Let your family members be as they are this holiday season (and beyond). Give them space. I mean this even if you are sitting with them – give them space to be. Don’t take any responsibility for what they say or do, and do take it on, don’t open yourself up to being upset. You re responsible for your own reactions and to step away from being triggered…
When these waves of unpleasant feelings arise in you – let these be as well. Notice them. Do not identify with them. Be the neutral space of awareness in which feelings arise. Be a witness to them, let them be. Treating feelings in this way will begin to remove their power over you. Negativity cannot survive in an accepting, surrendered, alert inner state.
Even if you understand that being affected by another’s negativity is useless, still this behaviour may habitually arise in you, by itself. You are always responsibile for your own reactions or feelings – be more responsible as a non-judgmental witness of them as they come, stay, and go. Have no opinion of how you should be feeling when around these family members – and as a result you will be more surrendered and at peace, not fighting and fueling any negativity inside your own self.
Obviously you cannot control someone else’s negativity or opinions, and if you argue against it, you just make it worse. So, you can use it to burn up any latent negativity inside yourself. With family members in particular, other people can trigger negativity inside you, or trigger shared negativity that exists within many members of the group - which you can then transcend using awareness and nonresistance (surrender/acceptance)
Give up any need to control your mother or grandmother, and don’t try to control your own feelings. Trying to control these things is like trying to cage a wild beast – the beast will get more upset and will fight even more. Surrender completely. If resistance and negativity arise in you, surrender to that, be a space for it all, let it be as it is. This is a far quicker way to peace than consulting the mind or thinking about anything.
To go a step further – the “me” that is upset by all of this - is also observed by you. You can be aware of this “upset me” as it arises – remain as the awareness.
All of the above may at first seem as if you are becoming weaker – but this is only the mind’s interpretation. If you let yourself be as you are – including any uncomfortable feelings, and you let other people be – then action or speech will happen more naturally, and less traumatically for you. You may find yourself not reacting at all to the outside negativity – almost as if it does not exist, or you may find yourself speaking or expressing yourself, but in a less argumentative way.
Usually when people are negative around others, they are looking for a reaction or confirmation from someone else. Sometimes the negativity in them wants to create negativity in others. Giving someone else space to be, without mental judgement, is a great antidote for this. The negative one may get confused or upset – but you just continue to let them be, and you will do (or not do) whatever is needed.
The main thing to do is stay inside yourself. Stay as the witness of your inner state. Non-judgmentally watch the reactions arise in you. Be there as a witness only. Be aware of the story in the head that is formed around these family members –when you are with them and when you are not. Notice how the mind makes these people into concepts and judges and interprets their behaviour mentally. Drop this mental labelling as much as possible and remain as a witness to it if it continues to arise.
When you give up all attempts to change the way you feel, and instead totally allow yourself to feel what you are feeling – then these feelings will gradually or suddenly be transformed into peace. Don’t take ownership of your thoughts and feelings.
Negative family members can actually be great spiritual teachers – if you approach them a certain way. They show you what you are still holding on to inside, what you react to, what the negative patterns inside you are - so that you can be aware of yourself as the untouched witness of it all.
Some of the unpleasantness you feel may also just be the energy field that emanates from these people, rather than only being the emotions that are triggered in you. All the above advice is useful to help with this.
If you don’t involve yourself with negative energy, but let it be, it will not have anything to feed on inside you, and it will diminish.
Taking the above words into account – saying that their negativity puts you off being around them (or any other honest expression from you) – will arise spontaneously if it is needed, and will come more from love than aggression.
From time to time Karen speaks about what she is personally experiencing and how she feels and thinks through life...
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Karen Fiorucci 2012-2019 (C)- Beyond Words Wellness - The Conscious Intuitive