Sunday, January 18, 2004
ďAccepting Other Individualís ChoicesĒ
ďWhat Is ĎBeing Acceptingí?Ē
(The video tape picks up several minutes into Maryís talk; the video camera was not turned on at the beginning. (1))
MARY: ...Anyway, my older daughter is much more like me in personality; my younger daughter is very different from me in personality. Which is a significant thing, because I think we all encounter people in our lives who we get along with better than others, even though they make different choices than us. With some people itís easier to accept differences, even though they make choices that we would never make, because we see things in them and we make little connections. We donít necessary think about it, but we make these little connections with people and we see pieces of ourselves in them. We see those similarities and that gives us some sort of comfort and makes it easier to accept when they make choices that are ďoh god, I would never do that!Ē
My oldest daughter has made some choices that I would never ever, ever make in my life. Sheís made choices to leave her children, move across the country, not see them, and not have contact with them. I would never have done that with my kids. But I can look at her now and not necessarily think that her choice was bad, and I donít feel anything inside of me that that was a wrong thing to do or that a good mother would never do that kind of a thing. It was her choice and for her it was a good thing; it wouldnít have been a good thing for me.
But Donnalie exhibits qualities that are very similar to me; sheís a go-getter and she always pulls herself up and out of whatever she gets into. It doesnít matter how far down she goes, she can always pull herself out, and sheís got a lot of determination. She pushes forward a lot, and I do that too. Iím pretty hard-nosed on that kind of stuff.
My other daughter, on the other hand, is a perpetual pessimist. (Laughs) She is the victim of all victims! She just canít see her way through to pull herself up by her bootstraps ever, because nothing is ever her doing. Itís always something else or somebody else, and sheís the biggest oppressed person on the planet. She cannot figure out at all why her life sucks, but it does.
I have a little bit more difficulty being accepting of some of her choices because sheís so different from me and because I canít go to her and say, ďElizabeth, if you would make these different choices your life wouldnít suck,Ē or ďIf you would stop thinking that the whole world sucks and that youíre the biggest victim on the planet and go do something for yourself, maybe things would change.Ē I canít say that to her because thatís not the way her brain thinks. But that is the way my brain thinks, so itís a little more difficult to be accepting of her choices. When I come back to realizing that my absolutes, my ways of doing things, my truths are just my guidelines and that they donít necessarily apply to her, itís helpful for me to realize that not everybody values the things that I value.
People value lots of different things. Maybe they donít think they do, but I really do believe it when Elias says you wouldnít do something if you didnít value it. I believe that thatís probably pretty accurate. I think that all of us in our lives do things that we think are pretty bad or we wonder why the heck would I choose that or whatever. We get caught in those words of ďchoosingĒ and ďchoices,Ē because we think that the only things we would choose are things that we think are good Ė but that isnít always the case.
Lots of times we choose things that arenít very comfortable. Maybe we donít realize it in the moment, but we get a lot of information from things that arenít very comfortable and so they are valuable. Not to be the eternal Pollyanna optimist, but it seems to be pretty evident that a lot of us create a lot of things that arenít very comfortable and we do have some benefit in them.
I had an experience at Christmas time with my ex-partner and best friend Sandy, who Iíve talked to you all quite a bit about. Sandy and I have been through many changes in the last six years and we still are exceptionally close. Sheís made some choices recently that if she had made those changes last year, I would have had some real big problems with. But I think Iíve done a lot of movement this year in balancing and trying to figure out what that means in lots of different directions, and really paying attention to all this information about differences and choices and truths and how I respond to them and what they do to me, and what triggers me and what influences me in different things.
Sandy got herself involved with a client of mine who is not from this country Ė she is from Germany Ė a wonderful woman, very, very sweet. I really like her a lot. Because sheís German and not a citizen, she canít live here; she canít stay here. Actually, she left today. I called them this morning, and sheís headed back to Germany. She and Sandy are together and Sandy wants to be with her, so Sandy has made a decision to move to Germany, too.
At first it was kind of a tweak for me, because this is my best friend and I donít want her to move across the world to another country, and it was upsetting. But I started to think about why that would be upsetting to me and why I have twingy responses to other peopleís choices and their decisions and what they do. When I first got this information, I immediately went into complete logic mode: ďThis is ridiculous. Theyíve only been together for X amount of time, they donít know each other that well, sheís gonna move all the way to another country, she doesnít speak the language, she canít read the language, where are they gonna live, how are they gonna survive, Marlies hasnít worked in 20 years... I mean, oh my god, this is never gonna work and theyíre both thinking in the clouds.Ē
Then I started to think about it, and I thought, ďWhy does this matter to you? Who cares? This is their choice. What is it that is affecting me in this?Ē I started to really evaluate it, and there really isnít anything thatís really affecting me. It isnít affecting my friendship. My friendship with Sandy is so strong and has such a good foundation that it doesnít matter if she moves to a different country. It didnít matter when I moved across the country when Vicki and I were friends. We still stayed friends; we still stayed good friends. We talked to each other every week on the phone, we emailed each other all the time, and I can do the same things with Sandy. Just because sheís not in the same town as me doesnít mean our friendship is gone. So I thought, ďWhat is it, why did I react that way?Ē
It was because I wouldnít do that. I donít care how much I love somebody, thereíd be no way Iíd be getting on a plane and moving to another country where I donít speak the language Ė and even if I did, it would have to be a good country that I really, really liked! Like Paris Ė I might consider that! But other than that, thatís a really big step to quit your job, try and find another job, get a work visa, do all this stuff. Itís just out of my comprehension, and I would never make a choice like that and I know it.
