By Alecia Rice
Ask Alecia August
I’m concerned about getting together with my family for a family reunion this summer. I’m struggling with managing my energy with people who are ridiculous in some of the things they believe which is several of my more distant family members. I know they’re wrong and it tears me up inside because they won’t even consider what I say. What do I do? ~All Tore Up
Dear All Tore Up~
As you’ve admitted, the struggle is within you to manage your energy. When coming from a place of consciousness, it’s less about who’s right or wrong and more about managing what’s going on in us internally — along with the energy we put out into the world in response, regardless of what we’re feeling. It’s also about serving as an example to others, which can often show up in the energy of our field before we ever even engage others.
We can only know ourselves in relationship to someone else. Raising consciousness is a messy process, so it’s no wonder we’re rubbing up against each other with differing beliefs, which often amounts to traditional vs. progressive. It often takes the opposite of where we are to stimulate growth and change, the discomfort which often moves us forward as we hash it out…trekking through the uncomfortable muck of chaos, confusion, and disagreement to reach the other side of growth, enlightenment, and a stronger sense of humanity.
When we encounter something of which we feel personal resistance, we should be mindful of those contrary, often irritating, and uncomfortable feelings — taking note of their resistance and how sometimes they are even emotionally expelled onto others. If we’re trying to contribute to less division in the world, we want to try to neutralize and ground those because others cannot hear us when we’re on the attack or up on a pedestal because we know we are right. It’s acceptable to think what we think, but what we hold in our heart and how we eventually respond, is the magic sauce that influences and sets energy into motion in our relationships — good, bad, and indifferent.
Beliefs and fears can build up large, looming walls that are difficult to penetrate, so instead of trying to get others to change, come up with a few well thought-out pieces of information for their consideration that you might “drop” into their consciousness. One of the best ways to do this is to actually craft well-formed questions for them to think about in a certain direction. This tactic is more effective than telling them the answer that you want them to be in alignment with — which often doesn’t work.
Sometimes it’s better to plant a couple of seeds with a neutral, well-delivered perspective, or to ask questions versus debating with others. Especially these days, as most of us are parked solidly in our trenches of understanding and are rarely interested in budging. Even if we believe that we’re right, sometimes softening for others by gently and curiously asking, “What causes you to believe that?” will help others feel respected and considered. This can then open the gates for potential dialog, seed-planting, and understanding.
Remember, you don’t have to be taken hostage by an intensely uncomfortable conversation. You can find the courage to outright leave it or quietly excuse yourself (say, to get something to drink) and then join a friendlier conversation that better suits you. Give yourself permission to find pockets of happiness, flow, and connection instead of sitting tensely enduring a debate.
Meanwhile, consider how you might reorganize the energy of how you’re heading into this reunion by bleeding off some of the negative expectations of what people will be like. History can often predict the future, but we’re coming out of the global challenge of a pandemic which has changed many things — including people we know and love. In many ways, it has softened some and hardened others, so try to stay open to the changes in people by not expecting them to show up the way you knew them to be before. We’ve been through a lot and it’s important to allow space for some wiggle room of growth. You just might be surprised.
Until then, try to work with the resistance that you’re feeling in your body about the dread of what you expect to encounter because ultimately, it’s not about them, but about you living in a body that’s feeling these feelings and thinking these thoughts. You’ll continue to grow yourself even if they don’t.
Alecia Rice is a Spiritual Alchemist and a personal advisor for those ready to unravel their issues with conscious choices. She offers grounded perspectives for energy management and sage insights in columns, videos, and podcasts. Visit www.AskAlecia.com for more information. Submit personal questions and quandaries to email@example.com.