You’re an adult. You pay your bills. You live on your own. You’ve managed to keep a plant alive, have relationships, and maybe even raise kids. You hold down a job, maybe you’re even the boss. People look to you to be the leader. It doesn’t matter how much responsibility you carry in your everyday life. When you get together with your family, you invariably end up not only arguing, but reverting back to a tantrum throwing 16-year old, who feels that no one understands them, and that the world just isn’t fair. Even the most skilled of lawyers will forget all their training and will resort to a style closer to “I know you are but what am I?” around their siblings. Why do we do this? Why does our family tend to bring out the worst in us? And what can we do to stop it?
There are two basic reasons why you tend to revert to the mental equivalent of your pimply, adolescent, insecure self when you get around your relatives.
Their view of you hasn’t changed in all these years. Even though you’ve moved on, you’ve created new beliefs, learned to train your thoughts into new directions, your family still sees you the way they predominantly did when you still lived at home. When they look at you, they still perceive those old frequencies which used to make up your core vibration. That’s not really the issue, though. The problem is that, if you’re not stable in your new, mature, nothing-can-get-to-me vibration, you will allow their view of you to activate those old frequencies within you. You reactivate those old insecurities (unless you’ve cleared them) and quite literally revert back to your old teenage self on a vibrational level. And then you react from that point of view. You throw a tantrum, or stomp out of the room, or find yourself having a screaming fight, even though you normally never do that anymore and haven’t for years.
If you’re not stable in your vibration, if you’re not consciously deciding and training yourself to feel the way you want to, you’re susceptible to other people’s vibrations and the energy around you. And you will be affected by it. The more stable you are in your vibration, the easier it will be for you to keep your cool and react as an adult.
Keep in mind that you are most likely also seeing your family through an old filter – you’re also activating old, dormant frequencies within them. Part of the healing process here will be for you to be willing to see your family through your current, adult eyes. This means ferreting out and letting go of old resentments. Is it really still important that your little brother broke your toy truck when he was 3?
Your family is a perfect mirror of your vibration. They are showing you your “issues”. Everything in your environment is a mirror of what’s going on inside you. Your vibration, which is a collection of the thoughts you think, is creating your reality. Your family, like it or not, is in your life for a reason – they are a match to your vibration on many levels. This does not mean that your relationship can’t change. On the contrary – the people in your family are generally the most flexible about staying with you as you clean up your vibration. They are incredibly valuable partners on your life’s journey who can help you work out your limiting beliefs.
Let’s look at an example: At dinner with your family, your father makes what you perceive to be a critical remark about your chosen profession. You feel he’s always been disappointed in your choice. You could’ve done better. And man, he’s never going to let you forget it, is he? He’s always got to push that button…
Well, guess what? He’s not the one pushing the button. You are. What your father actually thinks is irrelevant right now. What’s important for you, is your reaction to his comment. Most likely, in the scenario above, you yourself have some fears and doubts about your career. Did you make the right choice? Could you have done better? Your father’s comment simply activated that fear. Of course, it’s easier to blame him for making you feel irritated than to look deeper and confront your fears, but if you want to deactivate those buttons, that’s exactly what you have to do.
The idea is not to learn to sit at the family dinner table once a year and bite your tongue. The idea is to get to the point where you aren’t irritated in the first place. You can use every argument, every negative reaction your family evokes from you as an opportunity to clear an old, limiting belief. Ask yourself, if a stranger had made that comment, would you have reacted the same way? Why did I react that way? What does my reaction say about me? It has to be said that it’s incredibly difficult to do this in the heat of the moment, especially when it comes to family. You might still have the blow up, but you can evaluate what happened after the fact, when you’re calmer and more rational again.
Don’t push the whole incident away, thinking that this is just the way families are and it’s not important since you don’t see them that often. Clear the air. But start with yourself (always). Often, you don’t even have to have the conversation with your family about it. The energetic shift will be enough to change your relationship (for the better). But even if you do want or need to discuss it with them, doing so from a place of clarity and personal responsibility (NOT blaming them for making you feel a certain way) will bring about a quick and pleasant resolution.
I live on a different continent than most of my family. I’ve come to see my visits with them as a kind of “vibrational check up”. I get to see which issues I’ve cleared (by noticing a lack of reaction where before there would’ve been one) and discover beliefs I didn’t know I had (by evaluating less than Zen reactions I might’ve had). It also shows me how stable I am in my vibration, as I’m subjected to the energy of a different geographic location and the view which my relatives have of me. It’s often a fascinating and enlightening experience.
The next time you revert to a 16 year old version of yourself around your family, use it as the opportunity it should be. As long as you’re not the same person in every aspect of your life, there’s work to be done.
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