Our families are often touch points to trigger us into reaction. Someone in the family can comment about our failings, our less-than-successes, or perhaps they can be harsh - before we know it we are there with our boxing gloves on and fighting back. We may think the punch-back was justified, that we had to stand up for ourselves, that we couldn't let them get away with that comment etc. But where did it get us? We reduced ourselves to a family at war.
What is the difference between diving head-first into our reactions and sitting back and observing what we see?
We give each other space.
If we are in reaction we cannot bring the responsibility, decency or respect that is needed in relationships, families or parenting. Reactions take away our sense of reasoning and we throw ourselves head-first into justification, right and wrong, good and bad - no space whatsoever for learning.
We can, however, also choose to make the space for learning, to make the choice to simply sit back and observe.
In the small movement of sitting back it offers the space for everything that will play out thereafter.
To observe or dive into being a family at war is always a choice. The 'sitting-back' movement says ‘I am not playing that game anymore, I’m staying here with myself and observing, just learning the outplay of reacting or not reacting'.
Sitting back is a really practical response to the situations in life we find ourselves reacting to. It creates space for us all to come back to responsibility, decency and respect - the very basic foundations of communication in family. It allows space for us to feel that we don’t need to be at war with each other in our families but can respond to each situation that presents.
It is always a choice