thank you, friend

my newest painting
my newest painting (about 9 x 10 x 1 inch, acrylic on old wood) …will be up on My Artwork page later today

I heard someone say that you can tell who your friends are by how they stand by you when “the —-hits the fan” and I’m not disputing this, but what I’ve noticed lately is rather the opposite; You can tell who your friends are by how they stand with you when something wonderful happens in your life.

Jealousy is an insidious beast, and gone unrecognized, can ruin relationships and lives. I’d like to think that I’d woken up enough to realize that everyone’s success is really mine and that every happy surprise or gift given to another is just a confirmation that my life is on track as well, and I thought that I had pretty much stepped into this, leaving behind the belief in competition among my fellow humans….until the other day when an old friend emailed with some wonderful news about an opportunity she’d been offered.

As I read her email, I noticed my body tense up. I felt a rush of heat, I felt some anger, and I felt surprised that I felt this way. I began to criticize myself for this reaction until I closed my eyes and said, “Thank you. Thank you for showing me that this jealousy is still in me. It had hidden itself away for quite a while, as a matter of fact, I couldn’t even remember (before this incident) the last time I felt jealous. But there it was. My gift that day. My only question was, “What am I going to do with it?”

I didn’t need to do much. As soon as I saw it and said thank you for the opportunity to grow through this, my emotions changed and I genuinely felt happy for her, and for myself. What a joy to feel true happiness. But before the happiness could “surface” I needed to admit (at least to myself) the jealousy. So many of us on a conscious spiritual path don’t want to acknowledge our unhappy emotions or petty thoughts because it seems like they are showing us that we aren’t as evolved as we hoped we were. My ego does not enjoy these reminders that I am still growing, waking up, and that I haven’t yet “arrived” at total enlightenment. But these negative emotions can be wonderful friends and helpers when we remember to say thank you (and also to laugh at ourselves…just a little).

“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” Alice Walker

27 thoughts on “thank you, friend”

  1. Hi Mary ….. Remember the Arcade game called ” Whack-a-Mole ” ? My character defects are like that. I’m never going to be rid of them, but now that I know what they look like, I can deal with them when they re-surface.

  2. Mary, what a wonderful post and again another example of you being part of us. I can’t say that jealousy has ever been high on my list of ghostly-not-so-good emotions but I have others that seem to come up from deeply buried emotions within me that remind me how little I have evolved from the emotions I’ve felt in the past. My ego had felt smug about how well I’d adjusted but yesterday, I got up with a huge black cloud hanging over my head. I put it down to something I’d eaten but I could have scraped myself off the bottom of a bird cage until I went to the gym in the afternoon. Then, it cleared. Stuff from my recent past coming up and hitting me square in the face which I thought on a rational level, I’d dealt with. Apparently my ego got fooled. Do we ever go beyond this stuff.
    Sandy P, in Canada

  3. So timely for me, a God shot as they say. A longtime friend of mine was just selected for a very prestigious position, and my initial reaction shocked me- I was jealous. So grateful for these opportunities of awareness, every day…

  4. I struggle with envy often. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone. Sometimes it is really hard to be happy for someone else’s good fortune, especially when life is beating you down. As always, your posts are timely.

  5. I used to have the same problem with envy. Then I read an article in a magazine, “How to make Envy your friend”. Use envy as a signpost for where you want to go or what you want for yourself.

  6. Dear Mary, another poignant, well-timed post. Jealousy, as with all emotions can be powerful teachers when we are able to see them as such. There are so many times when I get caught up in my emotions and forget to hear their teachings. Thank you for this reminder today!

  7. Great post today, Mary. Jealously is a nasty beast that can pop up when we least expect it. So happy that you were able to deal with it and truly be happy for your friend. We each have lives that are different from one another, life isn’t a contest of who wins, who has more (or less), it shouldn’t be a competition. We should delight in other’s happy moments like we would want them to delight in ours.
    Hugs ❤️❤️❤️

  8. Thank you again, Mary, for some wonderful words for me to read over and over and let them sink in deeply. I am usually happy for my friends and can’t remember the last time I was jealous, but we all know that day will come and I hope I remember your words and to say thank you.