Thatís why their choice bothered me. Not because their choice is bad, not because it canít work, but I was thinking of every type of angle to make it seem like it couldnít work to justify why they couldnít do this and shouldnít do this or whatever. But they are doing it, and who knows, maybe theyíll make it work and maybe it will be wonderful. You never know what will happen with people and what directions they go in their lives. I never knew I was going to go in the direction Iím going in.
I started to realize in talking to people, this whole business about liking things that are different than you, or thinking that you have to agree with things to be accepting or to be addressing to your own truths, or to be changing them once you recognize that you have this truth, saying, ďOkay, now I know Iíve got this, and now Iíve got to do something with it and change it somehow so that itís more acceptable or so that I can work with it better.Ē Itís kind of ludicrous, because we donít do that anyway. Even if we can, it doesnít matter because we donít. Itís kind of ridiculous to go in a direction of trying to do something that you donít do anyway, trying to force yourself to make something happen that you donít make happen and that you donít know how to make happen, when you donít have to do that. Thereís nothing wrong with whatever your own direction is. If it matches other people, great. We naturally do that, anyway.
What I started to say was Sandy and Marlies came to Christmas this year, I invited them, and after Christmas Lynda and I had a discussion about it, because it triggered something in her where she was comparing herself to me. I think people do this a lot, too. I was fine at Christmas with Sandy and Marlies. It was very lovely, I was very happy, and we had a great time. Lynda made an association with herself and someone that sheís been involved with in the past, that it would be very difficult for her to be in that kind of a situation with that personís new girlfriend. She started comparing, thinking that she was bad because she was really not accepting because she would not be able to invite them to Christmas and be gracious and happy and enjoy their company and because she doesnít like this old boyfriendís new girlfriend. She doesnít even know this new woman, but she doesnít like her because she doesnít like the idea of it and she wants to be with him; but she really doesnít want to be with him.
But it doesnít really matter, what was important was that she was making a comparison and expecting that if she was accepting she would be acting the same way. She would just automatically like this new girlfriend of this guy, she would be comfortable with them, and it would be fine. I was like, ďAre you nuts? Why would you think that?Ē There was nothing wrong with the direction she was going in.
When Sandy had an affair with Diana, I wasnít real happy. I didnít like it and I didnít like Diana. I still donít like her and I donít feel bad about it. I donít think that Dianaís choices are bad; I donít think sheís a bad person. I donít think too much about her at all. I donít like her because I donít agree with certain actions that she took. I wouldnít do them so I donít agree with her choice to do that, but that doesnít mean that I think she was wrong, which is a difference. I mean, I feel nothing if I meet her on the street and she comes up to me and talks to me. I talk to her like sheís anybody else. I donít feel any... In my head, alone, I can play with the feeling that I donít like her because I donít like her choices; but Diana as a person, I canít really say as a person I really like or dislike her, because I really donít know her that well, anyway. Even if I did and I still didnít like her, that only means that I donít prefer the things that she chooses and I may not agree with her. That doesnít necessarily mean that I donít accept her. Her choices are her choices. I wouldnít try to convince her to make other choices. That wouldnít be very accepting. But I donít care what choices she makes and it really doesnít affect me, what sheís doing. Even if it did affect me, sheís not affecting me; Iím affecting me, and thatís a hard thing to get to.
I got a few pieces here and there of what Elias was talking about in the session yesterday, and it would be really cool if you guys could fill me in and we could talk about that. Whatís really cool about doing sessions here in Castaic and doing this talk every year is I usually figure out what my topic is going to be a couple of months before I come here. It seems pretty consistent that every year, the day before I give my talk, Elias gives his session and he always seems to talk about whatever Iíve already planned to talk about. In the beginning when I first started giving these talks, I was very put off by that. I thought, ďThat jerk! He flippiní stole my whole spiel! He talked about it first! Now what am I going to talk about, because he did it the day before? Well, that sucks!Ē It kind of threw me off a bit. But the last three years I noticed thatís not what heís doing. Elias is talking about this topic, and he already knows that Iím going to be talking about that subject, and itís kind of like a primer. I can talk about it in people terms instead of cosmic terms.
Especially this year itís become very evident to me that these things heís talking about are getting twisted a lot. People are turning the things that Elias is talking about. He keeps saying no absolutes, no absolutes, no absolutes, and people are turning what he says into absolutes. Itís creating conflict, and people on email lists and things Ė Iím not on any of the lists, I just hear it through the grapevine because I talk to all of you all the time Ė people are making other little exclusive groups of things.
We went through it ourselves when we first started with these sessions. We had our little pyramid sessions and nobody was allowed to be in it, and you had to be a certain tone Ė and who even knew what that meant Ė and you had to think in a certain way and you had to do certain things. You practically had to have a top-secret clearance to get into a pyramid session, and we didnít even know what the hell we were doing! We didnít even know what it meant, but we thought we were real special! We thought we were like more cosmic and more wide than other people, because we got it. We didnít get crap, let me tell you! But we thought we did.
A lot of people are going in that direction now, too, of making these little clique things, thinking that they ďgot itĒ and everybody else doesnít, and then they want to tell everybody else how to get it because they got it. Who knows what that means to ďget it,Ē anyway.
We all just get it in our own way. Most of us think we donít get it, but we do. Itís just that weíre so used to telling ourselves that. We donít give ourselves credit for what we know, and we tell ourselves that weíre doing something wrong or weíre picking up something wrong or weíre not being accepting. I really donít think itís as big a deal as people are making it out to be, and I think that for the most part, most of the people that we interact with are actually doing all this stuff; they just donít give themselves credit because theyíre too busy questioning every single thing that they do and wondering and walking on eggshells: ďAm I being accepting? Maybe Iím not. If I donít like this, Iím probably not being accepting of it, so Iíve got to make myself like this and Iíve got to make myself agree with this. But itís really hard because I really donít. There must be something wrong with me. How come other people can like things and how come other people can do it and I canít?Ē
Not everybody likes everything. Not everybody agrees with everything. My daughter wants to vote for George Bush! She wants there to be a bombing, obliterating war in Iraq. She talks to me about it all the time. I listen. I donít agree with her at all, but I donít think that sheís wrong. Thatís her opinion; she backs it up with intelligent argument. She means it, and sheís passionate about it. I donít agree with her, but I feel absolutely no need to debate with her or to try and convince her of anything else. The interesting thing is, she knows I donít agree with her.
