not alone (and bonus, a part of your life) and you comfort us all with that with every blog. Thank you, kind Mary!

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