time to reflect

Fred resting

Fred resting

Several years ago, I had an appointment that I was running late for. I raced around and finally arrived on time but a little breathless. I sat in the waiting area for 45 minutes. When the person, who I’d come to see, came out of her office to greet me, she didn’t offer one word of explanation or apology. …as a matter of fact, she acted like she was slightly annoyed to see me. The thoughts that began running through my mind were, “She doesn’t think my time is valuable. She is inconsiderate.” I felt angry and exasperated and thought maybe I wouldn’t see her anymore.

But when I really looked at my own thoughts, it was clear that I was the one who didn’t value my time and was being inconsiderate,…not to her, but to myself. If I truly valued my time would I waste it in resentful, angry thoughts? If I truly thought my life was precious, would I knowingly consent to filling myself with life-draining, victimizing thoughts that as a by-product shoot all sorts of destructive chemicals into my body, weakening my immune system and draining me of my energy? No. ….but that was exactly what I was doing.

Once I realized it, I began to say thank you, in my mind, to this woman who had given me the opportunity to see myself clearly and dislodge (if I chose) old, victim thoughts. Suddenly she said, “I am so sorry about being late today….” and she asked if I had some time to talk about something going on in her life.

No matter how many times it happens, I am always a little surprised at how perfectly the world reflects my state of mind and my beliefs about myself….and how simple it is to change, once I really see what’s happening, and decide I want a happier life.

The world is your perception of it. Inside and outside always match; they’re reflections of each other. The world is the mirror image of your mind. If you experience chaos and confusion inside, your external world has to reflect that. You have to see what you believe, because you are the confused thinker looking out and seeing yourself. You’re the interpreter of everything,….even if Jesus, even if the Buddha, were standing in front of you and speaking, you’d only hear confused words, because confusion would be the listener“.  Byron Katie from , Question Your Thinking, Change the World

19 thoughts on “time to reflect

  1. You’re absolutely right about how our perception of the world affects us and alters our behaviour. I have felt this same experience particularly in doctor’s offices and while I understand how difficult it is to limit patient’s time throughout the day and nor would I want a doctor to spend less time with a needy patient, I now call prior to leaving, if I know that I will be sitting awhile (and often this is not the unusual with that person but the usual) and ask how the time frame is working for that person that I have an appt.with. I know that I don’t have the patience to sit in an office when my schedule is tight itself. I’m glad the person you were meeting offered an apology but I’m also wondering if there is another way of handling these feelings of frustration that I’m sure most of us feel when our time is imposed upon. Calming myself down is the first step but I’m not subjecting myself to another person’s scheduling when it’s predictably going to hold me up.
    SandyP in Canada

  2. This post is so helpful to me, and I’m sure to many others. I’ll try to keep these words in mind next time I have a long wait. Thanks, Mary!!

  3. This entire post is being copied into my WFF folder. As for doctor’s offices or other places you may experience long waits, I never go anywhere without a book. That way, your time is not being imposed upon. You are one page away from entering the world of your choice, whisked away from the confines of that office or airport to be with whomever (author) is waiting to tell just you! what you need to hear. Hurray for books! and Hurray for Mary Muncil and her Mighty Flock!

  4. I spent many years in Catholic school. It changed my DNA and I can never be late for ANYTHING. So when I have the experience of almost killing myself to get to an appointment on time only to wait and wait, I have two emotions: first I am happy that I wasn’t the one late, and second, I feel building anger that I put myself through that rush only to be held up in the office. Like Sandy P., I, too, now call ahead to see how behind the doctor, or whoever, is running, and I proceed accordingly. One less moment of aggravation.

    It’s tough work changing your attitude but it can bring huge rewards. Today is my birthday and I’m giving myself the gift of making sure that, at least for today, I look at everything in a positive light. Who knows? Maybe it will take the nuns out of my genes. 🙂

    • Happy Birthday dear Suzanne! Do something fun today, wild, crazy!, and a delicious treat, calories dismissed. I laughed out loud when you said “maybe it will take the nuns out of my genes!”

      • Thanks, Susan, for your good wishes and for the dismissal of the calories! That was a nice cyber-gift, and I intend to cash in on it. 🙂

    • Suzanne, Happy Birthday, we are three days apart and likely some years as well. I know that when I loose my blob it is up to me to have an attitude change first because it helps lessen my frustration. However, I know myself well enough that sitting and reading a book, which I used to do, doesn’t cut it any more as I get older. On the other hand, there are times when delays happen with appts. and they can’t be helped. This wasn’t the point of Mary’s posting…I know. The point is…we’re the ones, if we react to something or anything, that we are the ones who need to do something about it. Byron Katie’s quote is so on the mark but I’m not sure it helps me when I loose my blob which can happen in an instant. Logic doesn’t work when the steam is coming out my ears…
      Treat yourself to something special today, Suzanne…another Virgo…yea!
      SandyP in Canada

      • Thank you, Sandy! So many times I almost feel that I’ve written your comment…we think alike in many ways. Happy Birthday to you, too, whether belated or yet to come.

  5. I seldom write to thank you for your messages that are all meaningful to me but it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you. You make me a better person. And I can never see enough of FRED!

  6. Happy Birthday Suzanne! Thank you Mary for all the wise reminders that I tuck away to be more patient and forgiving to ourselves and others who we encounter in our lives every day. You have made such a difference in ME.

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