The Path

A fun night out with my brother, Bob.

A fun night out with my brother, Bob.

I’ve heard the concept,  “Everything that is happening to you, right now, is a result of your own thinking”, for a long time, and I’ve believed it to be true. I could even see how through unconscious, unhappy, thoughts, I’ve called many unpleasant things into my life. And even though I’ve accepted this truth, it always seemed a little bit like a punishing, condemning (of myself) approach to the challenging situations that I was currently struggling with. It felt like there was a big cosmic finger wagging at me saying, “OK, missy. You have created this mess and now you must pay the price!” It was also a vaguely threatening voice and the fear-message it carried was,”Don’t do that again!”

So I tried really hard to be different; to stop making mistakes, to be worthy, nice, honest, loving, open, accepting ….. I tried really hard to be a “spiritual person” so I wouldn’t get punished again, but just when I thought I finally figured out how to live without struggle, BAM, something would happen and I’d feel all of the old familiar emotions; blame, doubt, anger, self-loathing and discouragement. A voice in my head would taunt me with thoughts like, “You are just never going to get this are you? And why should you? You don’t have good enough thoughts, you eat a crappy diet, you’re undisciplined, you don’t meditate the right way, you’re way too selfish, you’re not that nice, you have a warped sense of humor…..” But the worst thought was, “You are never going to awaken.”

Then one day, I realized that all of the struggles I’d gone through, and were going currently going through, were things that I had chosen, not consciously, but at the deeper/higher level of my being. In a flash of insight I realized that the struggles were the necessary elements for awakening. I also realized that I had taken on certain challenges with the express purpose of overcoming them as a part of my unique path to awakening. I could see that they were actually the teachers that I had called forth.

Suddenly the vision came to me of a huge playing field/obstacle course and I could see each of us choosing a different and unique strand on the grid/line though the labyrinth, with all of the ups and downs, mountains and valleys, rivers, trenches, burned bridges, and dead ends, that ultimately led to the goal. There wasn’t a straight line for anyone playing this game and this was perfect, but for most of my life, I felt like I was on the wrong path and would look around at others and wonder why I couldn’t be like them…especially those who appeared to be awake. Then I’d try to get on their path by reading their books, attending their services or meetings, meditating in just a certain way, repeating certain mantras or prayers that they said were “the key”, signing up for (yet another) workshop or retreat that promised to open my heart, mind, eyes and ears. I’d feel inspired for a while but when the struggles (in my mind) returned, I would feel like a failure again….and hate the path that I was on.

But one day this changed and I knew that “the way” (my way) had been so clear, so simple, so perfectly tuned to who I was, that I had missed it. In that moment, my heart, mind, eyes and ears were opened to a new level of knowing that, yes, I created my realities and struggles, but instead of feeling this as a discouraging concept, I could see that this was the path to awakening and enlightenment and that the point of this game/life wasn’t to avoid, wish away, or hate struggles, but simply to be open to the Truth of what they were trying to show me. It was such a “lowly” seeming path that in all of my reaching and striving to be a better (i.e. different) person, I had missed it.

I could finally see that they had been trying to guide and lovingly teach me, for all of my life, but since I kept hating them, calling them bad, believing they were despicable, unfortunate, mistakes (much the way I viewed myself) they became tormentors for me and evidence of what I was doing wrong which blinded me to the truth of what they were/are: loving portals to awakening, expansion, abundance, and Good, not here to teach me a lesson (in the old strict, school master way) but to bring me to Heaven/Enlightened Consciousness/The Field of All Good/My Higher Self/God.

My path is not a mistake… and neither is yours. The so-called struggles cease to be struggles when I welcome them and with an open and curious mind, listening to and following their wisdom…wisdom that once gleaned, can be helpful to others, but not so I can say, “Walk in my steps”, but walk in and embrace your unique path, be open to it, for it will teach you everything you’ve been wanting to know, bring you your true heart’s desire, and finally make you grateful for who and what you are.



