Making good friends…with ourselves

“Dancing on the Sabbath” Edward Gorey  


Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet with a man whom I’d been intimately involved with for a number of years. I hadn’t seen him in decades and was a little apprehensive (also curious) about how I would feel when we finally met. We didn’t end our relationship on hostile terms but it wasn’t friendly either. At the time it ended, we were both very disappointed in each other… and ourselves.

I never expected to see him again, and yet by a set of synchronistic events, I ended up doing some work in the city where he still lives, and called him to see if he wanted to meet with me.

Within ten minutes of being together, I was struck by how much he hadn’t changed. Physically he had aged, but his personality, and way of processing the world seemed untouched by the years. We spend about 4 hrs. together, and as I listened to him, I realized that he had pretty much kept his view of the world intact. His struggles were the same ones, his view of life, which often times left him feeling marginalized, was no different.

Over the days and weeks after our meeting, the deep knowing that time alone does not change us, was driven home. I already knew this, at least at one level, but it went deeper. It was a wake-up call. It made me wonder if I was also still struggling with situations in my life that I hadn’t been willing or able to shine the light of awareness on.

There is a wonderful line in a book by Pema Chodron where she talks about her experience of going deeply within. She’d been asked to be the head of a monastery and was struggling with unresolved issues of her own that came to a head during this time. She said it was like, “being boiled alive.” A visiting teacher told her, “When you have made good friends with yourself, your situation will be more friendly too.”*

I was in the middle of reading this book when I met with my old “friend”, and I could see how very unfriendly he was toward himself. He was so hard on himself, so unforgiving, so lost…

We cannot be unmercifully harsh toward ourselves and expect to change…it simply isn’t the way. We cannot beat ourselves into shape; mentally, physically, or spiritually, without paying a great price. That price is love. Nothing that we beat can ever trust or love us. We need to stop finding fault with ourselves and begin the deep and meaningful process of gentle exploration, kind “discipline”, kind thought. Love is the power that reveals the Truth.

Special Fall Tune Up/Tune In

Pain and struggle are helpful catalysts in getting us to the point where we surrender or break open to new realities, but we can also grow by making a choice to do so. We can choose to be open, and kind to ourselves, and through this open, kind-heartedness, we can become open to being taught from within.

I believe that we all have an inner teacher/voice that directs us toward happiness and inner peace, and yet sometimes we feel as though we can’t access or trust that voice.

This fall special will be focused on exactly that: learning to hear and trust your own Wisdom. It is for everyone: new and old clients. My usual rate for a ½ hr. session is $35, but I’ve been wanting to offer something new for a while and the thought to offer a fall tune up/tune in series came to me as I was driving this morning. I also hoped to make it affordable, so it will be $75 for three ½ hr. sessions. We can meet here in my office/home or by phone.

Please contact me by email, if this offering is of interest to you.



* Pg.8 When Things Fall Apart


13 thoughts on “Making good friends…with ourselves”

  1. Hi Mary, while falling asleep last night or maybe it was in the middle of the night trying to fall asleep after a hot flash, I thought of you. I said to myself, gosh, Mary has stopped blogging. Wrong! Big hug, Janet

  2. I loved this, Mary, and know exactly what you experienced.

    When I was younger, I had stuck with an old love for far too long ‘hoping’ for something more. Then the opportunity to relocate for work came, so I took it. We did part on friendly terms, so we kept in touch, and I held the thought that as I settled into the new life, he would miss me enough to want to follow. He didn’t, but I discovered instead that he thought I would be the one to return.

    Well, life went on and we remained in touch, with me sharing my new adventures and new places over the phone with him. Eventually I realized through our conversations that he remained the same person I knew and that he was ‘stuck’ in his thinking and life. One conversation, though, was rather poignant in that he realized if he had gone with me, he would have had a much more exciting life and lived in many parts of the country.

    Our last conversation was about a decade or so later and happened after we had planned to meet up during a week long conference that was being held about an hour from his location. It never materialized.

    I then realized that he wanted to keep his image of our time intact in his mind and that he did not want to see me as the person I had become because it would have shown him the truth of his own situation, which he didn’t want to see.

    It was quite sad, but an experience I am grateful for because the growth I experienced in leaving him behind was just what was needed for me to appreciate the life I created for myself beyond him. And now – all is as it should be.

    Self-reflection and digging deep reaps many rewards once we move beyond the pain of our own creation. I continue to reflect and grow and look forward to all that life has yet to bring me!

    Wishing you well – Wendy

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Mary, first of all, once again, it’s a pleasure to see your message falling into my inbox. And as usual, it presents a challenging thought, one I continually struggle with, for I can see so clearly, others issues and problems but how in the world can I see my own. Only in reflection to others, do I learn of myself. In other words, when my head hits a brick wall several times over, I may then wake up and say: oh, I’ve been here before. Too many hits and I’m not listening to either myself or the situation at hand.
    Sandy Proudfoot, Mono, Ont. Canada

  4. I echo what Sandy P. said — such a joy to find something from you in my e-mail. What a powerful post, and a good reminder to stop being harsh with myself. My husband was reading the results of the latest international ‘happiness’ survey, and he said the question asked was “Do you like your life?” I said it should be a two-part question that includes “Do you like yourself?” I know I have a good life (leaving for a trip to Alaska tomorrow), but I continue to try and beat myself into shape, to use your phrase. The generosity we feel for others most of the time doesn’t seem to extend to ourselves. Anyway, the process toward gentle exploration continues, and thanks for your wisdom. And I love your new photo!

  5. Your words resonate, your timing IS impeccable, and your ability to connect so beautifully never surprises this grateful woman. Thank you so much!

  6. Can totally relate to this post, Mary. I am grateful to catch myself when I play those old recordings; old fragments of negative feelings or words expressed towards myself. I tell myself, “Stop, delete that. I love you, Rose. This is the best day (or night) of your life.” Then I hug myself and I am back to a loving place.

  7. Mary, I hope you continue to keep White Feather Farm going, if this is what you want and have the commitment and energy to doing so. A spiritual forum with thoughts to inspire others is good but it takes work and inspirational energy that is not always present in our lives, your life, Mary, as well. Along the way, it may or may not happen or continue. I’m always glad to see your thoughts drop into my inbox. I’ve felt your own life was undergoing changes, as happens in all our lives,
    Sandy Proudfoot

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