It’s the person we have both blessed and cursed. Our best friend who also sits ranked number one on the “Enemies Most Wanted” list. We protect them and we know how to get them where it hurts the most.
The dynamic between siblings is the strangest.
There is a special bond, the greatest love/hate relationship one can have. We can fully love our siblings and hate something they do. It’s not impossible, and it happens often. The tensions rise as we try to figure out who we are as individuals. They are the person easiest to compare ourselves, as they have grown up in a similar household, around similar people. We even look alike.
As they are showered with praise, it is hard to applaud them–especially if we haven’t received the same attention. It is built in us to want greatness! So we do what we can to reach the top of the totem pole at the cost of the feelings of our siblings.
We build ourselves up. We tease. We tattle. We fight.
Then the strangest thing happens when someone else threatens our siblings–we pull out our cape and go to great measures to protect them. Here is where we reach true greatness. We love, protect, and cover. We take the punches and hurt, and yet somehow we want them to understand what we’ve done for them. We expect them to be grateful, and when they seem to take advantage of us we hurt even greater.
The problem lies within our expectations. They will never be able to understand what we have done for them or the pain we feel for them.
We have a choice to make. Either to protect them conditionally or unconditionally. With the second option giving us the freedom to also love unconditionally.
Once we embrace they will never understand, the actions they make toward us are not as personal. Maybe if we would have let them feel the pain they would seem more loving. But our hearts would have hurt even greater as we watched them hurt–wishing we could take away the pain.
Greatness lies in each of us. It’s when we love unconditionally that we are not let down. They may never give us the praise we deserve, but they give us something else. They give us a chance to show how much we can love. How deep we can love. How quickly we can forgive.
They may be able to get on our nerve now and then, but they also hold a place in our heart that could never be filled by anyone else. So we will wait patiently while they take time to understand us, and if they never fully do, at least they will know we always loved them. Life is harder because of them, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. And who knows, maybe they feel the same way.
What are your siblings like? Have you found a way to love them unconditionally? Please share your stories! 🙂