17 thoughts on “The Path

  1. Love this Mary…the message always arrives when you are open to it…i for some reason picked Gerald May’s last book off the library shelf…the wisdom of the wilderness i think it’s called…i so want to be good to myself…

  2. Love, love, love this post! I often espouse the belief that the universe sends me certain challenges to teach me a particular lesson, and if I choose not to learn the lesson, the universe ups the ante by delivering an even WORSE challenge. Sometimes I mutter to myself … “Learn the lesson, learn the lesson, before the divine spirit whacks you over the head!!” And I’d be puzzled, because surely a divine spirit wouldn’t be so nasty! Thanks for this post, Mary. It gives me a better perspective. 😀

  3. The key to life, in my humble opinion, is to ‘Simplify.’
    We drive ourselves crazy trying to make life difficult by taking on more and more, in every aspect, until we’re so exhausted trying to be perfect, we become angry, and it all goes awry. You nailed it, Mary, and now I wonder why I didn’t allow myself more freedom early on to simplify….thereby tuning in.

    Blessings to all, this day.

  4. How liberating to “get” this, Mary. I guess I’m in the “getting it” process here today. I feel the truth of this sinking down into my greater knowing. For me, there have been no accidents or mistakes in my life’s experiences. Thank you for putting this together here for us all. I love you.

  5. P.S. Mary, you and your brother are very good-looking people. Your family obviously has great genes!

  6. Hi Mary! Great picture of you and Bob! You both look radiant, happy and mischievous!

    Great post! I’m so appreciative of crooked and meandering paths…they’ve led me to some adventurous places and life changing people. Some welcome, some not (or so I thought at the time). But as I become more and more awake, the lessons and messages (and subsequent awareness and growth) of both long past and present bumps, come to me sooner and more clearly. As I believe that awakening is never completed, an infinite goal, that belief allows me to know and trust that any rough waters, obstacles in the road, dark skies and shadows all hold a brighter light for me. And when I’m still, and trust that knowing, I am not afraid…instead I’m expectant, filled with anticipation. Sometimes I passively and patiently await the wisdom, other times I actively look for it. I’m working on when to wait and when to search! But I try to always stop and get rooted in my Knowing that a tender, graceful bit of gold is there for me to find…and I can look forward to that! And when I finally hold that piece of gold in my heart, that’s when I feel my light glow, my heart sing and smile…and better understand what alignment truly is. For me it takes a lot of practice…and I love knowing that I’m the one who determines how much I practice. It’s all up to each of us…and that is a powerful Knowing. I needed to pause and think about this today. Thank you!

  7. Mary, thank you for your forthright posting today…..I’ve been missing them. When I first moved up to the country 27 years ago this coming April, I found, even though I was finishing two and a half credits for my design diploma in the city, I had a lot of time of my hands and so went to work checking groceries at the health food store in town. Two years there and it changed my life in so many ways but one thing I could never buy into and will never buy into is Karma…whatever you want to call it…fate, whatever, ,to be told when bad things happened it was because in another life you were set to experience them in this life, it was your Karma. Heck, it felt just like the religion I’d grown up in and been feeling ambivalent about in regard to sin. It felt punishing. I, like you, felt a more positive approach to our pathway through life is like a set of lessons we go through to reach whatever end we come to…But the health food store at that time, twenty six years ago, still had less than mainstream customers, many of them, who believed in Karma. I do believe in synchronicity and in looking for opportunities that may lie within a situation, not always am I open to seeing them or ready to assume them. I wonder at times why we are so hard on ourselves. We wouldn’t treat friends the way we treat ourselves sometimes.
    Sandy P in Canada

  8. This is exactly what i needed, at this exact moment. Literally, in the middle of writing a very self-deprecating, doubt-filled, “I’m not good enough” type of e-mail I stopped to read your post. The timing could not be more perfect. Love you.

  9. Wow, Mary – that was powerful! I posted it to FB so a few friends (who are struggling) can read it. I hope it helps them understand things more. See you Saturday! Have fun with your grandbaby!

    Hugs! Wendy

    Sent from my happy mobile world to yours!


  10. I loved reading all of your responses today. Thank you all! A friend sent me the following quote after reading this post (thank you, Win!) and I must share it here:
    David Whyte’s The Faces at Braga: “When we fight with our failing
    we ignore the entrance to the shrine itself
    and wrestle with the guardian, fierce figure on the side of good.”

  11. Really? Divine intervention at it again! I had to type a reply here to say that finding you is no coincidence! I was looking for an entirely different website for another business and BAM – here you are! Your words pulled me right in and I realized that the person writing this post must be living a parallel life with me. I will make a point to contact you privately so we can chat. My story of how I got here is one of kind. I am still shaking!

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