This past summer I went on a peace march. She talked to me about it afterwards, and she told me, ďOh my god, these damn hippies in this town! Do you know, Jeremy and I got stuck in traffic for an hour because they were marching down Main Street and they had traffic backed up all over town.Ē And I was like, ďI was one of them.Ē She said, ďOf course you were, Mom. My mother in this whole thing! I was telling Jeremy, just run them over!Ē ďGood Ė you could have run me over! I was marching right down the middle of Main Street!Ē ďWhatever.Ē
But she doesnít debate with me either. I think the reason that she doesnít is that she knows itís okay with me that she thinks completely differently from me and Iím not going to go in the direction to try and convince her the other way. Sheís entitled to her opinion and her preferences.
For me, when I think about other people who go in very different directions from myself, I start to think about how I feel when somebody tries to convince me of their way of thinking and itís different from mine, or their way of doing something and itís different from mine, or how I should be doing something in my life and advising me. People have come to me year after year, telling me how I should run my business and how I should do this and ďI donít know why you donít go on a non-profit.Ē This is the way I do it, and it works for me. It might not work for somebody else, and thatís fine. When people try to tell me what to do, I donít like it, I donít think other people like it, and they never listen, either. I know I donít. So whatís the point? If somebody tries to tell me what to do, I completely block them out. I may look like Iím listening, but Iím not. Iím just blowing them off, going ďWhatever! Go ahead, talk. Itís going in one ear and out the other, and I donít care. Iím not going to do what youíre telling me anyway, so why bother?Ē
Iíve had it happen on the other side, where Iím trying to tell somebody else to do something and they donít listen. My daughter would burn herself in hell before she would listen when I tell her what to do! I actually slipped the other day and almost went in that direction with my younger daughter, telling her what to do, and stopped myself. But why bother? Sheís not going to listen to anything I say and sheís going to do exactly what sheís going to do anyway, whether I like to or not, so oh well. I just let it go.
I donít like what sheís doing, either, but that doesnít mean that Iím not accepting of her. I do accept her. I know theyíre her choices. I know theyíre different. I donít generally Ė although I do have my moments, because everybody does Ė generally I donít feel a need to tell her or guide her or inform her of anything, because sheís a different person from me.
Itís difficult to get to a place where you realize that thereís nothing wrong with you, the way you do things yourself, and if itís the same as other people, great. Thatís a natural thing that we all do; we all gravitate towards people that are like us or that have things in common with us. If other people are different and we are okay with that, then thatís great too. It doesnít matter. We donít have to always agree and we donít have to always like everything. That doesnít necessarily mean that youíre not moving and that youíre not accepting or that youíre not doing it or youíre not getting it. I canít count how many people I talk to, the first thing out of their mouth is ďIím not getting it; I donít know what Iím doing. I canít get this!Ē But you are. Youíre getting it. Youíre doing it. You just donít give yourself credit for getting it.
Cathy was talking to me yesterday about Eliasí session, that Polly went a little mental, doing ďspeedies.Ē (2) (Laughs) Sheís never done that before, not during a group session. Cathy was telling me how Elias kind of worked that into the session somehow, in what he was talking about. I didnít get the whole gist of it, so feel free to fill me in!
PAT: It was an example of inappropriate behavior.
CATHY: What I think is inappropriate behavior.
MARY: Right, right. Iím sure you werenít the only one! (Laughs)
SHERI: I donít think he worked it in; I think he used her. I think he instigated it.
MARY: And so he made it happen, huh? (Laughing) So what did you guys think about what he talked about? I think what I would like to hear is feedback of what you heard in a group session. Because in individual sessions that I do all the time, I talk one-on-one with people and what Iím getting is ďheís talking about differences and I seem to have a really hard time with this, and this thing about truths, and every time this difference thing comes up Iím like spinning my wheels. I canít seem to accept this and I donít know how to do it...Ē
PAUL H:: Iíll share something. He said something a new way for me yesterday about acceptance, which is a central part that heís been talking about forever, in that accepting self Ė which is sort of an end product of noticing, recognizing and addressing to Ė is not a final state. Itís not a permanent final state. In fact, itís a temporary state. So even if youíre accepting in the moment...
Will asked a question about coming home to his house when it was a mess and his issue of tweaking over the mess, and then coming back with an adjusted perception and it was gone. It was the same, the condition of inappropriate behavior or a mess, and Elias confirmed that as a great example of acceptance, and then he went on to say but it can be temporary. So I think itís helpful for people to know that, because youíre striving towards some final enlightenment, and thatís a myth.
MARY: Thatís a big deal. Most people think that, and I canít count how many times I hear people say, ďI already did this, so this shouldnít be coming up anymore...
PAUL H:: It should be a permanent state of acceptance...
MARY: ...Iíve already dealt with this. Itís done. Itís finished, so now I shouldnít have to deal with this anymore.Ē And itís like, wait a minute.
PAUL H:: So you can build from that. Will was given an example of accepting something, and thatís a success. You give yourself a star on your report card or whatever, and you can build on that to realize that you are getting it. As you were saying, we are getting it and then you know we slip off: ďIím going there today!Ē
Elias talked about that, too, that after the shift in consciousness we will have the choice to continue to engage conflict but weíll be more aware of it and self aware of what purposes it serves, and when itís getting maybe Ė and it is relative Ė but pathological or a disease or it is therapeutic. You donít know when someone is engaging conflict, whether which side is really on for them until they get through it.
