Friday, November 26, 2010


Last week I read an editorial by a minister who listed the real problems facing our country, the variety of (usually) emotion-driven proposed solutions, and his own suggestion for  approaching the issues and each other.  He said we need a “NON-ANXIOUS PRESENCE.”  That phrase took me back thirty-five years when  Martha and I were studying and teaching family-systems. One quote that I find in my memory file is a comment by the noted biologist and family systems theorist, Murrary Bowen. He said that we will be doing well in our family-of-origin visits if we can maintain a non-anxious presence for as long as five minutes.  As I remember, he confessed that he could not do that. So strong is the pull to get in line with what the family needs us to be instead of seeing us as we are. I have a hard enough time realizing who I am instead of who I imagine myself to be.  At midlife I wrote about my own experience with that in my  book, Laying the Roles to Rest.  Today, as we plan family get-togethers for the holidays, I  might have opportunities to focus on who each of us is now, how we are all changing, how I can enjoy each “new being” in the present and the peace that brings.  

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