Remember that old saying, never judge a book by its cover?

Well that holds true for lots of things in life. And there’s always a lesson to be learned and growth and expansion to be had. Even when you’re in your early teens.

Heaven might not be what you think

My brother had a friend.  Well, okay he had more than one friend, but this one…wow.  This one was tall dark and handsome, with movie star looks and smouldering eyes to boot.  In short he was totally cute.  They were in training together in the Royal Air Force so I only saw him once in a blue moon, until the ‘long weekend’.

Oh heaven had smiled on me and all was right with the world.  Iain was bringing him to spend the weekend.  Barry, even his name made my heart leap, or it could be something I ate I suppose, but I think I’ll lean towards the more romantic concept.

Finally Saturday arrived, as did they.

Listening pays off

What shall I do, what shall I say, how shall I act?  You can tell, I knew nothing, but that was about to change in a hurry.

All went well, partly because I was too shy to engage in any conversation at all, and partly because Barry wasn’t even slightly interested in Iain’s little sister. Even though I thought I was pretty cute!

So I listened…unbelievable as it sounds, it’s true for those who know me well…I didn’t become a big talker until much later in life!

Barry was a master at sweeping statements…you know the kind that begin with ‘everyone always’ or ‘everyone knows’, or ‘everyone believes’.

Hmm. That wasn’t quite so attractive.  He started to pontificate about the middle east, the far east and I’m sure he included the north and south and west of everywhere.

I thought, wow he’s travelled as much as we have.  Turns out, not so much.  He hadn’t been there at all.  In fact he’d never left the country, but to hear him talk he’d been everywhere.  There was nothing he didn’t know about.  Nothing he hadn’t done.  Nothing.

Mr know-it-all not so attractive after all

Barry didn’t ever mention that he’d read it somewhere, or heard from someone, it was all spoken as a first person experience, although it wasn’t.

He didn’t even say ‘this is what I think’, or ‘I believe,’ everything was as he said.  Should anyone have an opinion that differed from his either they were wrong, or he’d redirect the conversation.  Actually, it was less a conversation and more a monologue, because once he got going there was no stopping him.

Barry was a bore.  He had no interest in conversation, he just needed to speak.  He wasn’t quite so dashing after all.

I later told my mum I thought he was an egotistic jerk who just needed to be right and hear himself talk and she pointed out to me, in her oh so gentle way, that if I persisted in that image of Barry, I’d be keeping him and me in that prison of consciousness.

I learned, mostly from what my mum told me:

Barry, really  didn’t have a high opinion of himself, in fact he was probably more critical of himself than anyone could be.  He didn’t love himself.

What?  He’s absolutely in love with the sound of his voice, I protested about here.

Love really is the only true power, and any power we have, equals the love we hold.   

Don’t condemn, awaken others by seeing them as they would wish to be.

Okay, okay, I admit I didn’t really get all of this at the time…but I did learn it eventually.

Oh and I had to learn this more than once in my life.

Love is the power that changes and supports and as to the degree we open our hearts to others, we do it for ourselves.

Sigh…there were so many things to learn and to practice.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Elle – you are so fortunate to have learned this at such a young age. Me, I’m just beginning to wrap my mind around it. Thank you for being one of my guides along the way!

    • Elle

      Carol, you are so right, I’m one lucky ducky! I’m so happy you are beginning to wake up to the most wonderful power within you to make and reshape your life. Welcome to the club. 🙂

  2. 🙂 I loved reading this (just as much as I enjoy all your posts).

    Takes me back to occasions when I had a crush, to discover that inside did not match outside 😀

    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said, “but…why….?” only to have my Mom gently come forth with her understanding of human nature and her wisdom. Soon enough, i began to understand too and have always felt grateful for all that was stored in my sub-conscious mind, echoing inside me. When we are open to receive, there are so many good things waiting to envelop us.

    Love, indeed, rules.

    A lovely post. Thank you, Elle. Love, Vidya

    • Elle

      We have been blessed Vidya by wonderful women in our lives. I hope my daughter can see me in the same way. 🙂

  3. Elle,

    This is so wise, I almost just fell over 🙂

    Seeing people how they wish to be might be one tough nut, but I will give it a try. I stopped somewhere around, “Judge not lest ye be judged” but I can see you have it all in the bag.

    • Elle

      Thanks Julie. I remember the ‘judge not’ advice too, but somehow my deeper understanding of how this impacts the judger and judgee (no such things, but I think there should be!) made all the difference. I will confess, it’s a continual work in progress. 🙂

  4. A wonderful post, Elle! And I love what you wrote: “But you can’t awaken anyone until you awaken yourself. As you raise your own consciousness, you raise everyone with you.” I’ll work on this! I’d like to have this quote near me daily.

    • Elle

      Thank you Betsy, a most heartfelt appreciation for your kind words. 🙂

  5. This is just lovely, Elle. Once again you said it just when I needed it. Thank you.

    • Elle

      Ana – how nice to hear from you again. I’ve missed your lyrical comments. 🙂

      • Oh, Elle, thank you, that’s such a nice thing to hear. I’m reading your posts every day and absorbing your (and your mum’s) wisdom. You blew me away with the whole “thinking from” theory and “life is a movie”, you are such an inspiration for me. And I love how you take examples from everyday life, that makes your words so alive. I just said to myself “my movie has a happy ending, so I can relax and stop worrying – god has such nice plans for me 🙂 ” And I noticed I started taking things less seriously. Oh, and one more thing – I realized that in my language the word for “reality” derives form a verb that means “to create” (it’s not completely obvious, just so you don’t think I’m a total plunker not to think of it earlier, but that just proves how we sometimes overlook the simplest things, just because we are not used to reality being something we ourselves create). Again, you make my day, Elle. Every day 🙂

        • I guess “plonker” is the correct term used by Del Boy, right? Oh, that english of mine 🙂

        • Elle

          Ana, that is so cool. So the word ‘reality’ is derived from ‘to create’ how great is that since we are becoming more and more deliberate creators of this reality of ours. 🙂

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