Blessed clarity

Eleanor on the radiator (with her head resting on the rosemary plant)
Eleanor on the radiator (with her head resting on the rosemary plant)

A few months ago, someone told me that they found me difficult to be around, and I could feel that this was true. She always did seem to be tense when we got together, and even though we’d known each other for years, she hadn’t ever said this before. I also felt a sense of relief as I realized that for a long time, I thought I was doing her a favor (no ego here !?) by getting together. She’d always struggled with relationships, never had a close friend she could confide in, and I thought I was helping her to grow emotionally….and here she was telling me that she didn’t really enjoy it!

I loved this because now we were both free to spend our time with people that we didn’t feel we were in an endurance contest to connect with, and it helped me to get honest with myself about why I’d been getting together with her. Years ago, her comment would have sent me angrily scrambling to either defend myself, or try to change to be more the person she wanted me to be, or both. When she told me what she really thought, I just felt grateful for the clarity.

What someone else thinks about me is none of my business. My only business is my thoughts about them… and about myself.

“You could write a song about some kind of emotional problem you are having, but it would not be a good song, in my eyes, until it went through a period of sensitivity to a moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity to contribute to the song, it’s just complaining.” Joni Mitchell

8 thoughts on “Blessed clarity”

  1. Oh how good it feels to read your blog again after being away for a few weeks! So much fun to catch up! Like reading a wonderful uplifting spiritual journal! And your message today Mary is such timely positive reinforcement and encouragement for me. I had recently been pondering relationships that nourish me and those that do not. When I feel energy drains and when I feel energy boosts. Where my heart is open and when I feel it begin to close a bit. And what I am doing from a place of obligation versus from a place of love. It sometimes takes a lot of reflection by looking in the mirror to get to my moment of clarity and pure honesty…and the feeling of freedom is so powerful. I love this post! Thank you! Happy Monday!

  2. Dear Mary, I love Joni Mitchell’s quote and your message this morning. I have been going through a period of cleansing those relationships and habits that are not coming from my heart…a re-shaping of the way I am staying true to being honest with myself and with others. Thank you for this reminder about remaining truthful to an inner guidance that asks only that we be loving, kind and loyal to our highest good.

  3. Mary, your message is so on target for me as well. I have been going through this with a long time friend. It has been hard to let go totally, but I heard that she missed her old friend. That isn’t who I am today. I am grateful for that. As our spiritual journey progresses, we change and others are not necessarily going to like that. It is okay to let go.

  4. Thank you for this post – it was something I really needed today. Sometimes I think we hang on to people in our past because we feel obligated to do so. But neither of us are really connected because we have changed and grown into such different people from when we first met. My mother was after me the other day to reconnect again with an old friend but I have tried – and it’s just not there. To force it seems unnatural and almost greedy in many ways.

  5. Welcome back Kathye! – Mary, sounds like your friend was able to say something honestly without being offensive – that would seem a difficult thing to me to actually tell someone that the chemistry isn’t there in a friendship. But she was able to and it freed you both. I’m impressed. I am thinking that if one speaks truthfully, simply, there’s a more likely chance that things won’t be taken the wrong way. And if they are, at least you know that you were speaking up for yourself, and not playing second fiddle in a relationship. I am so glad I went back and read Friday’s post too – there were quite a few more comments from others that I hadn’t seen yet, and really appreciate. One of my all time favorite ever images was from Barbara C-M. Hope you don’t mind Barbara, if I copy/paste it here. There are so many animal lovers in the flock that just might be trying out your technique. 🙂

    Barbara C-M
    Sometimes I tell one of my dogs exactly what I think about someone or a situation in detail and they listen very quietly and patiently, then look at me as if to say, “so then, what exactly is that supposed to mean?”
    That usually helps me to get over a self-important opinion pretty fast and refocus on myself.

  6. Dear Mary,
    How lovely that your friend was able to articulate her feelings honestly and what a great compliment to you that she believed you could accept those feelings!
    How many of us are guiltly of hanging on to a relationship that is no longer positive and perhaps even harmful because we are afraid to be clear!
    Thank you Mary for reminding us about the liberating possibilities of being clear with others and ourselves!
    Love from Fran

  7. Mary, isn’t it wonderful where cats deposit themselves in their homes?
    And how nice that your friend felt comfortable enough with you to be able to say what she needed to say. And how wonderful for you to acknowledge your part in the discomfort of the relationship. This happened with a longtime friend and me in recent years and I felt that I needed to say something to her but frankly, didn’t have enough nerve to disturb the relationship. I finally did, took responsibility for my part in not speaking up when I needed to for myself and while we’re not as close as we were before, we still have a very good and supportive relationship, for which I’m grateful. I loved your honesty in this posting this morning. Try as we might, we are human. We are not always perfect…(who me???….(g)….
    SandyP in Canada

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