My side of the story: awful or awe-inspiring?

Ben and Noah napping together
Ben and Noah napping together

I woke up this morning with two thoughts running through my mind. The first was, “You do not have to do anything to be loving, you are Love. Just stop doing and thinking non-loving things.” The second thought was about my former mother-in-law.

From the moment that we met, we were uncomfortable with each other, and that didn’t change over the years that I was married to her son, my ex husband, Tom.  I had a lot of complaints about her, and she about me. One day, I was voicing my unhappiness about the way that she treated me to someone who knew us both, and this person basically said, “I can see both sides.” I was livid. What did she mean by both sides?! In my mind there was one side (well, one right side at any rate) and that was mine. How dare she think that I had anything to do with the problems in this relationship.

At that point in my life, I didn’t know how to honestly look at myself and say, “What is this showing me about me? or Am I treating her the way that I would like to be treated: am I applying the Golden Rule by not thinking about her what I wouldn’t want thought about me?” These questions, which I have now come to know as the keys to clarity and inner peace, were not a part of my consciousness at that time, so I had two options: blame her or blame me.

I thought critical, judgemental thoughts about her whenever we were together (and a lot in between) but put on a fake, happy face and smile when I was with her, and couldn’t understand why she was such a (blank) to me. I didn’t believe that my thoughts had anything to do with my outer, external world….or my inner world.

I didn’t know that my thoughts could make me so unhappy, but I do now. And NOW is where all transformation happens. The past is over, or it can be, now. The moment that I stop thinking thoughts that block who I really am, and who the other person really is, the truth (which is beyond sides and stories) bubbles up and it is awe-inspiring.

“You want to be loved because you do not love: but the moment you love, it is finished, you are no longer inquiring whether or not somebody loves you.” J. Krishnamurti

8 thoughts on “My side of the story: awful or awe-inspiring?”

  1. Mary, you have a very fertile mind. I sometimes wonder how you dig things out and inspect them and see them differently than you have in the past. It’s what I like about you, that you can be frank and open about yourself and how your perspective has changed over the years to where you are now. Two things struck me: When people say ‘Well, there is always two sides to a story” it gets my hackles up. All it takes is for one person in a relationship to step aside and create issues with another and the other to react in whatever way, often not in the most beneficial way and there you have it…two sides…To me, there are no two sides but many sides and who cares, people look to blame one or the other in a relationship. And then “so I had two options: blame her or blame me” and I think you’ve said it all. My MIL and my husband jokingly used to say: “if I can’t blame you, who can I blame” and they would chuckle merrily. I never found it funny. I was just glad I married into the family when I was old enough not to buy into that nonsense. And I’m running out of space, as usual.. Sandy P in Canada

  2. What a great reminder to examine frayed relationships. To all the WWF… Have a blessed weekend

  3. I had a rocky relationship with my MIL decades ago. One day, I just stopped caring what she thought about me. After that, everything was peaceful. So instead of feeling you have to force good thoughts into your head, it works also if you just stop investing energy in that direction.

    Today, if I think of her and remember some of the poison she heaped on me, I may start to feel the resentment I felt then, but now it doesn’t matter because she died 20 years ago.

    This, too, shall pass. A happy weekend to all!

  4. I had a dear friend say almost the same to me about my mother-in-law. I was telling her about something my mother-in-law had done, and she said to me: “But you would take offense at anything she did, Charlotte.” I had the same reaction that you did, Mary, and it took me years to see that she was right.

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