Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Looking in the Mirror

I'm willing to bet we all deal with family drama on a regular basis. If “Family” had a middle name, I think “Conflict” might be it. That's just the nature of any relationship, whether it be with ourselves, with our partners, or with family. Tension tugs, it's just what it does.

My family, at least a section of it, has a history, a karma, of walking on eggshells around each other. The funny thing is, we are a group of very strong-willed, passionate, intense individuals, but once together, the number of bit tongues and closed lips is astonishing.

This isn't to say that we have to be intentionally hurtful. But I believe that speaking from the heart sometimes creates discomfort for others, and that is not our burden(karma) to bear. May we be aware and take responsibility for our actions, but not take responsibility for another's REaction. While we impress upon each other like a dance of give and take, there is very little we can ever truly control.

Here is what has been on my heart: How do we respond when we feel trodden on?

That feeling is very real, and can be very powerful and lasting if allowed to linger. Victimhood, shame, guilt, unsafe, trapped, violated. Yes, violated.

Violation occurs when we let it occur, and let's be honest, it occurs sometimes. Is it your fault? No. What responsibility can you take from the rubble to better understand yourself, and ah! Better understand the other person? The Other. Also known as, the Mirror to your own Heart.

We can think of it like magnets. What happens when the same polar end of two magnets attempt to come into contact? There are a couple choices: continue to try and mash the ends together or turn, change direction. Change your point of view. Ultimately that does not have to change any decisions you make, but the intention may start to shift from anger to compassion.

I offered myself a piece of advice after my first heartbreak years ago that has served me well: if something creates a strong reaction in you, give it 24 hours. Time and time again, the anger fades from my soul, and leaves a beautiful product: clarity. Anger is a lightening strike. Sudden, vivid, untamed, and it leaves an imprint: something is not right. Whether that suffering is caused by the situation, or the perspective is something only by the individual can answer.

After the reaction, what is your response? This question is one to ask at any moment, when alone, or with family, or with friends. Whether we inflict harsh judgment on ourselves, or on others, it still tears a hole in the fabric of a Human Being. Can we be both firm and loving?


As kids we fought and argued, and as adults we are as different as they come, but with memories like these, and love like this, we are mirrors for each other of the most beautiful kind.