In a recent post, I wrote about bringing a book of Thomas Troward’s with me on my trip and my inability to get into it. I thought it would be sort of fun to then use a quote from Troward in that post. The next post, I did the same thing. Going to bed several nights ago, I picked up one of his books again and read:
“We have never been out of our right path, only we have been walking in it backward instead of forwards, and now that we have begun to follow the path in the right direction, we find it is none other than the way of peace and the path of joy.” pg 79-80 Thomas Troward, The Hidden Power, 1902
In the pages before this statement, he is talking about looking for only the good, the lovely, the right, in every situation (past, present and future) and that this change of mental focus, will in fact change our lives.
For years I struggled with my conception of my parents. It was almost impossible for me to see anything they had done right. It seemed like the closest thing that I could come to feeling true affection for them, was to feel sorry for them. I had little genuine appreciation for who they were or how they were as parents. I had sort of made peace with this by saying, “They did the best they could”, but this was a luke-warm, half-hearted attempt at (at least) acceptance. Deep down, I thought they had come up short as parents…and people.
When I decided to think about (and write stories about) them as amazing, enlightened, and wonderful, parents, it felt like pure fiction (which was fine with me). But gradually, I began to see them differently…and I began to feel them as different people. I noticed that I was actually interested in what they would say next instead of tolerating or humoring them.
I had no idea that I was the one holding them (in my own mind) in a fixed position. When I looked for their shortcomings, deficiencies, and inadequacies, that is all I saw. When I changed my mind, they began to change too. I had always been on my right path, only I had been looking for the wrong instead of the right.
I met with an old friend yesterday afternoon (who I hadn’t seen since high school) and she told me how she felt welcomed at my home when we were kids, and that my parents were both so nice to her. No friend had ever said that to me before.