Family relations can be so complex sometimes. It’s not unusual for family members to feel the need to distance themselves from one another for varying periods of time during the heat of a misunderstanding. During such times, it helps to remind ourselves that these (more often than not) temporary reprieves we sometimes take can provide breathing room for us and allows us to clear our stories about one another.
Accepting ourselves and our family members during these necessary withdrawals from each other (they must be necessary for why else would they be?) allows us to practice kindness – towards ourselves, as well as towards the family member we feel estranged from.
Do you recall how bad it felt inside the last time you were mad at a close family member? Fostering those sorts of feelings with angry thoughts about someone we love is not a kind way to treat ourselves, in my opinion! 🙂
It works better to decide that the distance between us is a needed time of healing and clearing. We might even choose to see a family members distancing from us as a loving act! How loving of them to take space from us rather than to go on inflicting their painful story on us. How thoughtful of them to spare us from their unhappiness with us! Yes, taking space from one another can provide tremendous relief if we don’t have to turn it into a problem that needs to be judged and fixed.
And it helps too to remember that our unhappiness with others (and theirs with us) is never because of what they did or didn’t do, but is caused instead because of what we tell ourselves about their doings (or lack thereof)!
If we decide that they are doing what they do TO us, or AGAINST us, we suffer. We feel like a victim. When we understand that they do what they do because they believe what they think, i.e., their own unhappy story about us, we are free to go on loving them (and ourselves!) regardless of how they feel towards us at the moment.
It’s possible then to arrive at a place inside us of truly feeling that there is nothing they can do that can stop us from loving them – because we understand that to stay mad at them hurts us so much more.