It is strange how differently each of us perceives the events we have passed through and the relationships that have accompanied us through these events. It is as though we each see through different eyes, experience things with different feelings and evoke such different responses from those we encounter that it could almost be said that all these happenings are happening to different people. It could indeed be considered surprising that there are sufficient points of similarity in these utterly differing experiences to make communication between one person and another possible at all, let alone productive, so isolated within our own perceptions can each of us appear to be.
This thought came to me after returning from a family reunion to which each member of the family reacted in quite different ways to discussions of a past most of us had experienced together, and reacted differently, too, to the new relationships now being formed through the inclusion of new members of the family. It was indeed difficult to find a common point of agreement in all the differing perceptions whirring around.
This experience taught me again the value of a knowledge of the elements, because I found that I could use it to steady myself in what often felt like the confusing gatherings I was included in during these few days of family get-togethers. If I could pinpoint the reactions of one family member to those of the Metal element, for example, I was better able to understand the reactions of some of the others to this woman’s sharpness, and could visualise more clearly why she had responded to her son as she did, why he reacted to her as he did, and why, then, he still bore the scars many years after his mother’s death. And I had similar insights in relation to the elements of other family members, including my own element, and these helped reveal why some of the relationships we discussed had been so fraught whilst others had been peaceful. In shedding greater light on myself, I came away much clearer about what I had found difficult in my earlier life, particularly during my childhood, and what I was still finding difficult all those years further on.