Reframe Your Situation for Peace

I’m not close with one of my relatives. It is complicated, and telling the story no longer serves me. I can stay pretty neutral about the situation until my annual visit to my home state. Overall, I love and look forward to this visit, but the inherent obligation to see my relative while I’m ‘home’ has been a trigger for me for several years.

As my most recent trip approached, I reached out to my relative to say I would be in town. She responded that it just wasn’t a good week for her to squeeze in a visit with me. Fine, I really didn’t want to see her anyway. Why did I feel so awful about it though?

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She did not want to see me, TRUE.

That is hurtful and makes me the victim.

I did not want to see her, TRUE.

That makes me sound like a terrible person.

We have chosen to not make each other a priority, TRUE.

This is a much more empowering statement. If feels like we have come to an agreement and there is no shame or blame.

All three statements are true, but only one statement doesn’t leave me feeling bad about myself. If you find yourself in a similar conundrum, keep in mind there may be a more neutral perspective. A neutral perspective can lead to healing, empowerment, and forgiveness.

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14 thoughts on “Reframe Your Situation for Peace

  1. The thing is that we can’t just be in a ‘sweet’ association with everyone. Some relatives don’t agree with each other no matter how hard they try. They talk but they don’t associate closely. They only relate from a distance and for them, that’s okay. I don’t rapor with all my relatives, even though we talk when it’s important, we don’t relate like friends. We’re better off from a distance and I think it all has to do with chemistry. Some people agree while some don’t. In your case, the good thing is that you guys talk. Even if it’s once a year, it’s okay. When possible buy her a gift, not to drag her into your life-you probably couldn’t but to share your love. Love is all we owe humanity, wether they want to have anything to do with us or not.

  2. I can relate, more than one of my relatives are not involved in my life and I used to feel to blame, and to some extent I was. Older and hopefully wiser, I realize I have never blocked them from contact, and they have never shown more than cursory interest in my trials and triumphs. Fortunately my life includes many non-relatives who are family in the real sense of the relationship. What a gift that is.
    Maybe a good time to remind you of the Serenity prayer, with a hug.

  3. My family has similar dynamics. I was travelling with my daughter and granddaughter to a place where family resides and both my mother and daughter guilted me into contacting a cousin. “Mom, we never know who are relatives are,” my daughter said. Sounded reasonable. Said cousin whisked my two girls away into an uncomfortable situation, leaving me behind in the hotel. As we left the city the next day, my daughter said: “I don’t ever want to see that cousin again.” Trust your instincts, I’d say. Sometimes the best thing family teaches us is healthy boundaries.

  4. This is similar to the 60,000 thoughts that cross our path each day. We can grasp only so many, but which ones do we grasp.

    Hopefully if we have to entertain a few, they are at least positive ones.

    Then with work, we can decide to not grasp any one of those three choices, instead we let the judgments go and come back to now.

    One thing we can not do is read the other persons intent.

    Our goal is not to get along with everyone but respect we have differences and live authentically.

    In another judgment I would say you have good relationships with nearly all of your relatives.

    My family disowned me because I asked for help from my childhood abuse.

    I am no victim but have done nothing wrong to deserve this treatment.

    Hard to find solutions when it comes to family but it does not have to impact our life that much

    1. Thank you Marty! I am so grateful for your lengthy reply. I feel like my blog just benefited from one of your wise and insightful posts. I am a big fan of your work and your perspective.

      1. Thanks for the gratitude

        We are in this journey in harmony not competition

        Part of finding content is accepting things especially family is not perfect or should it be

        Many dynamics and not all positive

        You know we come into this world bare butt and when we leave we take noting but our bare ass

        Should tell us something about possessions

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