MARY: Everybodyís got this idea Ė not everybody, but a lot of people Ė go in this direction of thinking ďif I could just shift, everything would be great! Iíll just do this thing with myself, Iíll just shift, and the whole world will be different and everything will be great and I wonít have to worry about anything anymore. I wonít have to worry about coworkers, I wonít have to worry about money, I wonít have to worry about arguing with my wife, I wonít have to worry about this or that. My children will be perfect, everything will be great, and Iíll have the answers to everything.Ē
PAUL H:: And no one will ever die again!
MARY: Yeah, and everything will just be utopia and it will be great. Itís hysterical to me, because itís really become emphasized to me this year how we do value things that are not real fun, that are not real comfortable, but we do them.
Using myself as an example, sometimes we do things in certain ways because itís motivating. Sometimes we make ourselves uncomfortable because it inspires us to do something different or to figure something out. Sometimes itís a challenge, because then youíve got to figure out the puzzle and put it together. Then when you do, then youíre all excited. I usually back myself into a corner before I motivate myself to figure something out, and thatís just the way I do it. It isnít always comfortable, but it is the way that I do things and I can see that it is very motivating to me. I can also see that when I donít do that, Iím not real motivated to change something.
I had a discussion Ė I think it was with you (looking at someone in the audience) Ė about something that I consistently do. Iíve been doing it for years. I have moments of saying to myself why do I keep doing this, then I joke around with myself that itís because Iím Sumafi/Sumari and itís that repetition thing and I just like to repeat things and thatís stupid! I consistently, three or four times a year Ė and I have to qualify this: I know itís me, so thereís absolutely no thought of my clients or blaming them Ė about three or four times a year I will in a particular month create a situation in which I do sessions all month long and I wonít get any checks. It will go weeks and there wonít be any. Iíll go to the post office every single day and no checks come, and I keep working. For years Iíve been doing this. In the beginning I used to bitch about it like crazy. Weeks can go by, and I wonít get one single check and then all of a sudden Iíll go to the post office and my box will be jammed full and theyíll all come on the same day.
This doesnít happen because I doubt my ability to create my income, because Iíve gotten myself to trust my ability to generate income and I donít have a lot of issues with that anymore at all. But consistently, every time I do this, unbeknownst to me ahead of time, by the end of the month unforeseen bills come up that I need to pay. If I had been getting those checks all the way along consistently, I would have been pissing it away all the way along. I would have been on top of my regular bills but spending the extra and not paying attention. Consistently this happens where extra stuff will come up that I didnít expect and that I have to deal with. When the checks all come in at once, itís all there, and I can pay everything all at one time and everything works out fine.
In my experience and in my head I know that I do that, but every time it starts Iím like, ďHere it goes again; Iím doing that thing again. Checks arenít coming in again.Ē I usually have a few moments where I twinge about it, then I just forget about it and just know that something is going to happen that Iím making this happen for.
When I was talking about it, you said that would bother you and you wouldnít do that kind of thing because it would be annoying. Itís not annoying enough to me to change it. It bothers me, but itís not backing me enough into a corner where I feel I have to do something about it. Itís not part of my normal method of motivating myself to change something.
If I absolutely feel I have nowhere to go and something is pressing in on me and I start to feel like I have no choices, then I will motivate myself to change something and do something different. But if itís a mild annoyance I donít pay that much attention to it. That doesnít mean itís comfortable to back myself into a corner; it does serve a purpose. It is the way I do things, so I think it must not be bad because it accomplishes what I need to accomplish and it always works. So maybe thatís just me and how I do it, and thereís no reason to think that thereís some better cosmic way of doing this.
Iíve heard him say many times that value is not always comfortable, and I think that Iím starting to understand that heís probably right. We donít always make things comfortable for ourselves. I think weíre all very interesting complex people. I think we have incredible brains and we think like crazy, and we have all this creativity. We just donít give ourselves credit for who we are and what we do, and weíre always striving for this better thing, and I donít necessarily think itís about being better. Itís about continuing the process and the exploration or whatever.
Iíve talked to a couple of different people in the past about painting. I love to paint and my most distressing part of painting is when I finish a picture. I get really upset and I have a few days where Iím really antsy and uncomfortable because itís done. I keep walking around it wanting to put one more brushstroke on it so that itís not done. I know when itís done; it doesnít need one more brushstroke. Itís a let down, because now I donít have a process anymore and Iíve got to start another process. Iím happiest when Iím in the process, watching it and seeing how itís developing, because itís always being something new and itís not done.
I think lots of people are going in a direction of thinking that their direction is to be done, to get done with all their beliefs, to be done with all their truths, to get to this end point. Even though they can talk the talk and say to themselves and each other, ďI know itís not about a finish line,Ē those are classic quotes of Elias and that doesnít mean that you actually go in that direction and do it. Just like with Lynda, she didnít even realize that what she was actually doing was trying to force herself to like something she didnít like because she thought that was accepting it. She didnít even realize thatís what was happening. She would never have said that to herself.
I think whenever weíre doing a lot of this stuff we donít think to ourselves ďIím trying to get to a finish line; Iím trying to get to a point where Iím done and everything will be really peachy and easy.Ē Weíre not thinking that but that might be what weíre doing. I think that thatís why itís such big deal, why Elias keeps reiterating this stuff about paying attention and paying attention to what youíre doing.
