A cushy life

Fred (surrounded by soft cushions and loving it)

Sometimes when I can’t think of what to write about, I open up a favorite book to see if anything sparks a memory or idea. This morning was one of those mornings, and the book I opened (and the quote below) brought me back to a time when I was single and dating, before I’d gotten sober. I’d met a man in a bar and was instantly infatuated. I gave him my phone number and he told me he’d call the following Friday when he was back in town. I waited all week and when Friday evening came, just as I was expecting his call, a good friend stopped by for a drink.

I didn’t really want to visit with him but didn’t want to be rude either, so as I was making him a drink in the kitchen, the phone rang and to my horror, he yelled to me, “I’ll get it for you” and before I could yell back “No!” he sauntered into the kitchen saying, “Must have been a wrong number.”

I knew it wasn’t. I knew that my dream man, my perfect man, must have called and thought I was married or in a relationship. I was so mad at my friend that I could have pushed him right off the back stairs and shoved him into his car. How dare he pick up  my phone and ruin my chances for future happiness? Of course I didn’t say this, but I wasn’t friendly either.

I don’t remember how I eventually heard this (I did live in a small town) but I was told that the man I’d so wanted to date (to be more honest, I’d already planned a life with him…a wonderful, happy, joy-filled, blissful life) was big trouble. I won’t get into details here, but suffice it to say, I was mightily relieved when I realized that I had just barely missed a date with disaster.

I was so anxious for love, happiness, and  companionship that I was on a constant hungry search and was ready to leap at the first opportunity that looked good. And yet, even though I was pretty nutty at that time, had no sense of higher guidance or God or faith, I was still protected, still loved, still guided. Even when I didn’t recognize this Love at the time, and frankly didn’t want it, it was still there, and that time it showed up in the form of a friend who unknowingly intercepted trouble for me, received no thanks for this, and probably left wondering himself why he picked up the phone.

So many times in my life when I’ve felt helpless and blocked from taking action, a little more time (and a refusal to give up on my vision) revealed the path that was the right one, the step that lead to more Life, the idea that unfolded from good to better. We are surrounded by a sea of infinite good. Life is for us….if we choose to look at it that way, we will see (in time!).

Today just may be the day that the answer you’ve been waiting for will come, the person you’ve been longing to meet will literally bump into you, the opportunity you’ve felt was missing will present itself and you will know that all of the waiting has been perfect. Today is a day for radical trust, faith and enthusiasm.

“If it is not given me to know the course of time, then the best I can do for myself is to be attentive, to watch carefully what is happening, to feel out the direction, to sense what movement I can. It’s like trying to work my way along a wall in the dark: It doesn’t serve me to turn and rail against the wall. It may even have been placed there for my protection.” Hugh Prather, from Notes on Love and Courage

46 thoughts on “A cushy life”

  1. This made me smile in such a happy way. Thanks, Mary. A smile is a good thing to give and receive on a wintry Monday morning!

  2. Oh, Mary, you are so wonderful~ last night’s disturbing dreams of worry-what if-disaster simply left my head as I read your post this morning. Bless you. My improved attitude and I are off to play with the first graders now. 🙂

  3. Hmmm…sorry to relate this to sports but it so speaks to a conversation my 83 year old mom and I had last night about the Super Bowl. She asked me who I was rooting for? I told her I didn’t have a favorite team in the game this year and was just going to watch it for the spectacle of the game and besides, I said, I believe the winning team is already determined. Oh, she said, do you think God is rooting for one team over the other? No I said…but I do believe that in His already laid out plans for someone or someones, it will all come together on this field, at this moment, at this place…it could be a certain player, coach, fan, city, I don’t know, I said, but someone is supposed to win and someone is supposed to lose (and perhaps by losing, actually will win!). And it’s not for us to know who or why…but that is my belief. Then right after halftime, on argueably one of the world’s largest stages, half of the stadium went dark. Half of the lights went out and play was suspended for over 30 minutes. As the cameras focused on the faces of players and coaches as they simply milled around the field waiting, not knowing what was happening, some were sitting alone quietly with towels over their heads, others were exercising to stay ready, others were bouncing around like jumping beans, others were praying…as the lights slowly came back on, everyone felt a difference, even watching at home we felt the energy change. There are no coincidences…it is easy to say it’s just a game…but for some it is much deeper than that …just like Life!

