Our true Homes: Returning the way that we came

Noah and Fred at rest on the warm radiator

Noah and Fred at rest on the warm radiator

My son Matt called last night and said that he was going back to Alaska next week to continue filming on a crab-fishing boat. I thought that maybe he was going to skip this season (and I must admit that I was happy about that), but my only real question to him was how he felt about it. Matt listens to his inner voice and tries to live from that deep place of trust (in a reality that often is not seen) and so when he told me that he felt good about it, I knew I would let it go and trust in him.

I’ve wasted a lot of my life worrying about how the future would unfold for both myself and for those that I love. Gandhi once said that work does not destroy the body, only worry does, and I believe that. Our culture has kind of dressed-up worry; called it natural, loving, caring and made excuses for it, instead of calling it what it is: fear.

What would it feel like to live without worry? To live without fear? To look at what seems like a “problem” and say, “This is not a problem and everything is working out perfectly!”

This weekend, I intend to look at my life as a miracle that is unfolding before me, showing me the Way. I hope that you will join me, and I’ll be imagining all of us as children running and laughing and playing…trusting that our loving, warm and comforting Home is always within sight.

“We must become as little children. How we long for a return of the simple trust in life which children have; in their minds there are no doubts, they have not yet been told that they are sinners, destitute of divine guidance and spiritual life. The life of the child is lived in natural goodness. God is natural goodness. The prison walls of false experience soon build themselves into barriers, shutting out the light, and the child grows into a man, often losing his sense of that inner Guide, leading his footsteps aright. We must return the way we came. As little children, who know that life is good and to be trusted, we are to approach our problems as though they were not. Approaching them in this manner, they will vanish.” page 456 The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes.

32 thoughts on “Our true Homes: Returning the way that we came

  1. LOVE your “don’t worry, wonder” message……The Chinese word for crisis is written with two brush strokes, the first stands for danger, and the second for opportunity. I will look for the good hidden within everything I encounter. What we teach ourselves with our thoughts and attitudes is up to us! Burr…it isnt cold, it’s clear and crisp!!!!! 🙂

    • Sandy, that is fascinating about the two brush strokes used for crisis – danger, yes, but opportunity. I like to substitute challenge for problem, – with a challenge you can embrace the opportunity of rising to it.

  2. It so true…sometimes i want to say something to my daughters and i hear the fear-based voice of my mother….i am learning to visualize putting chip clip on my lip or by actually holding my lips together before i speak in fear (that may not even be mine). Have a wonderful weekend…love ginger kitties 🙂 J

  3. Thank you for making me laugh and smile outright when I read; ‘I’ll be imagining all of us as children running and laughing and playing…trusting that our loving, warm and comforting Home is always within sight.’ Ahhhh, the gift of a child-like feeling. A great goal for this weekend! I’ll be working on it, Mary 🙂

  4. Mary, may I join Fred & Noah on the top of your radiator. Such peace. And warmth. Your comment: “Our culture has kind of dressed-up worry; called it natural, loving, caring and made excuses for it, instead of calling it what it is: fear.” has caught me out. I realized this in myself some years ago. I had not a strong desire to be a mother; it was simply what happened in my day & age. When I took on two step-children who were traumatized by their own mother leaving their lives, I stepped up to the plate and tried very hard not to replace her but to be the best mother I could to the four children now in my home. Later, I wondered if my need to make sure I was everything a mother should be, that I might have gone overboard in my needs, not theirs. I couldn’t but tried to take away their hurt. Both stepchildren have carried it into adulthood but are making their own way with it. My children were affected by it as well. Life has a way of never turning out as one would expect.
    My thoughts too are with Cindy today in her recovery from her heart procedure.
    SandyP in sunny, snowflakey Ontario, Canada

  5. Dear Mary, Thank you for this beautiful post and loving reminder to retain our child-like wonder and to trust the universe without question. I’m looking forward to this assignment!

  6. I have the pleasure of joining my grandson for a day at the Wildlife Zoo and Aquarium tomorrow – we had a wonderful day there two weeks ago and I gladly bought season tickets so we can go whenever we want to. A couple of hours into our visit that first day, he ran ahead of me, kicking up his heels, singing and holding up his stuffed orka for all the world to see, utterly unselfconscious. A woman passing by me, smiled and said simply “Pure joy!” and indeed, that’s what he embodied. Sweet of her to say that, as I know it’s one of those small “Kodak moments” I’ll always remember. Let’s have fun this weekend, – and Cindy, we will be playing for you too as you rest up and recover.

