being great

chillin with Fred

Fred chillin’ on the couch

Just this morning, I had a conversation with someone who told me that a person we both knew made a very disparaging comment about me. My first reaction was somewhat defensive, although I didn’t fully voice what I was thinking because I’ve learned that if some apparently negative thing is in my life, then it is for me….even when it feels awful.

However, my mind did jump to the thought, “Why today!? I had just made a resolution to really step into a life of non-fear, non-judgement, and higher thought and now I have to deal with this.” And then another part of me, the deeper, calmer, more connected part, recognized the situation for what it was; a reflection of my own mind. So, this guy talked about me? Guess what? I’ve talked about him too, and what I said was none too nice either. If I really want to see myself clearly then I can never dismiss the situations, comments, or information that comes to me. It is always pointing me back to myself, and the bigger the emotional charge I get, the more it is telling me that I have some aspect of this hidden inside, underneath, or around, the very thing that I am upset about. Basically, if I am angry that someone is doing something to me, then I can be sure that I am doing the same thing somewhere in my life, either to them, to myself or to someone else.

When I woke up this morning, after having a wonderful dream that Meryl Streep was handing me large pieces of delicious chocolate cake with lemon frosting (if any of you out there interpret dreams, I’d love your feedback on that one!) I didn’t have a real focus for writing a post, and thought about doing some light-weight entry like, “Let’s all begin this new year by being present….blah, blah..” Not that being present isn’t the thing to do, but I really like to write about what feels real to me and I don’t enjoy platitudes and I don’t want to hide from myself any longer.

So my question today isn’t, “Why did he say that?” it is, “Am I ready to really stop talking/thinking negatively about people? Even if I feel upset by them? Even if I don’t particularly care for them? Even if they don’t like me and they voice that? Even if there is something burning inside that I am thinking, and want to say so bad that I feel like I’ll explode if I don’t?”

And my answer is “Yes. I am”. There really is no other place to go. I’ve come a long way in this area of life, but the conversation this morning showed me that I still have more to do or even better stated, I have less negative talking, thinking, and acting to do. I truly believe that we are all perfect underneath the shell, crust, and film, that has sort of built up around us as we live this human existence. I am starting to see that we don’t have to do anything to be great, we just have to stop doing un-great things.

So in this new year, I resolve to stop doing un-great things, to be easy on myself when I find myself doing un-great things, and to be easy on others who are doing un-great things too.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, fun, delightful, amazing, prosperous, and great 2015!

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”Eleanor Roosevelt

49 thoughts on “being great

  1. What a great reminder for all of us! I catch myself doing it all the time, and it’s difficult not to judge others. People are complex creatures and when you work closely with them it’s sometimes unavoidable, however, i think i will keep my comments to myself. I hope you are successful with your resolution for 2015. As for the dream, try orange icing. Lemon and chocolate doesn’t mix too well. And chocolate is always a good idea. As for Meryl Streep, I’ve got nothing.

  2. Happy New Year to you, Mary, and all your readers. I always say this to myself when negative thoughts come into my mind about another person’s comments. “What other people think or say about me, is just none of my business” and I continue on with my day with a smile on my face and a prayer on my lips.

    • Thank you Bernadette and I agree with you and I have also found that when someone says something and I feel a lot of emotion around it, there is a “gift” in it for me. Often I’ve found that they are only voicing my inner critic (which then gives me the opportunity to clear that negative thought I’ve been carrying around about myself but not really wanting to look at).

  3. Dear Mary, I love Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote….and your post so aptly states how important it is to strive for more ‘great things’ instead of ‘un-great things’. Being the commander of one’s thoughts is a full time job! I find that self-awareness requires great humility, self acceptance, wisdom and a willingness to be guided by divine energy. Thank you for your always present, honest and enlightening awareness and touching, poignant posts. My mornings are always blessed when I read your blog and I am so very grateful to know that I can always turn to Mary’s posts for uplifting, stimulating, fun and reassuring words of wisdom and grace. I hope this upcoming New Year brings you love, joy, wonder and all your heart desires.

  4. Love it Mary. I have been doing some of the same soul searching. This entry was a timely one for me. Happy New Year!!

  5. Mary, thank heavens you didn’t choose the focus of being present in ourselves. I’ve never quite figured that out…I know I’m here inside me but the fact is, being present is a state of mind that I find hard to achieve…I can find moments of being present but then my mind flits off to something else, and the present moment is gone. Seems impossible for me to do…I can try to centre myself when my feathers get flapped up. Is that the same thing? I don’t know. When I was at my homeopath’s office this morning, I read a comment by Ingrid Bergman, who said: ” Happiness is good health and a bad memory”…I can relate to that..I, too, am reaching the point of thinking, I’ve had enough of certain thoughts taking up space in my head. Wonder how good I’ll be this new year in dealing with them…
    Thank you again for being so human and sharing thoughts I’d feel myself. And thank you to so many others here who post and don’t post, it’s all about being human, here.
    Sandy P in Ont., Canada.

  6. Okay so I think you are great! And when I hear that someone has said terrible or mean or just not nice things about me I have finally realized that this has nothing to do with me but this person has come into my life for prayer. I think what you are going for in your life in the new year isvgreat! And yes we all talk about people that bother and upset us and we do say mean things from time to time about some people because we are still human and until we have crossed over to be with Christmas we will continue to mess us. So my point is just remember how our savior sees you as his beautiful, perfect daughter who He brags to the angels about all the time and relax and the hurt to Him and pray for the idiot who said these things about you and give over the pain too. And know that all of us that know you love You!

  7. Your dream?….Life (Meryl Streep) is beautiful and will always hand you the sweet (chocolate cake) and the sour (lemon). Eat it up!
    Happy New Year.

