This is a contributor piece I wrote for the Joy Of It blog. Read the full article HERE
Relationships are tricky. Just when I think I have the rules of engagement figured out, I realize that they aren’t easily applied in any situation, because we are all different. It was in my formative years that I learned that relationships don’t always fall nicely into place. I have a sister that is 21 months older than me. We always loved each other, but the liking part didn’t come as easily.
My sister and I are different in more ways than we are alike.These differences, instead of being celebrated, became a breeding ground for comparison and competition. Those thieves wreaked havoc in our relationship. They stole joy that should have been shared between us. Instead of turning towards each other to embrace and encourage, we turned away to defend and protect.
Over time, our story has come full circle. My sister and I have talked about these years in detail with a deep sadness for what we allowed to govern our relationship, that in turn wounded our friendship. With her blessing, I share of the wounds that have become redemption scars. These scars are markings of a new story. One of healing and restoration.
Kristin has a brilliant mind. At a young age, she played independently and devoured book after book. Her brain is wired to think analytically and she pursues excellence in all she does. She observes, watches, deliberates and then intentionally moves forward in action. This methodical approach to living her life has made her into a scholar.
She just recently completed her doctorate and works in public health. She travels the globe problem solving on behalf of the poor and marginalized, using the gifts she has been given to better the lives of those around her. I have not met anyone with her level of tenacity and compassion mixed up in one body. She is fearless and strategic.
As a child I was full of curiosity and wonder. I was born with a big heart and even bigger emotions. My energy was fueled by people and I wanted to be in the middle of the party. I have a fire in my bones to compete, but want to do it alongside others. I feel most alive when I’m part of a team. I’m resilient and passionate.
I carry a list around in my wallet of all the dreams I hope to accomplish in my life. The list consists of twenty-five things. A few have been accomplished, and I aim to scratch off more in the years ahead.
Place these two personalities side by side and you had oil sitting on top of water. We didn’t understand each other and the narrative over time became that “different” was a negative term. As sisters, we always shared a room. There was one particular year where we even shared a queen size bed. We spent so much time drawing boundaries and policing the other person that we completely missed any opportunity to connect.
Continue reading the full article at Joyofit.org