Back on the path of love…again and again

Good Morning Love!

Good Morning Love! (my latest painting*)

I was sitting here this morning thinking about friendship and a memory popped up from when I was about 11 years old. A girl from my class and I were playing at her house, and when it was time for me to leave, she walked me home. I was about to go into my house when she said, “Now you should walk me home.” I didn’t want to do it and told her that. I can remember feeling like it was a courageous thing to tell someone that I didn’t want to do something that they wanted. She then told me that I wasn’t a friend and that I wasn’t nice. I was devastated….and so I walked her home.

It seemed like I spent the next 40 years of my life trying to be the kind of friend, sister, daughter, mother, wife, employee…(the list could go on and on) who other people wanted me to be, until I lost myself so completely that I feared if someone was mad at me or didn’t like me, I would be somehow cast into the outer darkness of life. I know that this sounds dramatic, but it is how I felt. I wanted to meet everyone’s expectations of what a friend should be, but since everyone was so different, I was living in a constant state of anxiety that I would somehow fall short.

What I had also done, because of my fear of being unliked and unloved, is I’d drawn very critical, unloving, people into my life. I felt like I could never be good enough and so I drew to me people who mirrored this belief and reinforced it. Fear is a powerful force when it goes unrecognized.

As I became more conscious of this, I began to search for my authentic self. I sensed that “she” was inside somewhere and that she wasn’t this insecure, oversolicitous, anxious, person that I had become. I made a decision to discover her and to spend the rest of my life honoring this part of me; to look for what I was doing right instead of wrong and to honor my inner voice instead of trying to get others to like me. When the fears about what I thought someone was thinking about me crept in I would say to myself, “It isn’t important if ‘they’ like me or not. It is only important if I like me.” I began to try to think kind thoughts about myself and to try not speculate about what others were thinking about me.

The more that my mind cleared (and the mind will always clear when we begin to think thoughts of harmony, kindness, happiness and peace) the more I could see that these people, who I had tried so hard to please, were not just unhappy with me. As I took a step back, I could see that they were pretty much unhappy with everyone and lived in a state of conflict and struggle with the world…just as I had. I also realized that they had played an important role in my life; they were simply the outpicturing of my thoughts about myself…and often my thoughts about them.

I don’t want to make it sound like now, I don’t care what anyone thinks of me or that I am totally serene and secure within myself at all times. But what I do now is I catch it sooner when I am feeling like I am wrong or bad or unlovable. When I find myself in one of these unhappy states of mind, with a little investigation, I can see that these feelings are coming from my own thoughts about myself or others and I know that it is time for a course correction…it’s time to take my own hand and gently direct myself back to the path of loving, gentle, kind, encouraging, thoughts.

 

 

“One day a girl told me of her difficulties in working with her employer. She was convinced that he unjustly criticized and rejected her very best efforts. Upon hearing her story, I explained that if she thought him unfair, it was a sure sign that she herself was in need of a new conversation piece. There was no doubt but that she was mentally arguing with her employer, for others only echo that which we whisper to them in secret.
She confessed that she argued mentally with him all day long. When she realized what she had been doing, she agreed to change her inner conversations with her employer. She imagined that he had congratulated her on her fine work, and that she in turn had thanked him for his praise and kindness. To her great delight, she soon discovered that her own attitude was the cause of all that befell her. The behavior of her employer reversed itself. It echoed, as it had always done, her mental conversations with him.” Neville Goddard

 

*This painting and others are for sale on MY ARTWORK PAGE

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Back on the path of love…again and again

  1. Mary, I spent a good deal of my life trying to make everyone happy until I realized that they had sucked the very life from me and I didn’t have time to be happy with myself. At first I thought I was being selfish for taking time for myself, saying no to some requests, and then I realized that there are people who will drain you of all energies if you allow it. Your blog was wonderful and thank you for sharing! Bless you! Sandy

  2. Dear Mary, what a refreshing and beautiful entry today. I really needed to hear this, as I have been struggling with self doubt and negative thinking. I find it so easy and comfortable to be loving and kind towards others and yet so critical with myself. Your story gives me faith and hope. Thank you!

  3. Mary , I am astounded in how well you expressed the inner distress I had been feeling for so long. In recent weeks much has happened in my life to cause even more self doubt and inner conflict . Yet thanks to your writings I am able to ” come back to myself ” , to reassure myself of my own integrity. And to actually experience times of relief when I read your words . I am grateful that I do have a chance yet in life to go forth and embrace this very idea of standing tall in my own self knowledge and breathe a new sense of peace into my life every day. .

  4. Goodness, Mary, are you living inside my head or what? In recent years I’ve also tried very hard to be more true to myself rather than in pleasing others, which I’ve done a considerable amount of in my life. I’ve also found in doing so that it can be risky. Will my friendships continue? Will I continue to be liked or thought of as a cantankerous old ‘bag’ that everyone says: “have you noticed how much she has changed?”.

    Several years ago, wanting to spend an overseas holiday with a friend of many years, we began planning where we would be going…a Buddhist retreat off the west coast of Scotland. She then, several months later asked if one of her other friends, someone I really do not know, could join us. Feeling that two’s fine, three’s not always easy in making decisions for a trip, I said, okay…and then, the trouble began. This other friend had no consideration at all for me. I knew I couldn’t travel with her and backed out of the trip. It was difficult for my friend to understand as I didn’t explain why, just said that my B&B would be too busy at the time of year when the trip occurred. Maybe one day I’ll have the courage to explain why…and maybe it doesn’t matter now anyway. But it was risky for me at the time but it was not the wrong decision for me. This is a posting to keep, Mary and thanks for putting into words what I feel and others I think as well.
    Sandy P in Canada.

  5. Another keeper of a post. The first thing I noticed though was your artwork – Not sure if you intended it – but I saw “God Morning.” Your words and those of Neville are just priceless.

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