  7. Thank you for reminding us that worry is really fear and while it seems OK for us to say we are “worried” about something, it doesn’t seem to be OK to say I am “fearful” about it…
    I am going to paste your “This is not a problem and everything is working out perfectly!” in a prominent spot this weekend and keep the vision of us running as children (not hard to do…LOL) in my mind.
    I will be praying for Matt and his crew members as they head back out to sea and that you will have peace while he is away. love and hugs,

  8. I think I inherited my “worry gene” from my mother. Her worry was constant and always under the auspices of caring. I have worried about my thirty-three year old son since he was diagnosed at age 3 with renal dysplasia. He now has my kidney and has problems with infection and his bladder. I worry and worry. Of course, it gets me nowhere and does absolutely no good for either of us. I am working on taking each day, finding joy daily, and not projecting the terrible fear I have felt for three decades. The kidney has lasted for 20 years and its function will have an end. Thank you for reminding me to stay in the present and give thanks for all that my son and myself have!

  9. I have found that worry does not change the outcome of things…it’s really just wasted energy that could be channeled in another way, a more positive way….just a thought.

  10. Love the assignment and the image of children playing, it brings a smile to my face, no room for worry!

  11. i must admit mary, while reading that your son matt will be returning to alaska for his work, my heart caught in my throat. maybe it’s the instinctive “mothering” reaction that never quite dissolves even as our children grow into adults. i think that we can have that initial startle though i know that i must let go and give free-will to life…all that lives and breathes.

    my life-long lesson seems to strongly suggest…surrender on every level. then worries and fears float away…for a while. may it be well for you, for me, and for all of us.

  12. The words – filming, crab boat, son, mother,
    Relating to the words – remembering, family traits, son, mother.

    Can you tell I don’t have a college education?

    Thanks Mary for a lovely message today and as always loved the picture.

  13. Mary – Thank you for the reminder to not see things as problems but as opportunities. I needed this assignment right now. What a lovely image – to be running and laughing like children. I hope to recruit my daughter to help me with this!

    Get well wishes to Cindy and to all others here – have a joyous, worry-free weekend.

  14. Worry has always gnawed at me & I had the mistaken idea putting things on the altar of worry protected the worst from happening. Ha. Daily, I can feel a dark whirlwind somewhere in my interior over things I have no control over: people’s slights, world conditions, animal cruelty. I try to catch myself and pour Light over the maelstrom and breathe in Peace, but it often feels like a fairy tale. Sometimes I know that I know, but mostly lately, I don’t. Hmmmmm.

    • You could have posted for me, Kathi, because I have worried all my life about everything. I always felt that giving the proper amount of worry to a perceived problem would either cause it NOT to happen or would lessen the blows it might deliver if it came to pass. So what did I find out about all this? That I have spent most of my life in a state of worry, and most likely about things that never happened.

      I’m trying to turn the corner on this but that little worm of fear that lives in my brain still crawls out and torments me about certain things. It’s always a two-steps-forward, one-step-back kind of thing, but I am making some small progress…sometimes. Which is better than where I was.

      I think it will be so forever.

  15. I am part of a family of worry worts (or is it warts?…and now I am even wondering what that phrase means!). And sometimes it is even comical because when one of us is worrying, the other worrier is telling us not to worry…it doesn’t do any good to worry, etc…and then the other worries about something and we say the same things to each other! Yikes! Yet we all know that we could/should be spending our time in a much more healthy way. One of the many things you have taught me Mary is that I am not the buffer between anyone else and God. I am not the buffer between them and what God has planned for them. That really really clicked with me. So to use my dear elderly mother as an example, I could choose to worry about her, but I am in no way inbetween her and God and what God has planned for her. So instead of the worry, if I hold her in the highest light and hold my happy picture of her in my heart, I am doing so much more for her than worry could ever do. So I think about that when worry starts to creep in…it has made a huge difference. And I now understand that I am no good at all to anyone if I am plagued with worry. Someone said, and it might have been you or another WFF’er, that people don’t need us to feel sorry for them or worry for them. They need us to feel good for them…so I try to do that too…it gets back to the energy and the light that we bring to any given situation, or person. I’m just getting this in my 60’s…but looking forward to many worry-free or worry-less years ahead!

    • Kathy – You expressed what I have been feeling so beautifully! I am a worrier. I come from a long line of worriers. And thanks to Mary, I am learning to do what you describe – holding who or what I am worrying about in the highest light and seeing it all working out for the best.

      And in that light, I send healing thoughts and good wishes to Cindy too.

  16. Mary, you’re such a good mom. Not long ago my brother in law said to me after I told him I was worried about having a second mamogram “don’t worry about things you can’t control”, and I said to him “I can’t control my worry”. I will work on it this weekend. I love the quote work doesn’t destroy the body, worry does. Prayers to Cindy for a quick recovery.

  17. A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five
    people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
    – Tenneva Jordan

    Skip, jump, bounce and cavort; such a mindful memory assignment. Betcha I’ll run faster to that tree—ready,set, GO!

    • Oh Lordy…what memories THIS brought back! One little phrase and I went back in time instantly. Thanks, Myrna!

