All are welcomed here

our backyard with some welcomed guests enjoyi

our backyard with some welcomed guests enjoying their breakfast…we don’t have bird feeders, we just spread seeds and vegetables on the ground and watch in delight as an assortment of  critters show up

I used to dislike squirrels and be quite afraid of them. One day, my cousin reminded me that when we were little girls, a squirrel bit me. I then understood my feelings…but that didn’t change how I felt about squirrels; I still professed to dislike them, cringed when I talked about them, and told others the reason for my feelings. “My story” about squirrels became one of drama and past trauma. I’m not sure how interesting it was, but I liked to tell it.

One day, I realized what a foolish thing this was and decided to change. Why dislike a being who is such a part of my world and landscape? Why have a trauma story that doesn’t in any way serve me? Why “get a kick” out of having a phobia and shiver when someone mentioned squirrels, just to get attention? Suddenly, it seemed really dumb and so I changed it/me. I began to say that I liked squirrels and I began to like them….just like that.

There is so much talk about trying to understand our negative pasts so we can get free of them, but I don’t believe that this is necessary…..or even true. Sometimes finding out why we react the way that we do just makes our present, restricted, situation even more “legitimate”.  If I want to “argue for my limitations” I can do that and I can hold onto my trauma stories and keep myself from changing and growing.  If I truly want to be free of the negative past (or my conception of a negative past) then I can be, and I will open myself up to new ways of seeing, feeling and experiencing the world…and I will welcome all Life into my life.



16 thoughts on “All are welcomed here

  1. Thank you for this reminder to change my thoughts/story. Perfect timing for me. For me, it’s thinking of my mother who will be staying with me a night or two after her eye surgery and my inner voice preparing me for all the critical (I hear them as critical) comments she’ll say while she’s here. I will change my thoughts … Blessings to you.

  2. How beautifully expressed. Excavating the past in search of an explanation of the past is limited in its usefulness. For one thing, our memories are inaccurate. I think it can be helpful to look at the past sometimes. But what is more practical is to ask ourselves: “where am I now,?”and “where do I wNt to be?” And… Squirrels are the entertainers of our back yards, since we don’t get monkeys.

  3. WOW!!! What an eye opening thought! I will choose to go forward from here and leave behind my excuses for my shortcomings. Thank you, Mary!

  4. Dear Mary, thank you for this simple, yet powerful reminder that we are powerful! Changing our past perceptions can be quite simple…..since they are, after all, only perceptions. And perceptions can be recreated into positive beliefs!

  5. This is a great posting.. Oh my.. I have much work to do (continually!) in letting go of past limiting behaviors. Our experiences might inform how we react now, but consciously recognizing how they inhibit us is the key to moving on , as you brought out .

    Just one thing that illustrates this point to me is how I used to not like cats. Just because my mother didn’t like cats or to “have to ” take care of any pet for that matter. That changed in recent years when I asked myself just why on earth did I not like cats? Just because mother didn’t? My best friend one day asked me to take care of her beloved Ziggy from time to time. She is an adorable but fragile older domestic longhair with health care requirements. I learned to love taking care of Ziggy . I learned how to feed her careful portions 4x day, give her syringe of medicine, groom her. Part of the fun was sending my friend daily updates of Ziggy ‘s antics . Now, I look forward to when Ziggy comes to stay awhile. I now love all cats! I understand their ways, and someday will get my own cat when Ziggy no longer visits. To think I missed out on so much fun warmth and entertainment just because I only thought I didn’t like cats.

    • Bobbie, that took such courage, when you began to explore beyond your mind’s message of the old, limiting thoughts. That Ziggy has received the benefits of your inner work is such a joy for me to see, as I simply love cats (and dogs, and birds…but not reptiles so much!), but I love more the images your post created for me when reading about how you were able to move beyond your limitations. Thanks for sharing that, and providing me with your path of courage!

  6. Thanks Mary for an aha moment about ‘arguing for my limitiations’…how justifying, explaining, rationalizing them just keeps us stuck there, missing out on joy, or staying afraid. The thought of releasing those limitations, taking down those mental or emotional fences, feels really good! Happy weekend blessing us with another hour of light!

  7. Just keep reminding me, Mary, of the old records playing around in my mind. One day I may chuck them all but at least reading your posts reminds me to observe my ‘stories’ too. A squirrel bite is not to be taken lightly, cute as they are. The little beggars are eating the plastic bird feeder I have hanging on our outdoor (Christmas) tree that we leave up outside our familyroom sliding glass door until Spring. I’ve replaced it once this winter.
    SandyP in Canada

  8. Wonderful post, Mary! Mine has been bees, though I am much better about them now, given we need them in our lives. Several years ago, I simply started letting them out if they got trapped in the house. It got easier over time, though my fear never fully went away. I will use your post to see what more I can change. Thank you for your great wisdom!

  9. For the past 5 years, I’ve been stuck in this new “identity” of myself, based on a trauma experienced at that time…while being told I’m responsible for my actions, and while becoming a victim of someone else’s actions, I’ve become immobilized by the impasse that I felt in this trauma. How freeing to just release it all, not overthink or dwell on who’s the perpetrator, who’s the victim, but just moving on! Thank you Mary! You’ve helped me to see that I can, and WILL, move on successfully in the direction of creativity, in the moment, in the new LIFE experienced when we say YES to the present, which is such a GIFT! Mary, Mary, Mary – thank you! How helpful it is to be reminded, to share like-minds, and to move through this life’s challenges with such support with you and all who read your posts. I don’t think I’d be moving at the pace I am without your (all, plural “your”) support. Thank you universe for reflecting our lives to us, if we’re willing to look and listen 🙂

    • Susan, I’ve also, many years ago, hit a brick wall with my health due to the ineptitude of medical intervention and an underlying fluke issue which was not recognized or identified at the time. And, I, too, hark back to what happened to me, but as a reference point in my life. But I didn’t for many years as it took a long time to understand and clarify the results of what had happened which has only become legitimized in allopathic medicine over the past few years. It has been a great learning experience and living with it has changed how I live my life. So, I’m wondering if what happened to you hasn’t been a pivotal point, an experience that in moving forward, you’ve learned much from. I’m mindful of asking myself also…where is the balance between it holding me back as a negative ‘story’ in my life and trying to deal with that, which is not easy as the results remain very present in today’s life. I think you can have a negative thing happen to you, learn about it, deal with it, move on as best you can despite its presence and try not to let it define you which is where I’m walking a tight line, I think. I’m thankful for Mary’s forum and it’s members because I know I’m not alone in life dealing with issues in my life whatever they are. Sandy P in Canada

  10. I second your words of thankfulness for our ( all of us !) sharings here, Susan and also am moved by your decision to free yourself of the confusion and simply walk on to higher ground. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement .

  11. Mary, what I found so fascinating about this post is that I had precisely the opposite experience as a child: An elderly gentleman who lived behind my childhood home loved to hand feed the squirrels, and taught me how to do it while holding my other hand in a position that let the squirrel’s tail brush against the palm of my hand while it ate a peanut out of the other. So, of course, I love squirrels. [Except, perhaps, the one who ran (or was chased by the dog?) into the house and got trapped behind an enormous armoire. Only took a couple of neighbors, a broom, and a few hours to get him back outside. ;-} ]

    So now I need to think about the things I don’t love, or are afraid of, and figure out why. . . .

  12. Dear Mary I think I am just seeing this now – I get hundreds of emails a day. Thank you for liking squirrels again!

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