I have a friend, who has also been a client for quite a few years, who lost her husband this summer, and it was devastating to her. They were both clients of mine. After she lost her husband she was dealing with a lot of legal issues dealing with his business. It was very difficult, and the automatic go-there is ďokay, why am I creating this? Do I think Iím not worthy of this? Do I think I donít deserve this? I shouldnít have this money Ė I didnít make it myself so they should all take it away or whatever?Ē She did say those things initially to me in the beginning, but she didnít believe it. Fortunately sheís immersed herself in this information for so long and has really paid attention. She said, ďI know thatís not what Iím doing. I donít know exactly what I am doing, but thatís not what it is,Ē and we started talking.
Interestingly enough, you never really realize whatís right there in your environment that relates to things that we think are big. She and I started talking about our little dogs. I was talking about Polly, and she has a little white dog too, a little Bichon. We started talking about their behaviors and things like that, and all of a sudden it started to come around to how they reflect our energy, and they do. She was wondering how do you know what kind of energy youíre putting out and how can you tell? She had just been telling me that it was the funniest thing, while she was on the phone with one of these people in the company and was really upset and really didnít want to be talking to that person but was making herself talk to that person, all of a sudden her little dog went crazy, running around the room and wouldnít stop bugging her, and she finally used that as an excuse to get off the phone. And thatís how you can tell.
There are things around us all the time in our immediate environment that respond, that reflect things, if we just pay attention. It may be another person, it may be a little dog, it may be a cat, it may be a bird, a plant, who knows what Ė maybe your car. Everything is so interconnected it could be anything. But most likely itís something there in your immediate environment thatís going to reflect what kind of energy youíre putting out, regardless of what youíre thinking.
She was thinking, ďIím going to be positive, Iím going to be positive, Iím going to be positive.Ē I asked her, ďWhat are you feeling?Ē She didnít know. And I said, ďJust take a minute. What are you feeling? If I say your lawyerís name, what do you feel?Ē ďNervous.Ē ďOkay, why?Ē ďIím apprehensive.Ē Iím like, ďWhat are you apprehensive about?Ē ďBecause Iím worried that heís not going to be able to maneuver with the other lawyers and weíll lose.Ē ďThere you go. What kind of energy are you putting out? Apprehensiveness and doubt and fear, and thatís whatís going to happen because thatís what youíre putting out. If you can distract yourself, go play with your little dog, be right now, quit thinking about three weeks from now, just stay in today and get yourself in a different space and calm down, maybe the meeting will go very differently.Ē Which she did, and it did.
Now sheís still dealing with stuff, itís not like it all fixed itself that day because it is a process, but thatís an example of being able to realize what kind of energy youíre putting out, even though you think youíre putting out something else. You can talk to yourself in your head all you want to and tell yourself and your whole body is going (Mary tightens up rigidly), it doesnít matter. The energy is going out there, and thatís something that I know is very real. It does affect things and it does make things happen, probably more so than anything else.
So what do you guys think?
CATHY: We were talking about truths yesterday, and somebody asked something about where are we in this wave, is it almost over, because Iím tired of it. (Laughter) Then Elias said something to the effect of itís whatever we make it.
FEMALE: Itís individual.
CATHY: So along those lines of truths, have you figured out what your most influencing truth is? I can think of a lot of different things with me, like the appropriateness of the dog running around. I know I have those kinds of issues. But Iím trying to think what truth influences me... I havenít come up with it yet, but Iím thinking about it. I know it will come up and slap me on the head! Iím just wondering if you had one in particular.
MARY: I donít know if Iíve come up with just one. I think I probably have lots of them.
CATHY: I know that we all do, but I was just wondering if there was one...
MARY: This year, I came up with one at the beginning of the year. I think I spoke to you about it.
CATHY: It was like just in the moment? ďI just had a thought...Ē?
MARY: I think it depends on where youíre at. I can say that at the beginning of this year when I came back home from here I had a revelation about a big truth that I have about relationships and about foundations, and my imagery of that of living together with someone. If youíre not living with someone then you donít really have a committed relationship with them and you have no foundation, and so thereís nothing to hold onto.
I discovered that that was very influencing in a lot of different ways, some ways that I would probably consider to be good and other ways, which I recognized in my own behaviors and my own choices in the last couple of years, itís influenced me in some not great ways, in my opinion very uncomfortable ways. It has motivated me to seek out relationships that I didnít really want or need, because thatís what you do.
Recently a different one has come up for me. Since this whole thing went on with Sandy choosing to move to Germany, I started to evaluate inside of me what is valuable to me and whatís important to me. I think a big one for me was that you have to be in a relationship with somebody, because if youíre not thereís something wrong with you, and if you donít get into a relationship with somebody by a certain age thereís really something wrong with you. Then youíre sunk, because youíre going to wind up a little old spinster woman and youíre going to die alone.
CATHY: Well, youíve got your little dog. (Laughter)
MARY: That was a part of what I started to evaluate. That was a big thing too, because that brought up a whole thing inside of me almost to a point of guilt, because I started to realize Iím really wicked happy living by myself. I have tons of really good friends; Iíve been very blessed in this lifetime to have so many very close intimate friends that I can engage any time I want to. I value my privacy; I value my time alone. I can interact with anybody any time I want to Ė I do it every day. I have clients coming out my ears, so itís not like Iím lacking for interaction with people.
I appreciate the companionship I have with Polly. I almost feel guilty about that, because sheís not a person and I shouldnít feel that way about a dog. I should only feel that way about a partner Ė and that was a big one Ė and then thinking to myself, wait a minute, thatís not true. Iím certainly not going to die alone, I can guarantee myself that. I have enough people around me that I donít have to worry about that piece. I donít have to be in a relationship with somebody if I donít want to be, and that doesnít mean thereís something wrong with me. Iím fine the way I am. Itís okay. Not everybody chooses to be in a relationship with somebody. Some people like that, some people are wonderfully happy with it and thatís great. Some people arenít and thatís okay too, and it doesnít mean thereís something wrong with them. So that probably was another big truth. That was the most recent one that Iíve come up with.