    1. Wow, Kathye, what I take from this is that when we feel like we are up against something insurmountable, or when the lights seem to all go out – this is a huge opportunity to stop, to regroup, to know that the fallow times are actually times of renewal, like that seed sitting silently in the deep, dark earth. Bless your sweet Mom! – Mary, that quote is powerful! Sometimes it does feel like we inch along in our progress like little earthworms, and we get frustrated to not reach our goals maybe as quickly as we would like, but I take great comfort now having this new image to keep in mind. We may be holding on to the walls in the dark, but they also may be there for our protection, allowing us to chew on just enough of what it is we need to accomplish – but forward we move, and that is just fine. Perfect in fact!

  4. Dear Mary, what a wonderful, true story of your sometimes bumpy road along the path to realization. I love the message that even when we don’t fully realize we are being guided by a higher power, we are. This is not only true, but reassuring. Thank you for helping me remember that beautiful, divine guidance doesn’t ebb and flow with the wind…it remains strong and present throughout our lives and in our hearts.

  5. This so resonated with me! I keep hoping that something, someone will show up and be the answer to my quest and relieve the uneasiness. Ha. I like the idea that I need to relax and God’s will for me will come when it is the time for it to happen. I have always been impatient trying to hurry things along the way I think they should be. This reminder takes a weight off my spinning, chattering mind. Be still. Listen. Wait. Accept. Live fully NOW.

  6. mary, another of your ‘spot-on’ posts for me. yes! hugh prather was, and still remains one of my solid authors.

    radical faith, trust and enthusiasm, yes

  7. Mary ~ this was once again a timely post for me! As you know I lost my beloved setter early in December ~ and I received so many lovely posts of sympathy from your readers. I knew that I would get another dog and I contacted a Llewellin Setter breeder who expected to have a litter in May. He had a litter of 10 pups born Dec. 1 and offered me one of those, but I said it was just too soon. Well, it seems God had other ideas. The breeder called about 10 days ago and said the female didn’t appear to have conceived and he probably wouldn’t have a litter until the fall. A long lonely time stretched ahead of me with those words …. until he said he had one pup left from the December litter still and it was a female ~ which was my choice. He said he’d send some pictures and to think about it and call him the next day. Little Tess came home on Friday afternoon. There are still tears over my loss, but they are lessened by the joy and laughter this puppy brings. We are certainly guided by one who knows far better than we do what is the best timing for us!

    1. Great story, Candy, and Mary too.
      Both stories show a greater force,, a greater good than our small Selves that operates unbeknownst to us most of the time. I’ve learned to pay attention to all the small signs along my path. What may seem like a huge problem or a mighty obstacle can be resolved almost instantly.

      1. Thanks Mayadeb. There is surely a time to “Let go, and let God”. We have to listen ~ you put it so well! I think there are lots of stories like Mary’s & mine and Jill’s ~ we just need to listen and follow where we are led ~ not always easy, but somehow always what’s best for us.

    2. Candy, isn’t it funny how “too soon” came at just the right time. That little pup must have been meant for you. I love the name.

    3. I had almost the identical experience, Candy. When my dog Barkley died on St. Patrick’s Day in 2006, I called the breeder to let her know, and she promised me the “best boy” from the summer’s expected litter, which I thought would be “soon enough, but not too soon.” But a week later, she emailed me about the little girl they had kept from their last litter that they expected would be the next great show dog (these are people who have won at Westminster, so they know their dogs). But at 5 months, her teeth came in a little crooked, so they couldn’t show or breed her. Did I want her instead? No, I said, it’s too soon. She’s really beautiful and with a wonderful temperament, they said. No, it’s too soon, I said. But she’s fully house-trained and sleeps through the night, they said. !!!!!????? I’ll be there next weekend to pick her up, I said. And I got on a plane that Saturday and flew back with her that Sunday, and we’ve lived happily ever after ever after. And she was such a balm to my heart through the next few years as I lost first my mother, and then my father. I always thought Barkley would be here to see me through that, but I lost him first and Roxie took his place to see me through. Such a blessing.

      1. Such a beautiful story Jill. I’m so glad that you got your Roxie ~ and just in time! Best to you and thank you for your wishes!

      2. Beautiful, beautiful ….thank you Jill, your story is so encouraging and inspiring

      3. Jill, you didn’t say what breed but I know what you mean about the emotional connection and support some dogs can give. As Jon Katz has said…spirit dogs…and I’ve come to believe that is so.

