My sister has a prickly personality. She tends to be brash, disagreeable, black and white, right or wrong, self-righteous, judgmental, very angry and critical of everyone and everything, creating a very toxic environment. We have had a lot of prickly people in our family tree. In fact the whole family dynamic is rather prickly. We all end up walking on eggshells – except the prickly people. :)
Anyway, she’s rather unpleasant to be around. I tend to unconsciously protect myself from her negative energy when I’m around her. I understand where she’s coming from because I too have had a “prickly personality.” I understand that her prickly personality means that she feels fearful, unloved, wounded, overwhelmed and victimized by life, not realizing that the world doesn’t revolve around her or for her, and that she keeps everyone at arms length with her constant need to be in control, using anger and criticism as a false sense of power. It has been humbling for me to see this reflection. Thankfully my “spiritual path” (and some good therapy :) has led me down a different road - a road of awareness; becoming more self-aware of my unconscious patterns, as well as more *Self* Aware. That is, more aware of my core Beingness – that still, silent place of Conscious Awareness within us all. But the tendencies are still there. I did not escape them, I only became aware of them, and over time I have softened and learned a different way of being in the world; which is not to say that I have perfected this “new” way of being. I can still get prickly at times.
I have been reading a very inspiring book by Oriah Mountain Dreamer called: The Call. While reading, the phrase: “Meet her in her wholeness” came to me. And with that, the sudden realization that I didn’t need to try to protect myself *from* my sister, but to meet her in her Beingness – that place of wholeness within her - from that same place within myself. Instead of shutting down and protecting myself against her negative energy I could consciously “sit back” into (internally become aware of) my own felt sense of Beingness/Wholeness and meet her, eye-to-eye, Being to Being.
I decided to experiment with this one day. As she railed on at what was wrong with the world, with that familiar blank look in her eyes, I just silently sat listening, while at the same time “connecting” with (becoming aware of) my own sense of silent Beigness within - looking right into her eyes. As I did, I noticed a slight softening in her eyes and demeanor, as if there was an inner recognition – Being to Being. It lasted for only a brief moment, and then that blank veil came back over her eyes, and she went on railing at the world. The difference was that I was aware that I could now meet her from a place of wholeness. By *remembering* my own Beingness, by consciously becoming aware of this space in me, I could meet her Wholeness, her Beingness behind the shield she constantly throws up to protect herself – and from behind my own unconscious shield.
This is not to sound magnanimous at all. This is not about ‘me’, but about awareness, and re-discovering a way of being and relating that I have forgotten in the chaos of family dynamics. Clearly I don’t always remember to meet my sister in this “new” way because her unconscious ways ruffle the feathers of my prickly personality. There is still a reactional instinct to push back, to get angry, and to respond in kind – to want to change her, fix her, make her behave. But I also see her suffering, and want to respond to that – if I can find a way in…
When I remember to remember the Wholeness of Being within myself and relate from there; trusting Beingness that *sees* through the prickly personality, something “magical” happens – sometimes; a recognition of Beingness in the "other." Isn’t that what we all want – a mirror of our Beingness; to be met in our Wholeness – Being to Being. I don’t think this is pie-in-the-sky idealism. Experiencing and living from our Essential Nature is not just a fantasy. It’s the Way of Being. Or is that a little too prickly... :)
“Embracing your wholeness is the greatest gift you can give to others.”
Journey to Light
“All things are made of the same sacred presence, stillness…”
”All things emanate from and return to and are never
separated from a vast and sacred wholeness.”
“This spaciousness that we are is not
indifferent to the suffering that we feel
when we have forgotten what we are.
It reaches out to us, calls to us.”
‘It is the Great Mystery.
It is what we are made of,
and what everything and everyone
is made of.
It is what we participate in
with every breath.”
“We will never be happy
or truly able to live and
until we find our way of living
from an awareness of the deep stillness
at the center of what we are
- our essential nature -
which is wakefulness, awareness,
love, peace, truth and beauty.”
“Look at your own life from within
that sense of quiet stillness
that you are.
You will see this inner essence,
this innocence, like a bright thread
woven throughout the center of your life.
Living it consciously is why you are here…”
Quotes from: The Call
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer