27 Comments

Profound. Beautiful. True. When you realize that you have everything you need and always will, you can be at peace with all beings.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Katie. That kind of peace is elusive and hard won. But once you feel it, even briefly, you've got a roadmap.

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Oh wow...this is wonderful. Out of the dark and dreary 'workout' room there comes light. This is a game changer. How can we expect back what we put into people when they have no basis for giving? No foundation? We need to be fine or exceptional just as we are, with all we have been given and giving it away opens up more room inside us to be better than we were yesterday or last week or last year. xoxxo

Expand full comment
author

Your observation about the darkness-to-light of the workout room made me laugh, SadieJay! Thank you. And for this, too: "giving it away opens up more room inside us to be better than we were yesterday." Beautifully said. Xoxxo right back!

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Oh, Mary. First of all, Happy Belated Birthday!

As I started to read this, I thought "Wow, how cathartic this must have been to write." And then I found my thoughts shifting to empathy for your MIL who sounds so incredibly unhappy. I was waiting to hear the reason(s) why. I felt all the shifts in your awareness that you were having as I read your essay. I remember hearing Wayne Dyer tell that story. And I teared up again.

I have Mark Nepo's book, as well. Your story is an important reminder for all of us. We never know (or sometimes we do) why someone acts out of negativity so much. This is a beautiful reminder to dig deep for our own empathy as we strive to become that truly enlightened being Mark Nepo references. It surely isn't easy and holy moly I'm still working on it. Thank you, Mary. 🩷🩷

Expand full comment
author

Thank you, Barbara, for the birthday wishes and for letting me know how this essay affected you. (And for restacking it, too!) I fall into the trap, over and over, of viewing the actions of others in a vacuum -- the dude who cut me off in traffic, the young woman who didn't say hello back. I have to keep reminding myself that they have their reasons, whether they're even aware of them or not. You're right: it sure isn't easy. xox

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Wow, Mary. I just loved this. So beautifully expressed, which is no small thing, because it weaves so well the complexity of our small and larger selves and the need to be honest about all of it, give it all its due and expression, with an eye towards finding a truer, and more free, more expansive way forward.

In sharing this so honestly, truly, you've made your gift, ours. Thank you.

Expand full comment
author

You've really hit on it, Kathleen. At first, I was nervous about publishing an honest depiction of such a personal experience. I even considered turning it into a fictional account and taking shelter behind it... :-)

But then, as I wrote it, I could feel the healing magic of expressing it. Thank you for acknowledging the importance of that authenticity and the value it has for others. xox

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Gosh Mary! I look forward to your writing and it often (nearly always) brings me to tears.

I have been down a similar path with someone close to me and have experienced the same lightening. We cannot expect people to give what they are unable to give even to themselves. Understanding this - it’s not about us at all - takes away the sting.

Expand full comment
author

Exactly. It's one of the Four Agreements, the "take nothing personally" one. Not easy!! Thank you for commenting, and I'm glad about your own lightening... Xox

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Indirectly, through sharing your experience, your mother-in-law has gifted me too.

Expand full comment
author

Love that. What an inspiring thought! Thank you, Katherine.

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

I love this so much. Comes at a perfect time for me, as I’m struggling with a friendship and tired of my old defensive patterns and ways of handling it. Thank you!

Expand full comment
author

I'm so glad. Isn't it simply amazing how the universe often drops just what we need into our laps?

Good luck with the friendship, and thank you for commenting, AL!

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Hippo belated birdies, dear Mary! I’m ever so thankful that you’re here and our paths have crossed.

This was an incredibly riveting a moving read, a true gift for all of us. Brought me to tears. It draws a parallel to a situation in my life right now and it’s really what I needed to read to start letting go of that which doesn’t serve me. Your reflections are an endless pool of wisdom. Thank you from the bottom of my spiritual being.

Expand full comment
author

Oh Tonika, my heart sings. I'm so glad it gave you something you can use. The gratitude goes both ways, as you know... ❤️

And thanks for the birthday wishes!!

Expand full comment

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Blessings to you Mary - You have taken precious time, turned it back for others to possibly see the love we all hold in our hearts - Not only for self, also for those around us. Be love, Pass it on...

Expand full comment
author

What a gracious comment. Thank you, Depswah!

Expand full comment
founding
Jan 22Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Enlightening. I too have an Evelyn, and have struggled for years dealing with resentment, disappointment etc. I read this article multiple times and each time I was able to open and soften a little more. Letting go is the greatest gift. To think of time I willingly gave away in anger….. open and soften and to realize I really have all I need.

Happy Birthday Mary! Keep sharing- you’re making the world a better place for all of us. ❤️

Expand full comment
author

Oh gosh, Deb, that's wonderful. Thank you for opening the window to let us witness your own experience; good on you for taking up the "open-and-soften" practice! Sometimes it's the last thing I feel like doing 😂, but when I do, it always makes things better.

And thank you for the birthday wishes and kind words. Much appreciated!

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

There were so many layers to love in this story, Mary. And reading the title of your stack added another one. I teared up at the story of Teddy, resisting all the way. And your MiL's final kick in the shins, just when this was in danger of being some schmaltzy feel-good story, did make me laugh and be indignant, on your behalf. I'm going to be curious about how this story plays out. I've found that fate has a sense of humor and I'd lay money this turns out in your favor. Thanks for such a nuanced read.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks for the comment, Tereza, and for restacking.

I love how fiery you are! Your indignation doesn't surprise me; in fact, it's totally endearing... ❤️

You're right about fate. We shall see!

Expand full comment
Jan 21Liked by Mary Poindexter McLaughlin

Mary, I've been wondering how your Christmas visit with your mother-in-law went since you mentioned your apprehension about her visit in one of your articles prior to the holidays. I had a feeling you'd get around to telling us something sooner or later. So, thanks for this follow-up.

Your honesty and humanness are qualities of yours that I cherish so much. You inspire the rest of us to share our stories as well. It's how we all learn to grow through our struggles. Keep it up. xox

Expand full comment
author

Did I actually talk about her upcoming visit in an article?? Wow, I'm more transparent than I thought!

Thanks, Rocket. I do agree, it's in the sharing of our humanity -- good, bad, ugly -- that we help one another progress on our paths. Big hugs!

Expand full comment

Ah, a "muther" in law tale fer the ages, you tell it well. SO...my take is kinda brief. Some folks (whutever their circumstances--hardships' 'er none) are TAKERS (yer ma-in-law seems ta be one've 'em--all gifts mebbe have a few strings attached 'stead 've ribbons?) an' others are GIVERS--yer a giver Mary an' those that appreciate you jus' simply KNOW yer a "gift" to 'em--in whutever way they feel it, know it, etc. This ain't ta say that takers cain't give an' givers cain't take but this is a core thing--an essential character thing an' it goes way beyond self-help books an' the most profound speakers. It's just a fact of bein' human. Soar with yer gift an' don't expect the takers in yer life ta feel one speck've remorse or compunction 'bout their takin'.... an' not havin' such expectations FREES ya up ta ENJOY--birthdays, Xmasses, other good stuff. The secret is that the givers tend ta feel better (I don't know much 'bout bein' enlightened but their load IS lighter!). Thanks fer bein' a gift an' giftin' us with yer thoughts an' musin's an' poetry--an'... hope ya had a VERY Happy Birthday too! Many happy returns yer way xos!

Expand full comment
author

This comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, dear Daisy. ❤️

Expand full comment