I’ve had a complicated relationship with my sister most of our lives; one could describe it as a roller-coaster of highs and lows. It has come very close to a verbal agreement to terminate the biological bond several times (in anger), and always as a direct threat from her ….“We are done”; “Never speak to me again”; “You are severed from the whole family” “Consider yourself uninvited to Christmas dinner”. I believe we are there now, and like all relationships, others have been affected from the broken branch off the family tree; and for that, I am heartbroken, because no matter what issues there are between us, it is not something that calls for others to jump on the bandwagon and take an official “side”. We are both “right” in our own minds… but we own it as individuals.
Perhaps I could have waited a day or so to consider the permanent damage that was caused by disclosing some of the personal texts that I received… perhaps I could have just remained silent, and allowed the storm to eventually pass like it always does. But that’s how life is sometimes…we act, or re-act, according to how we are feeling … pain, sorrow, anger, or joy… this is life, and life is sometimes messy. I am always honest about who I am, and what I stand for, and I will continue to do so, because if nothing else, I have earned the right to have an opinion, regardless of what others may think of it.
“Anger is like a strong wind; it calms down after a while, but some of the branches are already broken”– Rumi
Pain and disappointment are heavy burdens, and can come from a very deep place in one’s heart, even if you have built strong walls to protect it. It is the feeling that no matter what you do, even if you tried your best, it is not enough…it can even make you feel that “you” are not enough. (Don’t believe it for a second!) Ironically, some of the people who are supposed to be the closest to us, and most trusted, can be the ones who can cause the deepest heartache; they can be one’s harshest, most unforgiving critic; they carry expectations that can become twisted in reality or perception… and sometimes, anger can make one deaf to reason, and blind to the truth.
As I sit here today I am thinking about how words matter, and how you treat others matters. Kindness matters, and so does forgiveness (with, or without, a proper apology). It’s not ok to use your words as a means to intentionally inflict pain or shame… I know this feeling well, and I don’t want to use my own words to cause harm to others. I will continue to stand up for what I believe in, and for what is right… even if I stand alone, as an army of one.