What Do You Say?

Relationship-difficulties-000067592639_FullSo many years ago, when my grandfather was still alive, he brokered a peace between three of his sisters.

There had been a decades-long feud, two sisters against a third. At family events, the host had to engineer table arrangements so the non-speaking siblings would not have to sit together.

Finally, my grandfather had enough.

All the family came to town for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary, and my grandfather vowed to put a stop to it.

You are sisters, family, and there is no reason to let life go by without speaking to one another. It’s time to remember you’re family.

That was something like what he said. I wasn’t there. I was a kid. I just remember the momentous earthquake in the family that a years-long standstill finally got moving.

Every day I see people holding fast to grudges and ill will. Hurt feelings. Big egos wounded in a war of words.

Pride dented.

Shame-faced and indignant, we cross our arms in front of our chests and march off, steam puffing from our ears.

Why?

What does it accomplish?

I know the great-aunts in question, and I can see how each of them and none of them were to blame. Lovely women all.

I just can’t see how much energy can pour into resistance.

How do we harden our hearts to those we could be loving?

The ultimate answer is that we fall out of favor with ourselves.

This war of words, egos, and pride has to do with nothing more and nothing less than a race for control. We want to be in charge. Right. The leader. The one everyone listens to. The one who KNOWS.

And yet, are we ever, really?

Yellow and red maple leaves in forest at sunny dayThe other day, my friend told me how she explains death to her 4-year-old son. “This body is like our clothing,” she told her little angel-faced boy. “One day, we take it off and who we really are, what’s inside of us, that goes to be with God and all our family.”

The boy loves funerals. He is not afraid of the idea that one day this body will no longer be of use because he is confident in the idea that his soul will live on alongside those he loves.

And that is a hard concept for even the most mature of us to grasp.

All of this surface dust and clutter has nothing to do with what is REAL.

Who we are, who we are meant to be, and the meaning of it all is cloaked in surface battles that we are fighting only with ourselves.

The feuds between you and FILL-IN-THE-BLANKS is an illusion. You’re blaming them and they’re blaming you when really, you are both mirrors for the sights your refuse to see deep within.

Solar systemFistfuls of money we cling to are fistfuls of crisped leaves fallen to the ground. Grasp them harder and they dissolve into ashes that sift off on the wind.

Last night was a super moon, bright and round in the cloudy sky. Did you know that out there in the whirling universe, we are specks of ideas on the limitless journey of time?

For my son’s Halloween costume, I painted the planets onto styrofoam balls to velcro to the bright yellow felt sun my husband is sewing. I can close my entire palm around the earth and fold my fingers over themselves. Jupiter and Saturn cradle in the palm of my hand.

The sun is a 9-year-old boy with close-cropped hair who sleeps wrapped in his froggy blanket under a pile of blankets.

It’s all relative. Clinging to the arguments is a security blanket we can do without. The truth rests in that walk along the leaf-riddled path, the full light of the glowing sun penetrating deeper than what we can muster within the walls of our awareness.

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