  9. Your post resonates greatly with me Mary. Thank you. I’m not proud of my envy, and I’m learning to deal with it more graciously as I recognize what is happening. I often noticed in my (teaching) workplace that women were often prone to cut each other down when they experienced success and we should have been doing the opposite supporting and promoting each success. Sometimes we did but that little niggle of envy was often lurking in the background. Thank you for offering me another opportunity to confront that part of myself.
    From Fran

    1. A very Happy Valentine’s Day to you, dear Fran. I so often think of you up there in northern Vermont and I always feel very warm when I do. Love, Mary

  10. To dear Mary and all the White Feather Friends, – are we beginning our fourth year together, or third? I know February is our anniversary month. Be it three of four years already, I am SO grateful for Mary who has brought us together with each and every post, challenging us to think, and also to have fun and rejoice in our lives, and to everyone, with all the thoughtful comments, concerns, joyful sharings along with life’s challenges. We are all the richer for MARY!! Thank you being the best word of this day! Thank you one and all!!!

    1. It’s hard to believe, Susan, that so much time has gone by since our flock came into being. And as we have learned, our Mary always speaks to something in each one of us, helping shed light that makes us grow.

      Your comment says it all. Thank you for putting my thoughts into such lovely words.

    2. You got me wondering……I did not remember when I started to read Mary’s Blog, but I did have a notation as to when I had my first “session” with Mary. So, after reading your post, I did some digging and found Mary’s original post which was Feb. 2, 2011.

      In doing my search, I found lots of posts that I never read and photos where I got to see Luke as a puppy. I think over the next few days/weeks while it is very cold here, I will warm my heart with early writings and photos from Mary and her flock.

      Here is the first post:

      I always loved snow days…I don’t really know why. I never remember going on some amazing adventure or having any extraordinary thing happen on a snow day, it was more that I didn’t have to show up for something (used to be school) that I didn’t like. I loved the idea of being “let off the hook” for the day. But creating something new, uplifting, and positive is now more important to me than getting out of doing something…today I have been given this little gift of time where the world is quiet and white and soft. Jack is shoveling and I am writing. We decided that we would dedicate this day to remembering all of the things that we have done right …since this morning, in this new year, in the last few years, and in our lives. Today I started a blog, I offered Jack the shower BEFORE I took my bath (never did that before!), I took a short nap with Fred (one of our 6 cats)..and the list is just beginning!!!

      This entry was posted on February 2, 2011.

      1. Thank you, Mary. The past 4 years have flown by…so many good things have happened, so many wonderful people (including you) have come into my life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    3. Dear Susan,
      Thank you for your lovely, kind and thoughtful words! What a perfect way to start my day and I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day and a year filled with Love.

  11. Mary , your painting is sweet, that gradation in the sky color just perfect, the reminder being to “look up” and say thanks for something beautiful ..
    That is what I’ve been not good at: accepting that jealousy does , at times , surface in me. My reaction then is to be intensely upset with myself , feeling totally inadequate as I begin to compare myself. I’ve not thought of it as an opportunity to just observe that it is there, and simply say thanks – and learn from it. Your words today will help me to get back in balance more quickly , be grateful for what I have, and am. I’ll then have an opportunity to be truly genuine in my happiness in the success of my friends.
    Thank you to Susan for her reminder of the anniversary month for the gathering place you have created! You know , Mary just how to share the difficult, as well as fun, emotions that enable all of us to share ours, and learn from life and keep trying to “look up ” to the beauty that is there , both in our inner world and in the natural world.

  12. Mary, a couple of months ago my husband received a promotion, but his good friend and colleague didn’t who had expected his promotion to go through. He was so disappointed and said as much when he told us about it assuming that my husband’s promotion had also been declined (they’re both on the same university contract). It took my husband days and days to formulate a response, he felt just awful for having to admit his good fortune to the point where it began to overshadow his own joy. Their friendship has cooled a bit since then, which is a shame…why do we do these things to ourselves?
    Looking at your lovely new pic Grace Slick comes to mind and her tremendous voice…white rabbit…
    Sandy P – love your “scraped myself off the bottom of a bird cage”, what an image this conjures up, perfectly describes some of my own off-days!

    1. Dear Sabina, Thank you for sharing your husband’s experience. As I read it I thought, “Wow, his friend missed an opportunity, in more ways than one.” I truly believe that when something good happens (and we hear about it) to someone, especially someone close to us, then that gift in some form is on the way to us too. Is this true? Well, the belief that it is makes it so much easier to remember to let go of my petty thoughts and feel happy for “the other” so since we get to choose our beliefs, I choose this! Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

  13. Thank you, Mary, for your insightful response 🙂 And I return your warm Valentine’s Day greeting – let’s spread love and kindness of that special heart-warming day to last throughout the year. And when l see my husband’s friend in April l will think of your words and give him a huge hug first, no matter how the rest of the evening turns out!

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