  18. After reading all the comments from the flock, and my own innate distaste for the word ‘worry’, I found this researching the roots which go back to the German, – might stop us in our tracks next time we decide to use the word, “worry”

    worri·er n.
    Word History: Worrying may shorten one’s life, but not as quickly as it once did. The ancestor of our word, Old Englishwyrgan, meant “to strangle.” Its Middle English descendant, worien, kept this sense and developed the new sense “to grasp by the throat with the teeth and lacerate” or “to kill or injure by biting and shaking.” This is the way wolves or dogs might attack sheep, for example. In the 16th century worry began to be used in the sense “to harass, as by rough treatment or attack,” or “to assault verbally,” and in the 17th century the word took on the sense “to bother, distress, or persecute.” It was a small step from this sense to the main modern senses “to cause to feel anxious or distressed” and “to feel troubled or uneasy,” first recorded in the 19th century.

    • I find I have been using the word anxious, preoccupied, fearful – I think we all know that whatever word we use to describe the emotion? feeling? , it can be draining and lowering of our energy.
      So, Susan, what word do you use that is of a higher energy level?

      • Mary, I have a memory of my mother as she lay in the hospital just a month before she passed on. She was gritting her teeth, sort of quietly grinding away, and I said, “Mom, what’s wrong?” and she replied, “oh, I worry about so many things, dear” (but wouldn’t elaborate). Knowing she was probably not going to be leaving that hospital, knowing that she could not even DO anything about the many things she was worrying about, I just felt utterly sad that this was how she was living her last days, worrying. I remember a minister saying once that instead of worrying, try praying! Talk about a higher energy – and recently in a morning devotional I read, the message was “pray about everything” and then, in faith, thank God already for the results that you can’t even see yet – those words just jumped out of the page – thank God for the results you can’t even see yet, – but they are in motion, and with hope we can believe they will come to fruition in a timing not of our own choosing, but in His own good time. Henri Nouwen’s short meditation for January 16, from Bread for the Journey was also so meaningful to me this week – I’ll copy it out:

        Living with Hope

        Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things — the weather, human relationships, the economy, the political situation, and so on, will get better. Hope is the trust that God will fulfill God’s promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom. The optimist speaks about concrete changes in the future. The person of hope lives in the moment with the knowledge and trust that all of life is in good hands. All the great spiritual leaders in history were people of hope. Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Mary, Jesus, Rumi, Gandhi, and Dorothy Day all lived with a promise in their hearts that guided them toward the future without the need to know exactly what it would look like. Let’s live with hope.

        Thinking too, of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous mountaintop speech, full of hope, though he so aware he would most likely not be alive to see his dream fulfilled.

      • Susan…thanks so much for sharing some of your memories of your dear mother during her final days. What a huge and powerful lesson you have shared with us. It went right to my heart and to my head. I really don’t want to spend even one remarkable, valuable, magical, irretrievable moment mired in worry…and your story really drives that home for me. Thanks Susan and Susan’s mom…still touching so many lives…I feel like your mom ‘donated’ her wisdom to us through you…so special.

      • and thank you both, dear Mary Solomon and Kathye – once in awhile it takes a stretch out there to share things personal, but Kathye, I just know now that my own Mom shines down from above, now free or worry and care. And I am sure she is saying “do not worry!” Love to everyone!

  19. Thank you for the weekend invitation to play as children-
    skipping, hopping, holding hands, giggling, maybe even a
    popsicle thrown in the mix…

    thank you Mary for the great freeing up, gathering up of all our
    inner four year olds….such light, joy, freedom and FUN…tag you’re it…

  20. As Samuel Clemens said, “I’ve known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” There were two times of crisis in my life during which I spent at least five years each going over and over the events in my head, preparing for imaginary conversations that never happened, thinking and rethinking and trying to figure out what was behind what someone said or did. After getting beyond that two different times, I realized I simply didn’t have any more 5 year blocks of time that I cared to devote to such self-imposed agony. I do my best to stay away from any thinking that makes me jittery or unhappy and I have learned to recognize it sooner now. I am not totally there, but so much better than I was during those ten wasted years.

    Another illuminating post, Mary. Thank you.

    • Goodness, I learn just as much from people’s comments here as Mary’s posts inspire me to think. Carol, I can more than relate to your comments and wonder that most of us replay scenarios in our minds that will never happen or may never happen. Going back over how I might have handled things better than I did, there are many times I wonder that I must enjoy the misery I’m putting into my head for it floods in first thing in the morning and sits there like garbage rotting in the sun. Turning off that inner voice of self-criticism is a continual goal. At least I’m becoming more aware of what I’m doing to my mind (and body). Like Carol, I don’t have the luxury of time to go over all the injustices I feel I’ve experienced in this life.

      SandyP on a very windy Sunday morning in Ontario, Canada

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