|Sibling! (Photo credit: Gus Dahlberg)|
As I sat enjoying the company of my two brothers and two sisters this past weekend, I had a mini epiphany. Listening to stories of childhood moments, present day struggles and joys, and future hopes led me to the basic realization - we're all just doing our best. There are things that I regret in my own life and mistakes that I've made. My brother is the same. I realized, as I sat listening to his hopes for his marriage and his conversations with his children, that I really owed him an apology. In my own mind, I had been replaying a sequence of events between him and his family from over a decade ago, keeping him frozen in time. It was embarrassing to own.
It was humbling to see how small I could be and how easy it was for me to drift away from my brother. I realized that I needed to let go of some of my memories. Holding on to images of our younger selves, trying to find our way, sorting out our priorities, rebuilding our lives after major loss was not fair. The real truth is that my aloof, emotionally distant approach to my brother was hypocritical. My own behavior wasn't modeling anything healthy or loving. Things happen in relationships that we regret, or that make us angry or sad. We have to be vigilant and know what our memories are preserving. Some memories we just need to let go of.
Can you imagine letting go of some of your memories - memories that are holding someone in your life in a freeze frame? Or, if not let go, then allowing space for new memories to be added?