But I think youíre right; it depends on whatever youíre going through at the time period which will bring up something. Itís not like Iím thinking, ďwhat are my truths here?Ē
CATHY: Who would want to do that?
MARY: (Laughing) Exactly! ďLetís see if I can make a list of them.Ē That would be too much work! Thatís too hard! I just get them when they come up, when I experience something. Some light bulb goes off, and then ďoh, that must be one that I have Ė you canít be partners with a dog, you have to have people!Ē
PAT: Dogs have their advantages.
MARY: But itís hysterically funny to me, I was talking to one of my clients about this very thing a couple of weeks ago. I was saying that theyíre different from people, theyíre not demanding, they donít talk to you. But wait a minute, she is! Sheís pretty demanding, sheís pretty barky and mouthy, and sheís pretty time-consuming.
PAT: But theyíre so cute when they do it! (Mary laughs) You get a pay-off, anyway.
DARYL: I want to talk about the value part, because Iíve had some experiences with that this year. You were talking about things we value not necessarily being comfortable, and I think thatís really true. Itís really hard to pay attention to what we value sometimes because it is uncomfortable. Sometimes you can find that you make yourself uncomfortable to achieve some other end, to motivate yourself.
But the hardest thing for me to really pay attention to and admit whatís going on with me is valuing things that I consider uncomfortable just for their own sake. For example, I discovered that I value emotional pain as an experience in and of itself, and whatís even harder to say out loud is that I obviously value fear. I think that if youíre really becoming intimate with yourself, you do need to pay attention to things that make you uncomfortable and explore yourself in that way and be willing to go into those dark areas.
MARY: Thatís hard; thatís really hard, because we make really strong judgments about things like that.
DARYL: I thought, ďOh no, if I value pain, what does that mean about my future,Ē and I asked Elias about it. My intent does have that pain and fear in the beginning and then it turns around, so I have that luxury of knowing I have this built in turn-around, but I still donít know how to turn it around. Elias told me just because I value pain doesnít mean Iím going to create it forever, but basically I need to recognize that I do value it. Itís taken me a long time to admit that I value fear; it should have been way obvious even before that. But it was months later, when I was laying there not breathing and going ďgod, I guess I value fear,Ē that I had to say that I value fear. Although objectively I would say ďare you crazy?Ē
MARY: Yes! Everybody would. Itís very difficult, because we put certain absolute associations with certain words and certain actions. Certain things are good and certain things are bad: fear is definitely bad; pain is definitely bad. Even for myself, it took me quite a few years to realize that I value drama. When I stopped fighting it, I stopped creating as much of it as I used to, which is kind of weird. I still create it.
DARYL: Do you enjoy it more, when you do create it now?
MARY: I think I see it differently. I donít know if I enjoy it more, but I think I see it differently. I donít necessarily enjoy it. Sometimes I amuse myself with it, but most of the time I wouldnít attach the word ďenjoyĒ with it.
I look at it differently. I donít think that itís bad. I donít automatically think, ďThis sucks. This is really bad. Why the heck am I doing this? Why do I do this this way and why canít I do this different? Other people donít do this. Why do I have to be such a drama queen?Ē I donít go there anymore with it; I just resign myself that this is what I do and I guess itís okay. Not everybody likes doing this, I donít necessarily like doing it most of the time either, but I do it...
CATHY: But youíre so good at it!
MARY: (Laughs) I am good at it! Thatís part of whatís different now, that I can play with it or I can play with myself with it...
DARYL: Thatís kind of what I meant by enjoying it more.
MARY: ...instead of beating myself up about it, saying, ďI should be over this by now,Ē fighting with my own energy, and trying to make something stop. I can joke with myself now. ďThere I go, drama queen mode again. Oh boy!Ē But I play around with myself Ė this is Mary, the little drama queen. (Laughing)
I look at things differently now, repetition things. When I see things repeating again and again and again, I donít beat myself up about that anymore, either. I just say, ďOh well, this is just the way I do it.Ē It doesnít mean I didnít ďgetĒ something; it doesnít mean I should be beyond this by now or whatever or that I shouldnít be doing this anymore. It just is my method of how I do things. I seem to pick the subject over and over and over again like a broken record, but thatís how I give myself my imagery or my information.
SHARON: I have a question: what the hell is a scurvy knave? (3) (Laughter)
MARY: A scurvy knave? A scurvy knave is a pirate!
SHARON: So we all have focuses of scurvy knaves?
MARY: Do we?!
SHARON: Elias was talking yesterday about scurvy knaves...
MARY: That we all have scurvy knaves? How fun! I want to be one! (Laughter)
SHERI: I think he meant we all have things we donít like.
CATHY: He was talking about focuses we donít like. I donít think necessarily a scurvy knave, but something like that.
SHERI: We all have scoundrels.
MARY: Iím sure Iíve got some that I wouldnít like; I just donít choose to investigate them. But I donít investigate any of them, so it doesnít matter! (Laughing) I donít care if theyíre good ones or bad ones Ė they just donít interest me!
Well, what do you guys think about these truths and dealing with all this stuff?
MALE: When they say that essence has all knowledge and knows everything, and then when a question is asked of Elias, who represents essence, and his answer is ďI canít tell you,Ē does that mean that he doesnít want to tell us, or does that mean that theyíre saying to him that he canít tell us?
MARY: I donít think thereís anything about a ďcanít.Ē Over the years Iíve watched how he talks to people, and I think that there are some times when he wonít necessarily answer someone because they wouldnít understand his answer or they might interpret it in a manner that is way off and is not what he means at all because their experience at that moment canít assimilate what he has to say.
