take the love….. leave the judgement

Dream Big (my latest painting, acrylic on very old, thick board)*

Dream Big (my latest painting, acrylic on very old, thick board)**

There is a scene in the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, where George has just gotten married and he runs into his uncle Billy, who was not at the wedding because he forgot about it. Uncle Billy forgets a lot and he also drinks a lot. The two seem to be related. Uncle Billy says to George, “Was it a nice wedding, George?…” and George smiles, points to one of the many strings that Uncle Billy has tied around his fingers (to remind him not to forget things) and says, “You can take this one off now”.

There was so much acceptance in that brief exchange of love.

A few years ago,I was listening to a woman* in a spiritual workshop complain that her mother kept sending her expensive containers of frozen wheatgrass juice which she did not want to drink. This woman had cancer and her mother thought that wheatgrass juice could be healing. The woman was angry with her mother for persisting in sending something that she didn’t want. The leader of the workshop then said, “Keep the love and throw the wheatgrass out”.

So many things have love as their essence, yet if I am unable or unwilling to see the love hidden in the message/gift, I miss out. I grew up with a family member who was a “big talker” when it came to fantastic plans for the future ….but  he wasn’t big on follow-through.  This aspect of him was criticized by everyone in the family to the point where almost anything he said was ignored and his promises scoffed at. It never occurred to me that his promises were full of love for me. It never occurred to me that I could take the love that was being offered in that moment, and let go of the future.

I had a conversation with him last week and he said, “Next year, we are going to go on a big trip together….maybe Paris or somewhere fantastic” and I smiled and said, “I love that idea”, and that was the truth. Will we go? Maybe. Maybe not….but it doesn’t matter to me. I felt his love for me and I kept it!

*”Keep the love and throw the wheatgrass out”   from a live workshop given by Carolyn Myss

 

* this painting and others are for sale on MY ARTWORK page

17 thoughts on “take the love….. leave the judgement

  1. What a great thing to do. We will all be happier when we just “accept” Thank you Mary for pointing this out.

  2. Mary, your painting is wonderful, subtle values and highlights, delicately painted, it lifts off the wood and yet melts down into it as though it always was there.

    As to accepting love without strings attached, when it’s on our own doorstep….I guess I’m never going to get over being somewhat cynical when it comes to certain people with whom I’ve had the experience of realizing just how ‘things’ are. I wish I could be different. I was raised to believe that people were as good as their word, so truthfully, I’m in conflict here. I can accept that people are the way they ‘are’ and appreciate the non-monetary gifts given to me, but my reality speaks differently. And yes, there are times when it’s best to let things slide and let them be.
    Sandy P in Canada

  3. Every single thing about your post this morning Mary…your wonderful painting, your compelling message, its title, the quote…jumped right from the page and into my heart! While your thoughtful counsel always speaks to me, this just totally drew me in and lifted me up! And the gift of love that you give back to your family member by validating his dream and intention, whether it be his fantasy or become reality (like you said, it doesn’t matter) is just beautiful. It seems like you have let go of the past and let go of the future all at once…and hung on to the love in the moment. Thank you for sharing this wonderful and oh so valuable lesson.

  4. Mary, you have such a way of making me (us) see things in a way we hadn’t seen them before ~ thank you for this wonderful message today.
    My dad once gave me a small plastic clock and while it isn’t something I would have purchased, it hangs to this day in my home…given with live ❤️

  5. Mary, it sounds like you (and George Bailey) listened with love. It sounds so simple, but can be so hard to do.

  6. Very much relate to this post Mary. My mom was always on the health kick, self help wave of the moment. Even as adults we get links from her on social media. Both my sisters in law have told my brothers to be grateful mom is still here to show she cares. They both list their moms too early in life.

  7. This tiny message arrived in the form of one big shaker of an earthquake, Mary!
    I have spent most of my life many thousands of miles away from my family and long distance signs of love usually arrive in the form of presents (@birthdays, Xmas, graduation, etc.) that were not always wanted, needed, or cherished with quite the same feelings that they had been chosen, wrapped with and sent on their merry way. In order to cut down on the less than truthful thank you notes, l asked last year that friends and family invest in long distance phone calls or spend an hour on skype with us instead. This suggestion, unfortunately, ran into quite a bit of resistance – l was told that a gift’s purpose is to remind us of a special person and event – surely, something a phone call could not provide! So l continue to supply our local 2nd hand stores with nice things to sell…and l keep the warm smile in my heart…

