As the holidays approach I am starting to have those familiar warm and happy feelings about my life and my family. I picture myself celebrating with loved ones, wearing a cozy knitted sweater, opening gifts, baking fun new recipes and sipping peppermint hot cocoa while listening to holiday-infused jazz. Something about thinking of the”future” is comforting. I do so especially towards the end of the summer when I need to cope with the imminent change of temperature and choose to focus on the “happy things” that happen during the winter. I also have done it out of habit. My mind is just used to doing that. This reminds me of something the Founder and Director of Cosmos Tree, Dr. Roger B. Lane, talks about in The Money Workbook: that we are so habituated in living in the “future” that we don’t enjoy it when it finally arrives because we have moved onto the next thing in the “future”.
For me, the feeling of comfort in thinking of the “future” is that I do not have to deal with the feelings and thoughts that I sometimes experience when I am in the situation; when that holiday I’ve pictured arrives. Staring into the “future”, I can just sit and watch from a distance the version of myself that does not react to others; where no emotions cloud my inner environment. In the actual holiday I react to my family and their moods; I do not love the knitted sweater I wear; I dread the ceremony of opening gifts because it is never a surprise (everyone specifically asked for what they get) and it also seems to take forever; I never have enough time to actually enjoy baking; I get stomach aches from anything “fun” to drink; and the music, well, that may be the one thing I truly enjoy but even that gets tiring after a while. Maybe it is just hard to be me or maybe this is a universal experience but, whatever it is, I know I have let my environment affect me deeply. My intention is always to get along with everyone and share the love I feel for them but somehow, when in contact with others, I feel almost as if static interferes with my frequency. I feel like a radio in the presence of an intrusive satellite and my stations start to flip and flop, possessed. Only now I have come to know that this experience is not quite unique to me. It affects all of us on some level.
In family therapy it is known that an entire family can have an unperceived negative dynamic where only one member is symptomatic. In other words, it may be a problem for all family members but only one person actually exhibits that problem or its effects. In my family that person was always I. Suddenly, during the holidays I would have lower back pain; random allergy reactions; mild depression; anxiety; or anything that urged me to remove myself from family gatherings for periods of time. I have even experienced behaving differently, letting other people’s personality influence my own. The challenging thing is that I love being around people, and in those situations when I am affected by other people’s “energy” I find myself battling an inexplicable need for space and quiet.
Years passed before I learned the simple things I could do in those situations because I am especially sensitive to people’s “energy” despite how much I enjoy their company. Yes, I am not all “positive vibes” myself, and I am responsible for my reactions, but I used to constantly blame myself for what I experienced around people. I always thought I was being “dramatic” or “just anxious” (and other people did too!) But I need to share honestly here because I have seen other people struggle with similar experiences and, like me, they can be pretty hard on themselves because they do not understand the nature of this phenomena. For instance, my co-worker recently shared with me that she has been having difficulty working at the psychiatric hospital where we work together. She couldn’t explain why the environment seems to be affecting her. I shared with her what I learned through Meditation and my studies with Dr. Lane and that is that we are not just a sack of flesh and bones. We are the Soul within that animates us; and Souls are transmitters and we tend to dismiss this because our minds cannot understand it. We have experiences that go beyond what our minds can grasp and we treat them as if they don’t exist rather than simply accepting that we may just not understand them with our minds.
We affect one another and sometimes can “feel” one another not because we are “connected” as some people say, but because all Souls are the same Spirit. We have different physical bodies and at this lower level even the Soul seems separate from other Souls but all Souls that are seemingly “here” or “there” are One and the Same, according to the Teachings that Dr. Lane brings forth. So our inner environment affects others and when we insist on our negativity, for example, it does not only affect ourselves but everyone else as well; and some of us will be more conscious than others of the effects of such negativity but whether we know it consciously or not, we are affected and we are responsible for what we do about this.
What can help with our reactions to others?
- First is to take personal responsibility: We must accept that our reactions are ours. Reading Tools for Living Free #38 “Introjection: Claiming Our Power” is especially helpful in doing this.
- Second, we also practice acceptance: We need to accept our reactions and accept others. Acceptance, in fact, takes care of the compulsive need to focus into the “future”, as I was doing before with the holidays, or the past. Being present is essential to being with the Spirit within, Which is who we are, and we cannot be present without accepting ourselves, as explained in the Money Workbook.
- Third, we practice Gratitude for the learning that that person or situation is helping to bring forth. So rather than resent someone and their negativity, we move into gratitude for that person’s helping to bring forth the opportunity to let go of attachments (our reaction to whatever others bring forth).
Following is a process that is very helpful and can be done as soon as you open your eyes in the morning:
Call in The Light of the Most High by saying:
“For the Highest Good, Lord, God, please send me Your Light!
Please Lord, God, place the Christed Light within me, surrounding me and between me and any negativity! And burn a Purple Candle in my solar plexus! Thank you.”
And with that I’ll leave you to celebrate the holidays and even celebrate going to work the next day!
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