  8. Wow. I can hardly believe that you wrote this for today’s post when, just last night, I had a similar experience and, thanks to past wisdom from you, Mary, I switched right into self-examination mode, and came up with the MOST remarkable insight about myself! And in this one area, a big change is needed within, and I’m going after it. I look back on the years I’ve been reading your posts, and finally I just slipped right into this way of assessing the event. No more days of anger and angst, thinking how unfair someone had been to me, etc., etc. Right in I went!

    So thank you, Mary. Your wisdom finally sunk into my thick head and I GET it!

    Happy New Year to one and all who gather here. May your upcoming year be all you want it to be.

  9. Let’s just say eating chocolate cake with lemon frosting with Meryl Streep equal being great even in your sleep! And Happy New Year to you, too!!

  10. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt.
    Wasn’t she just the BEST!! And so are you, Mary. Thank you for all your loving energy, all year long. {{HUGS}} to all.

    • Great quote, Cheryl… I finally realize that those negative thoughts that I carry around inside about myself are ready to be revealed and released. I was laughing about this very thing with someone yesterday. The thought that came up was, “Heck, if someone is going to go to the trouble of taking my personal inventory, I might as well reap the benefit!” (and I did!)

  11. For your offerings to all of us here that posted a request for blessing, Mary, thank you. It seems like so many connected with our responses in our own ways.

    My situation with Fjnners, my cat, Polly, my daughters dachshund, and their/our dilemma was met with a learning curve which unfolded day by day! Thanks everyone for the thoughts and energy sent my way. I kept recalling so many of your practical thoughts Mary, that you’ve shared over the years. I love you dearly and hugs as we move into 2015.

    • Thank you for the update about that situation, Virginia. If you feel like elaborating, please do! I also thank you for your beautiful blessings of love and hugs. Both are gratefully received!

  12. Ah, Eleanor reminds us once again of strength and wisdom. And what dragons she had to quietly slay in her life. Do take a look at Meryl Streep’s commencement address to Barnard,maybe a few tidbits there for you Mary. If not, there are treasures of laughter as she reveals herself and lessons learned! I also have been wrestling w a similar experience, ironically I mentioned it to a shopkeeper who is from India. He recommended The Bhagavad Vita from Beginners. Stay tuned!

  13. Happy New Year! You have a gift for choosing the best quotes that get me thinking higher thoughts.

    Mary, I wonder if you are still making your Skin Survival balm? I have been using it exclusively on my face. The natural ingredients and your added good vibes feels good. Could you email me? Lois C.

    Lois Cleland 905 440 4550 The boundaries are imaginary; the rules are made up; the limits don’t exist.

    • Hello Lois and yes, I am making the salve but only once in a while and I don’t have any at the moment, but I’ll keep you on my list and will let you know when another (probably in the Spring) is made. Love, Mary

  14. Happy Nooooooo Year to you all and thank you for all the smiles and deep thoughts and encouragements that flow through these (web)pages….before l started reading today’s blog l thought to myself – does this Fred-cat do anything else but hang out on the couch??? dudduduuudhhhh, tststsst…caught in the net of bad thoughts about someone else, not nice! l learned many moons ago in Anthropology 101that gossip makes us human, that we love hearing stories and making up stories for others…it must be something else that turns this very human pastime into something less pleasant. I wonder why this person had to – needed to – tell you about the negative remark?? My blame is more on her – and my next question of course is, and what did you say? Did you defend me, or agree with him???

    Loved the E. Roosevelt and I. Bergman quotes, thank you – I’ve started to note them down and have quite a list already! 🙂
    Wishing you all a peaceful and healthy 2015!

    • I had the same thoughts, Sabina, regarding why this person told me, but I realized that that thinking was also a trap (subltly moving from blaming this man to blaming the person who told me for my upset feelings). Bottom line is that I got the gift out of it because what was said was truly something that I thought about myself and didn’t really want to look at. I thought I had moved past it, but this incident showed me that I still carried around these feelings about myself and so the comment was a gift. That being said, I also realized that the person who told me has said things like this to be in the past and I felt an inner knowing that our relationship wasn’t quite a healthy one….another gift of the comment.

  15. Thank you Mary for this reinforcement of grace…I work in a place (here today) where the atmosphere feels like a scene out of Mean Girls…I pray daily to stay in a place of compassion but whew there are days especially when you are the target!!! Have a wonderful new year Mary!!!

  16. Happy New Year, Mary. You most likely don’t remember me… I signed up for one of your writing classes early last year. We talked on the phone once, and I was really excited to begin. Well, I allowed other elements in my life to take over and I didn’t make contact with you again. For that, I apologize! It had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with me. I did start the writing you suggested and I found it to be life affirming.

    My question is: Can I let go of the pause button and start again? If you need some additional $$, I am open to that.

    I have enjoyed all of your posts—your humor and wisdom are like a breath of fresh air.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Diane Forsyth

  17. I haven’t had the pleasure of sitting back and reading and savoring all the above comments. I will curl up with a cat or two and savor all the goodies.

    The line in Mary’s post that resonated with me was “It is always pointing me back to myself, and the bigger the emotional charge I get, the more it is telling me that I have some aspect of this hidden inside, underneath, or around, the very thing that I am upset about.”

    I have been working on a situation and people involved and have had a large emotional charge. I guess I know who I need to be looking at and into — as usual it’s me!

    Wishing everyone a great New Year filled with lots more growing and sharing.

    Love to all,

  18. Mary, Happy New Year! I haven’t ‘tuned in’ to your blog in awhile. I’ve missed it. When you explore your ‘ugly feelings’ with us I always learn something. Thank you, Thank you for your healing words!

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