Close Encounters of the Relative Kind
Being within close proximity to certain family members over vast amounts of time can lead to disputes and invariably, altercations — and, yes, I am putting it mildly! We have all probably experienced our fair share of family squabbling at Christmas time or any holiday/‘get-together’.
Remaining calm and peaceful with your family or at family reunions is no small feat. It requires a lot of internal reflection and non-reaction.
Help is at Hand
Here are some key points to staying focused and grounded whilst you are in the throes of a chaotic encounter:
- Non-Reaction — ask yourself if you need to contribute to a potential argument? Mostly, unless you have something incredibly significant to say, you will only be adding fuel to the fire in these situations. See if you can be the still presence.
- Remain Grounded — this is another way of saying ‘be the still presence’. When you are quiet and calm and non-reactive, you move into the space of still presence where you can become the observer. Being in the world and not of it, so to speak. I can assure you it is a much more rewarding approach to being in a room full of tumultuous energy than contributing your two pence which is probably not going to be ‘heard’ anyway.
- Use Discernment — do you have an opportunity to help someone or are you contributing to hear your own voice? If you can help, then by all means do. If you are being swept away in a tide of chaotic energy and shouting, you have the choice to remove yourself from the room — use your discernment and protect yourself against being sucked into drama. You will lose your own vital energy this way and come out feeling drained and depressed.
- Send Love — we all love our family and friends, but if you find yourself in a situation where you truly cannot contribute anything but loving them unconditionally then do just that. Send them love. Remain calm and balanced and focus on the love you have for them. Build on that and project it towards them. Remove yourself from the room if needs be and then do it in privacy — even if it means locking yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes to gather/center yourself. I guarantee you will have helped them more by doing this then by rising to the bait of drama and argumentative behaviour.
Go on, try it out next time you are faced with a disruptive situation. Try to be the present awareness and witness how your perspective changes. You will be able to be in the world but not of it. You will feel an opening within you that will allow you to remain calm in any situation. You will, in time, be able to build upon that feeling and draw on it more and more.
You Always Have a Choice
The choice is always yours to engage or to detach. What will your choice be at your next family soiree?
Just remember that if you don’t succeed this time, don’t throw the whole concept out the window — try, try again.
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