(Bautista, Personal Photograph taken on Siquijor Island, Philippines, October 2005)
I just spent a few weeks travelling back and forth to Toronto for a few family events.
In its entirety, the drive was approximately 18 hours on the road but I chose to spread the journey out whenever I could. I stopped by Fredericton, Montreal, Gananoque and so many other rest stops along the way.
All the while, I acknowledged my ego because I could feel it surfacing.
About Family, Tolle says:
Most people (and some or even most of your family members fit this description) are largely unaware of their ego and its totalitarian control over every aspect of their life.
The ego loves to complain and condemn. These are often two favorite family pastimes when they get together for an extended family visit.
Your sense of who you are within your family system determines what you perceive as your needs and what matters to you in life – and whatever matters to you will have the power to upset and disturb you.
If you have been doing inner work for some time, a visit with your family is an excellent opportunity to discover how well you have done.
As you spend time with your family, don’t expect that you will be the perfect embodiment of all you have learned and integrated. You will be put to the test day after day, moment by moment. This is normal.
Watch yourself and your reactions, out of curiosity, not judgment or blame, but for the benefit of learning how and where you’re really at in your spiritual evolution.
With this awareness in mind, the moments engaged with family felt mostly calm this time around like many a low tide I’ve seen. The ego swipes and insecurities of all in attendance come from pain. I think that pattern of unconscious interaction stopped for me at least because I changed the frequency. I wasn’t going to engage with insecurities, my own included. I smiled through the verbal jabs or redirected the back-handed compliments or asked the speaker to be clear and give examples. I tried not to dwell on the past and when the conversation went that way, I talked about happier times or the weather.
At least the weather was happening in the relative now.
Tolle also says that spending a week with your parents is a good indicator of where you are along your spiritual journey. It was. I wanted to spend time with them and just be in their presence.
The relationship with your parents is not only the primordial relationship that sets the tone for all subsequent relationships, it is also a good test for your degree of Presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.
What was the best part of the trip?
There were many but I am trying to hang on to a meeting with a toddler who I haven’t seen in three years. He reminded me that children are drawn to good energy and that they see beyond the social facades we tend to create. As we age, we put on a pseudo-armor of acceptance where we readily display our accomplishments via the things we have, wear or do. But kids don’t care – they say what they like and then go about their business. They’re not malicious, they’re observational. They are in the now – eat, sleep and be merry.
As I drove back to the east coast I could feel the pain body linger. Being in the now takes much energy especially when trying to be aware at all times of ego behaviours, mine and those of others. While driving, I relived the moments when people behaved unconsciously whether they spoke badly about others or myself – when they spoke under their breath thinking no one heard – when they judged others’ appearance or behaviours- there was a lot to witness and I suppose there always is when families come together.
But regardless, the drive was quite spectacular.
Just when I thought I had failed the ego test because I was lingering on my thoughts and on events that can’t be changed, I crossed over into New Brunswick, drove uphill and while I rounded a corner, I was greeted with a breathtaking landscape view. It took me out of my mind, out of the past at exactly the right moment.
I knew then that my thoughts weren’t serious because they weren’t real. The majestic panoramic view before me was quite real.
Out of all the journeys I have taken over the years, this one was probably the most beneficial for my spiritual growth.
It can only help me in my work, my teachings and the future stories I will create and share.
No matter what transpired – positive or negative, it was another solo venture that was meant to be.
Tolle, E. Visiting Family retrieved from http://www.tolleteachings.com/visiting-family.html on June 16, 2014.