Holiday season is here. Beginning with Thanksgiving/Chanukah let the games begin. Paradoxically, it is a time of great joy and suffering as families re-unite, old hurts and loves are revisited. What is really going on here?
For someone who believes that families are together for a karmic reason, the challenge is to repair damaged relationships in this lifetime. Otherwise the inevitable will be the need to face them again in future incarnations. No one said this is easy. It is one of the many obstacles, a subdivision of adversity, that we are obliged to encounter in any lifetime. After all, we are here for a reason, right? If you have the karmic perspective in mind, it does make some sense.
Extending a hand of friendship, grabbing the other party in a hug, doing what is contrary to what you really feel like doing (slugging the other) might just crack the shell of defensiveness that has built up over years.
An old friend related his attempt to re-connect with two brothers. Their problems reflected years of personality differences and business issues (details not disclosed). My friend call for the dinner meeting and introduced the suggestion that no one bring up past grievances but try to move forward by recognizing family ties and shared memories of both deceased parents and a brother who had died tragically. Unfortunately one brother immediately broke into a series of complaints about the past. It was clear that he had no intention of giving up his anger and clearly no intention to reconcile with his brothers. The meeting was a disaster and my friend paid an additional price when he got home. His wife reamed him out for even trying. She “knew” it wouldn’t work.
So what is the ultimate lesson? As a wise person said, what you do to me is your karma, how I respond is mine. But repair and reconciliation is a two way street. The brothers will have to deal with these issues again. But intentions do count. They are necessary but not sufficient to accomplish karmic healing.