Iíve watched him do this over these last nine years with us as groups, that he gives us information in increments. Heíll give us some information and then the next year itís completely way bigger information and expanded, and that has to do with us and what we can understand. Not that we donít have the capacity to understand, but with our experience.
I think this whole business of widening awareness and stuff, itís something you can actually see. You can see people expanding what they can understand. When we first started this, we were such babies. We didnít know anything. If he would have talked to us then the way he talks to us now, we wouldnít have understood a word he was saying. We probably wouldnít have paid attention, and we probably wouldnít have kept doing the sessions.
CATHY: We wouldnít be here now.
MARY: No, we wouldnít. We would have stopped doing sessions because we wouldnít have understood anything he was saying. Plus when you take into consideration peopleís beliefs, and some of them are pretty strong, I mean if he would have come out in the very beginning and said thereís no god, thereís no this, thereís no that...
CATHY: The karma thing was one of the biggest. That still...
MARY: That this isnít the way it happens, everything is simultaneous, and no, you donít have past lives, you donít have future lives, theyíre all right now. If he would have been saying that at the very beginning, we would have been ďHuh?Ē
SHERI: Wait a minute Ė some of us read Seth. We would have understood him.
MARY: Iím talking about people that were in the group at that time.
PAT: Yesterday a gentleman here was very hung up on Seth. Most of us here have read Seth at some point in our lives, and we took that as gospel almost. This gentleman got almost a little argumentative with Elias, because he wanted to prove that Elias was calling Seth a liar. I tried to explain to him that Seth came in and started the process and gave us what we could handle at the time, and then Elias came in and carried on, but that doesnít mean that he was calling Seth a liar. But you could not get that through to this guy. So if Elias would have come in right off the bat like you said, there would have been so many people like that who would have been unhappy and uncomfortable not able to accept it.
MARY: Right, which is not the point. The point is that weíve somehow asked him to interact with us. Weíve asked him for this information, and heís just responding in whatever capacity we can understand. Itís not that weíre stupid and itís not that we donít know things; itís just that we have these associations with what we know and whatís familiar to us.
People ask Elias about like other-dimensional things and itís difficult for him to accurately explain that to them because theyíre going to naturally filter it through what we know here. The farthest you can go with that is to think about little gray squishy guys or whatever, something that resembles us. We have no concept of what some other-dimensional being would be or how its reality is because itís not in our reality and itís not something we know.
People ask Elias about what nonphysical consciousness is, and itís hard for us to be able to translate that and understand that Ė I know I donít Ė because how can you understand that itís not a thing? Thatís what we are here, weíre things, and thatís what we make here, things. We create things and we manifest things. Everything is a thing here, and consciousness isnít a thing. So then what is it? Consciousness is an action, so what does that mean? I donít know. You have no frame of reference; you have nothing to help you to understand some of these concepts.
I think Elias has known from the very beginning that heís working within a framework of us wanting to understand but having to filter it through what we know here, but everything doesnít really fit with what we know here and thatís kind of difficult to explain some things.
PAT: Like trying to explain the color red to a blind person whoís never seen. How are you going to explain red?
WILL: To me, what Elias talked about yesterday seems even more radical than the karma and reincarnation and god and all that, because heís talking about there is no right or wrong belief. That kind of puts a bow around all of it and says all of itís up for grabs. What I heard, and what youíre picking up on again today in a helpful way, is Elias talked about distortion, and what youíre saying is we put on our own filters.
Elias said the distortion comes when we incorporate our own frustrations, difficulties and confusions on top of the message, and the thing that causes that the most is the idea of better and worse. We judge things better or worse, and that creates difficulty and trauma and all these other things. As I thought about it, thatís true. I spend probably 90 percent of my energy trying to judge whatís better or worse out there in my own life and other peoplesí lives, and thatís my whole life. I began to think while I was listening, if I didnít do that, what would I be doing? (Laughter) That is my life, making those judgments! I kinda think I have no life then, Elias! (Much laughter) Youíve taken away everything! Thatís everything I do.
So then Iím sitting there thinking, okay then whatís my life? I read the book last night, the new book, and that helped. So the focus is not out there, the focus is me and the focus is what gives meaning, pleasure to me, and thatís a totally different focus. Thereís less distortion there. Youíre focusing on yourself and those things that give you meaning. Someone else used the word value, I heard the word value there, and Iím not sure the relationship between value and pleasure. The word Elias uses is pleasure; I havenít picked up the value word yet. I know value fulfillment from Seth...
DARYL: Itís the same thing.
MARY: I think we automatically value to some extent pleasurable things and things that we prefer; I think itís just interesting to realize that we also value other things too and that pleasurable or preferred things are not the only things we value. We have lots of things that we value, that are not in this tiny little box.
Itís fascinating to me, because I wonder sometimes if other people realize as I realize how incredibly out there and different and unfamiliar these concepts really are. Weíve gone through our whole lives and never done these kinds of things, and then we expect ourselves to just go ďoh!Ē We listened to Elias and we can just do this Ė weíll change ourselves overnight and itíll all just be great. This is not easy stuff because so many things are so automatic, and you donít even know theyíre automatic until you start paying attention to them and you catch yourself in something automatic, which in itself is not so easy because they are automatic.
I canít even imagine how many things I do in one day that I donít even think about, that are just automatic actions and the little things that you do every single day that contribute to all these big things that happen in our lives or big things that bug us in our lives or things that we think of as obstacles. They come up and for some reason we think that they just happen. Thereís nothing that leads up to that or thereís nothing that interplays with that or whatever. Something just happens here or there as if itís random, and we donít realize weíre doing things all the time that contribute to making things happen the way that they do in big ways, that make us uncomfortable or that tweak us out or that frustrate us. Then weíre walking around in circles going, ďOkay, what am I doing? I donít know!Ē And youíre just flipping out or whatever.
