I wrote this originally a few years ago. I modified it a bit and I hear about this at work everyday during the “family holiday get togethers”.
You have not seen your brother for 4 years but it is like you started the argument from the last word that was said, all that time ago.
You are suffering from the LP record syndrome. Do you remember vinyl? They had a continuous groove that just kept going till the record was done. If you lifted the needle of the record player you could just put it down later and start from the exact spot you left off at.
It can be like that with family and friends. You are just picking up from where you left off at.
There is a better way.
We just survived a three week invasion from three groups of relatives. I noticed something with my brother this trip.
I sat back took a breath and decided to have a look at my brother with ‘fresh eyes’ and to my amazement he looked older and made sense when he talked! Where was my little brother who I had to do things for?
It was amazing we talked like adults, we did adult things, we had a great time. Now I have always loved my brother but this trip was different for me. It was a new chapter in our relationship.
I encourage you in your interactions with your family and others to make sure you are not just ‘dropping the needle’ on the old record. It may doom you to a unsuccessful encounter with that person.
Take a moment and really look at the person and hear what they are saying today, you might be amazed.
“No one ever steps in the same river twice. For it’s not the same river and they are not the same person.”
Heraclitus (The Greek philosopher circa 6th century BCE)
*on the off chance you don’t know the story. As the water in the river is flowing, if you step in and out, by the time you step back in. The water you touched is down the river, mixed with other water and never the same.
Time marches forwards, all of us have traveled many miles since our last meeting. If you have harbored anger, frustration, resentment or whatever. You may need to realize that is your burden to solve.
Time will take us all. I recently read a long article on the value of rituals (like celebrating Christmas with family and a turkey) and how much joy that can bring to our life.
I encourage you to build positive rituals and mend fences where you can. I just got off the phone with someone. They will have one less place setting for Christmas this year. Time takes some far too early.
I found one of my favorite Christmas commercials. I think it simplifies a lot of things about what is important.
Heather and I wish you and yours all the very best.
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies