Close Encounters

At this time of year families are more likely to have close encounter experiences.  Some of these are pleasant, some are strained, and some require insight to not get caught up in negative energies.  During the holidays,  pressure seems to be on to replicate the ideal family gathering with everybody in a good mood and enjoying one another’s company.

But what to do if the truth is that during the regular year there have been misunderstandings and even conflicts?  What if there are long standing resentments and competitions?   What if sarcasm is the only kind of laughter some family members seem capable of contributing? Can putting everybody around a festive table fix that, even for a day?

Probably not.  The important thing to realize is that our only responsibility and the only thing we can control in close encounters is our  own attitude, especially in the face of negative energy.   In “The Untethered Soul,” New York Times bestseller author Michael Singer writes:”  “A wise person remains centered enough to let go every time the energy shifts into a defensive mode   The moment the energy moves and you feel your consciousness start to get drawn into it, you relax and release.  Letting go means falling behind the energy instead of getting into it.  It takes just a moment of conscious effort to decide that you’re not going there.  You just let go.  It’s simply a matter of taking the risk that you are better off letting go than going with the energy.  When you’re free from the hold the energy has on you, you will be free to experience the joy and expansiveness that exists within you.”

Learning to negotiate negative energy takes practice.  Each time we feel the prick of negativity in an interaction and we immediately go to relaxing instead of defending, we are a step closer to personal freedom.  Close encounters with families during this time of year give us a chance to grow and even to have a positive bearing on long standing patterns of dysfunctional relationships.  We can then concentrate on enjoying those loving relationships that we have learned to count on and look forward to celebrating.