      4. Sandy, Barkley for sure was a spirit dog for me. I had wanted a dog since I learned to walk; I was the kid who was always showing up at the front door with a stray dog pleading “Can I keep him? PleasePleasePleasePlease! He followed me home!” I didn’t get my dog until I was 45, and he changed my life completely. His vet cried as much as I did when Barkley died, and years later still says “What a special dog he was.” And he was.

      5. My vet was sad too Jill ~ they are very special dogs each in their own way. Chelsea died at home with me and there was nothing either of us could do. I am glad we both found joy in a new friend! And I know about Mr. Rights at the wrong time too!!!

  8. “It doesn’t serve me to turn and rail against the wall. It may even have been placed there for my protection.” Hmmmm! Now why has this not occurred to me since I bat my head against a brick wall many a time.
    SandyP in Canada

  9. I just love checking in here before bed, and seeing all of the lovely names, and over and over again, all these lovely names saying thank you!, blessings, gratitude! I am so happy to be a little birdie in this flock, – thank you ALL!

  10. >Candy: Most fun and frolicking with the new baby, Tess. We too have a recent adoptee and she’s such a joy. The world becomes a new place through the eyes of a happy dog! T’was meant to be….

    1. I meant to tell you too Cheryl how I loved your comment that “The world becomes a new place through the eyes of a happy dog!” It’s apt!

  11. When things turn out fine for us, we like to say “it’s all for the best”. But how do you know you weren’t “trouble” man’s one chance in life of truly loving, settling down, and turning over a new leaf?

    I agree it doesn’t help to rail against reality, and the idea that it may – ultimately – be good for me certainly helps to accept it. But we can’t know that, we can only choose to believe it.

    1. You know, I hardly ever answer questions like this, but I just have to! How do I know that I wasn’t his one chance in life? …because I have finally learned that we never get just one chance in life to have a good life. I know that I’ve probably missed many good and expansive opportunities in my life and yet they keep coming as long as I am willing to keep looking for a better way to live and to think and to be. In this particular case, I also knew deep down that something was wrong. I could feel it was off (before I knew anything about him). Guidance is always there for us….for me, for him and for us all. The Spirit of our being never gives up on us.

      1. I’m glad you came back on Mary. I know I have a problem trying to wrest life into my version of it and how much easier it is to let go and let Someone else take over. I feel better but truly, I’m back at it, instinctively battling my way through a brick wall and I wake up too late wondering why I didn’t remember this from before. That’s why your site is so valuable. Reminders of looking at things differently is a help.

      2. Thank you for this, Mary. I’ve been reflecting lately on what I had long regretted as a missed “opportunity” only to find out recently from a mutual friend that it wasn’t such an opportunity after all. And had I taken that road many, many years ago, an awful lot of other things would not have come my way. I’m not a believer in “predestination” — I do believe we have at least some degree of free will and the ability to “keep looking for a better way to live and to think and to be.” Beautifully put, Mary.

  12. I found it interesting when I re-read this post this morning how readily most of us took to the news of Tess and Roxie finding their new homes and life. We mostly gravitated to the welcome joy of that warm news—as opposed to remembering the ‘guy who answered the phone’.
    I dare say we’ve all dodged the Mr. Wrongs in our life; sometimes needing the lesson more than once. (I’m looking in the mirror!!) But, oh, sweet divinity when we realize how we dodged a possible disaster with another ‘learning moment’.
    And I, for one, revel in keeping company here with a growing flock of positive, unabashed OPTIMISTS! Growing in spirit, day by day, moment by moment.

    1. Optimism indeed Cheryl! Mary told me that there was a community of dog lovers here and that is certainly wonderfully true!! I think rather than forgetting the guy who answered the phone we were affirming that sometimes things happen for a reason. Mary really wanted to hook up with the guy who called which would have been a disaster it seems. And both Jill and I wanted to wait to welcome a new friend to our homes which would not have been good for either of us as it turned out. I’ve certainly dodged my share of Mr. Wrongs (and I’m sure there are those who dodged Miss Wrongs too!) whether by accident or design (I prefer to think it’s a grand design). I’m just so glad that someone who sees the whole big picture rather than just the part visible to us moves in as needed to prevent us from causing ourselves to meet with more disaster!! Yay for the optimists in all of us and for hooking on to happy stories of timing being perfect. And look at how wonderfully Mary’s story turned out with her lovely husband and all her animals in her happy home!! 🙂

  13. I’m so very frustrated with things at work (probably more so with myself). Your message hit the spot again today, Mary. Thanks again for being here – hugs, and I hope you have a great day.


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