No trouble here

Fred sleeping with Noah's paws pressed into his head!
Fred sleeping with Noah’s big paws pressed into his head

The other day, my brother told me that my mother wanted to ask me a question but was afraid to, so he was posing the question to me as an intermediary. As I read his email my mind began to say, “What does he mean by that?”….I started to take offence. And then I paused, and my next thought was, “I can see how she might be afraid. I’ve snapped at her in the past, ignored her questions, or dismissed them as silly. I can see how she might be afraid.”

I suddenly saw his statement, not necessarily as the whole Truth of my being, but as one person’s experience. My mind wanted to make up all sorts of reasons why he was wrong, how this couldn’t be true, wonder why my brother has said what he did with so little tact?”…but what happened next was wonderful. I laughed. I thought, “I can see how she might be afraid. In the future, I am going to be more open to her questions.”

But what to do now?

It was simple: I answered the question posed by my brother, to be delivered by him to my mother. The entire situation took about 30 seconds, and I didn’t give it another thought until I was sitting here this morning, asking myself what to write about today.

I’ve had a tendency to over-think things in my life. I used to go to parties and would leave feeling good, but on the way home I’d start dissecting conversations, looks, and gestures, by others. I could leave a situation feeling pretty good, but by the time I got home, and my mind had ripped the evening apart, looking for the hidden meanings in the words of others, or suddenly and with horror, remember my own comments (which I was then sure were inappropriate) I could be feeling lower than low. My life was a battle-ground that was fought mostly within the confines of my own mind.

I try not to look for trouble anymore. I try not to manufacture sad, scary, unhappy stories.  If someone says, “It is wonderful to see you!” I try to believe them. If they say, “I’ve been afraid to talk to you.” I try to believe that too. …both are the truth of their experience, a part of their story, and they have a right to their feelings, and me to mine.

Life can be really simple, and such an adventure…if that’s the story that I choose to tell.

“I have had more trouble with D.L. Moody than with any other man who has crossed my path.” Dwight L. Moody

12 thoughts on “No trouble here”

  1. Oh, I just love this quote from DL Moody and will think of it when my mind begins to wander, question, or otherwise make trouble for me ~ thanks for sharing!
    I really like how you handled your brother’s question, Mary, do you think we are finally reaching maturity? LOL. Perhaps age and many experiences have made us wiser. Love and hugs to you my friend. xoxo

  2. My sister once said the same thing to me – that my parents were afraid of me. I could not figure that out at the time since I was the one who felt afraid of my parents. I, too, was very snippy and short with them which no doubt created a fear in them in talking with me. The fear went back and forth.

    The same thing has occurred with conversations with my sons and me. There are times when I am afraid of them and what is said to me and how it is said to me. And they are probably afraid of what I might say to them and how I might say it to them.

    How do we stop this cycle of fear? We are both predisposed to a fear of what might be said and just awaiting it (eagerly?). How do we make a change in our predisposition of anticipating something negative?

  3. Mary, so much rumbled through my mind as I read your posting this morning…first question I asked myself… would I feel comfortable having a third person intervene for another who could not speak to me directly (this comes from my own issues of dealing with a step-daughter, who from the time she moved into my home at 9 years of age, was like a Judas in my life…and yet, her own mother left her when she was five years old, taking two of her female siblings with her, leaving her with her brother and father and I knew she had been badly affected by this) I always asked to be spoken to directly when she had issues with me…and for 40 years I was unsuccessful in this… you see where this was coming from with me. It’s funny what comes out in the communication with others such as here with your postings. You took the sting out of the situation by responding as you did. Emotional maturity might have something to do with it…how many years does it take to get to that point…(smile)….I still have to remind myself in my 70’s to behave and think without feeling defensive for myself.
    SandyP in Canada

  4. Very relevant for me today as I tend to think too much according to my husband! Thank you for the words and for your precious cat pictures.

  5. Others have shared here before that wonderful quotation by Julian of Norwich, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” I am holding that 14th century lady to her word – anticipating wellness instead of conflict when confronting a difficult situation – or at least solutions to problems. Don’t you get tired of people beginning sentences with “the problem is….”

    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manners of things shall be well.

  6. I love my father, and now that he’s gone, I miss him terribly. However, growing up, I felt I always had to defend my words, thoughts and anything else that was uniquely me. He gave the impression of downplaying the importance of what I said. And so I grew up, picking apart my own words, as well as comments and gestures made by others.

    It has taken me to my current age (71) to realize what I’ve been doing and to put a stop to it. Problem is, my son has a tendency to do the same thing my dad did. I told him there are some family traditions that are best not carried forward.

    Love the quote, Mary, and love the post. It’s always comforting to see that one is not alone in doing some of the human stuff that we do.

    1. That’s okay, Suzanne, I think we all carry baggage and I find it interesting to see how mine come out in response to Mary’s thoughtful postings….I wonder, do we ever leave some hurtful things behind. Lughead is right…I’m lining up for Lughead #2.
      SandyP in canada

  7. Susan, I too love the quote by Julian of Norwich and have used it often. It just makes so much sense to me and makes my tense limbs relax. Thank you Mary for your sharp wisdom, as always and also the comments from the flock.

  8. Cranio-sacral therapy performed by Noah, the navigator!

    They shoulda named me Lughead with all the over thinking I’m guilty of. I’ve been so all over myself, I can’t get out of my own way!!! I love the honest human cleansing I find here on the Farm. Thankfully, we’re staring down the long, gray days of winter reflection—that and hot, homemade soup! I always reconsider everything by Spring…..

  9. Hi Mary, I tried to send you an e-mail with pics of my new kitty and me but it said “sent” twice then said that the mail was aborted in o seconds! I have your e-mail. I think I had 5 pics on it. Is that why? Do you have any ideas for me? Sorry to ask you this here. But I wanted you to see these! I guess I’m like Dwight L. Moody. I just can’t seem to get out of my own way here. 🙂 Cindy

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