  8. When my mother died suddenly, I was left with so much remorse and sadness. Things undone and unsaid. Upon arriving at my mother’s house after she passed, I found my only sibling plowing through her desk and throwing things out as fast as he could get his hands on them. I rather bluntly asked him to STOP….my mother’s funeral was the next day and, in addition to finding it rather insensitive to do this before the funeral, I had waited a lifetime to carefully go through her desk….her place of private thoughts, her life. He relented but said I would be alone to do everything as he had to leave the day after the funeral. I accepted this willingly. After mother’s funeral, the time had come. I sat in her chair with the cushion she had needle pointed many, many years back (which I still have with me) and opened myself up to share in all her secrets she had left behind. Among the items were many of the cards I had sent her through the years. Suddenly, I came to one particular card from me on which she had written — “my very favorite”……my heart swelled with love that she had cared enough to keep it. I still treasure this hidden jewel and feel I was right in saying STOP…….she left it for me to find and so we could connect in this final way.

    • Elizabeth,
      Your post was just lovely.
      My mom is 97 and I wonder every day what I should do to ensure that every day left will be one of love, understanding and compassion.
      Your post went right to my heart. Thank you.

      • Oh Suzanne, thank you for your kind comments and how very, very blessed you are, indeed, to still have your mother with you. As I have matured and look back, I feel very lucky to have had a second chance or “do-over”. My beloved Godmother was as much a mother to me as my own. I was a late baby so my time with daddy and mom was limited. This was such an amazing gift to me – to sit with my Godmother (who had Alzheimer’s but never forgot me) and share special little treasures with her — how she had me try on her wedding gown and since I was about 6 inches taller we laughed and laughed; how I stayed with them for two weeks after mom died so I could clear out her house and she told me years later they heard me cry in her shower every night — never knowing they heard me; to tell her something as simple as you were always there for me; one of the last times I saw her, I put her hands in mine and looked deep into her beautiful eyes and asked her if she knew what a difference she had made in my life – how different and sad it might have been without her…..her response was “Oh, honey, I don’t deserve this” and I said “yes you do and more”; to remind your own mother something special she did for you whether young or old; how she explained what happens to a young woman; how she taught you to cook or even how to burp a baby. The “what” is not as important as the tiny gift of what I call a “love memory”. Sit down together and write down things that each of you did for the other or funny things you remember and then share, laugh, cry, hug. I hope these memories will be saved for the next generation. By doing this, you can show her in a very simple way the many “love memories” you hope to keep, to remember, to share and for her to know how very, very much she meant to you. I will say a special prayer for your mother tonight…..that she will realize what a lovely daughter she has and how fortunate you are to have each other.

    • Elizabeth,
      Your response was so beautiful and heartfelt. You gave me such excellent guidance, and I will definitely make it part of my days with my mom.
      I’m so happy that your sweet Godmother remembered you! I know that meant so much to you and that you were a light to her.
      Small mercies are the biggest blessings.
      Thank you for being so kind. I wish you much love and peace.

      • Suzanne – one last note – I totally agree and love what you said about small mercies are the biggest blessings. Mom (Godmother) was in a nursing home about 1-1/2 hours from where I live now. Allison (her youngest daughter) called me late the afternoon before the first high school reunion I had ever planned to attended. Never lived close enough in the past. She said that the wonderful hospice workers said she did not have long to live. I immediately cancelled my hotel reservations and my ticket for the high school class reunion and was down the mountain and with Mom by 7:30 a.m. the next morning. She was what I would call in the twilight time — able to hear earthy voices but progressing on her trip home. I hugged and kissed her, held her and told her how much she meant to me, how she had changed my life and how very, very much I loved her. We had our time together and I feel quite sure she knew, somehow, I was there. Both of her daughters had been to see her the day before and Allison was getting ready to come back — she had no idea I had gotten there so early. The sweet aides came in and said they needed to change her bedding. I said, “Mom I will be right back”……..in the time it took me to get up out of the chair I had right by her bed and turned around, she was gone. I was sort of in a state of shock because the aides did not tell me this had happened when I literally stopped holding her hand and turned around. Allison arrived and told me she thought Mom had waited on me to come and say good-bye. She had always called me her 3rd daughter and it was truly an honor. After they had her ready a bit later, she looked so peaceful. I got to, again, kiss her, ask God for his blessings and tell her how much I loved her. This gift was something I will take with me to my death. I was truly blessed to have two Moms. I wish you much love and time with your mom. I hope every day can be special.

  9. Oh, this is sooo important. Sometimes I get a gift and I think: “How could X possibly think I’d like this? You reminded me that the ITEM sometimes has nothing to do with the GIFT!

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