A 180

HoneyBear (a friend's dog who, through her loving attention and training has gone from an unsocialized street dog to become a well-adjusted, happy little girl!
HoneyBear (a friend’s dog who, through Wendy’s loving attention and training, has been transformed from a street-dog into a well-adjusted, happy little girl. Wendy kept looking for what HoneyBear was doing right …not wrong, and eventually that is who she became.)

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.


5 thoughts on “A 180”

  1. Dear Mary, thank you for this gentle reminder that it’s really attitude and intent that creates happiness or sadness, not circumstances. I needed to hear these words of wisdom today!

  2. Sometimes good thoughts and feelings come from the most unexpected places. So happy you enjoyed the time spent with your HS friend and how wonderful that her comment made you feel happy.
    As I read this post I couldn’t help think of my mother and how she would benefit from applying your suggestions of rewriting her memories. While her mother coud be difficult, I think my mom has blown this up in her mind to something bordering abuse! Perhaps your post might just be lying around for discussion during her visit in June. Love you, Marian

  3. HoneyBear is adorable, and cheers to your friend Wendy for bringing out the best in her. What a wise post. You are so right: the people closest to us (family) deserve our interest and compassion, too. It seems like that lesson takes a long time to learn.

  4. Mary, it’s interesting how this blog, which helps others, also helps you as well. I think it’s very hard for children who have grown up knowing a parent one way to see them in a different way later in life. Our thoughts and feelings are so ingrained as to seldom changing, yet if they do or when they do, it’s nothing but a blessing for us with long-held beliefs and feelings and I suspect, anger as well. It does us no good to hold onto things yet, I know I do it, others do it…and it’s such a waste but trying to convince my mind or ego of this is another matter entirely.
    Sandy P in Canada.

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