Last year, maybe about a year and a half ago, I had an experience with somebody, and I actually was paying attention in the moment, which was a real eye-opener. Normally I wouldnít have even noticed; I would have thought about it afterwards. But I had a confrontation with somebody at my house, and it got kind of ugly and nasty and I was not very happy. This person was going at me and I finally was just (makes a growling cat noise) at this other person and said, ďYou need to leave, go away!Ē And the person got upset and said, ďNo, no, no, I just need to talk to you,Ē and I was, ďThatís it, goodbye!Ē I wasnít very nice about it.
For about a minute afterwards I thought to myself that it could have been handled better, but I stopped and I really noticed it, and I had accomplished exactly what I wanted. I wanted this person to go away, and if I needed to be nasty to get this person to go away, who cares? Thatís what I wanted to happen and it happened. Why am I telling myself I could have handled that better? I handled it the way I handled it in the moment to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. If thatís the way I felt like I needed to accomplish that in the moment, it made no difference that five minutes later I thought I could have been nicer about it or maybe I should have been more patient. Maybe if I was more nice about it the person wouldnít have left, and thatís what I wanted them to do.
So why do I think I have to have everything in this certain way? Everything always has to be nice and sweet and considerate because thatís good? That isnít always how I feel, though.
When we were talking about the end result of things and how people go in the direction of utopia, every time I think about that, that Iím getting to this end place, I think about how many times in my life Iíve had moments in which Iím very aware that Iím being obnoxious to somebody else because I want to be obnoxious, and I know I want to be obnoxious. Iím almost picking a fight with them just because I want that stimulation, and thatís the kind of mood Iím in and I donít want to be placated.
I did it the other day with Lynda. I was in a bad mood; it was the day I missed my plane to come here. I was in a pissy mood. I was not happy that I had to miss my plane and I had to reschedule four sessions and redo my whole shebang, and I was irritated that that all happened. She came downstairs and was being all Pollyanna with me: ďItís okay Mary. Itíll all work out, and itíll all be fine.Ē And I said, ďI really donít want to hear that right now! Iím in an icky mood and I want to be in an icky mood, and I donít want to listen to how things are going to work out! I want to bitch! And if you want to sit hear and listen to me bitch, thatís great because I can have somebody participate with me; but if you donít, you can go back upstairs and Iíll bitch to myself, because I donít want to be in a good mood right now, I want to be exactly where I am.Ē
I know that about myself. I think Iíd probably have to slit my wrists if I had to be in utopia all the time and never be able to bitch at somebody or never be able to use somebody as a personal voodoo doll. I mean, come on now Ė we all like to do that. Itís harmless. You just pick somebody that you donít know very well but you donít like them very much, and you donít interact with them very much so it doesnít matter. We donít think thoughts which create these big balls that are like missiles that seek that person out and destroy them. So it doesnít matter what you think about them, you just pretend that theyíre your personal voodoo doll. ďYes, I hate you because you do this (pretends to stick a pin in), and this I get to blame on you because of course itís not my fault and I get to blame you!Ē Itís harmless because you can get all your negative energy out that way and it doesnít hurt anything. (Laughs) Who wants to be this sweet wonderful thing that never does anything? (Looking at Cathy) You do...
PAUL H:: Cathy does. (Laughter)
MARY: Cathy wants to be everybodyís wonderful peach! But no, because you want to be a princess!
CATHY: I AM a princess! (Laughing)
MARY: I know! And you want people to cater to you.
CATHY: Iím a working princess; I just want to clarify that. (Laughter)
MARY: But you want all kinds of things done for you and stuff, so.
SHERI: Does she get them?
MARY: Yes, she does.
SHERI: Well, nothing wrong with wanting that!
MARY: I know! Thatís what Iím saying. Thatís not like being a sweet, wonderful, all-giving perfect person who does everything perfectly right.
SHERI: She is doing it perfectly right Ė sheís getting what she wants.
MARY: Exactly! (Laughing)
(The groupís conversation continues humorously in many different simultaneous directions, and Maryís talk is over.)
(1) Paulís note: for the record, about 8-9 minutes into her talk, she paused to see if the recorder was on, and it wasnít. So Iím recounting from memory my impressions of her opening, since it nicely set the stage for her talk.
She began with some comments about how Elias sometimes ďsteals her thunderĒ in the previous group session by talking about things she was planning to discuss in years past. As a current example, she had planned on relating a bit from the recent movie Pirates of the Caribbean to set up her talk on acceptance. And Elias had made a reference to ďscurvy knavesĒ the day before. (See endnote 3.)
Still, Maryís introductory point was well made. She cited the instance of the ďpirateís codeĒ from the movie, which if invoked, would force a meeting with the pirate captain, and possibly spare oneís life. Convenient to save oneís life, but frustrating for blood thirsty pirates intent on blood sport. Later in the movie, there was a funny reference to the pirateís code which had up to that point been presented as an absolute law. Yet, one pirate mused that the code was actually more like a set of guidelines subject to personal interpretation and circumstances (much to the dismay of the person trying to save their life).
And Eliasí information on acceptance is much like that. Mary went on to comment how many people she speaks to during her private sessions still take much of what Elias has to say as an absolute, and wanted to riff on how itís really more like a set of guidelines. This point made, Mary moved onto to discussing how her perception of her daughters had changed as she became more accepting of their differences. Or something like that!
(2) Polly is Maryís little dog. At the group session with Elias the previous day, Polly began racing back and forth between the audience and Elias, growling and barking. Mary calls these episodes ďspeedies.Ē
© 2004 Mary Ennis, All Rights Reserved.