As human beings it is my belief that we walk this Earth to be seen. We yearn to be acknowledged and unconditionally loved. People are gifted to us to either challenge that yearning, or to remind us that we are indeed worth it. Sometimes those people are unfamiliar who come upon us on our path that give us this little trinket of goodness and then they are gone. And sometimes the people are family members and familiar kin. Regardless of familiar or unfamiliar, it is my deepest hope that I can continue to keep my heart open to know that every person, every situation, every judgment, every painful moment, every single act of love is divinely guided for me.
With that moment of clarity, let me say that my family sucks.
My brother is one of those familiar people who I have spent my life yearning to be seen by. I have sought out his approval time and time again. The magical moments of a family close and supportive swim in my head, especial this time of year. Those Hallmark moments that are shown on Folgers coffee commercials either enrage me or bring me to tears. Most of the time I am easily able to take a mental step back and find gratitude for the challenges that he had given me; the judgments, the remarks laced with hatred, the distance, the unloving and obvious lack of support for me and my kids. In a moment of courage several years ago, I chose to tell him that I no longer wanted him to be in my life if he was not able to respect me. Years went by where we lived five miles apart and never spoke. Slowly over time due to circumstance, we have begun to again walk the path of diminishment and yearning for love. And again, I experience those painful moments where I am being offered the opportunity to speak my truth. To take care of me. And more, to embrace that this too is one of those situations that I am given to be authentic and to offer what it is in my heart to him. And that is peace.
If I can see him as a little boy saddened and seeking to be seen himself, my heart can soften. But if I see him as a 45 year old man that is so lost in his loathing of others, then my heart becomes hardened.
I have choice.