There were six of us born to the same parents. A twelve year age span designated a specific place in the family for each of us. Though we lived in the same household, the age variance made our memories of childhood and perspective of life in general distinctive. After all, living is a matter of perspective. Some people live in the past while others plan for the future. Some choose to live in the moment. For some of the six siblings, time stands still, they don’t let go. Some never look back. And some accept the past and just live. Who is to say what is right or wrong? It just is. The truth is that one simple choice has made all the difference in where we are each at today. Much of it comes down to living victoriously or being a victim of life.
Our life paths have been motivated by unlike personalities with each striving for his/her own dreams in life. Some personalities are domineering and manipulative; others responsible and hardworking. Some are motivated by purpose, some by money. Some are financially successful; some not. Some are internally fulfilled; some not. Some never strived for anything because they expected the world to be handed it to them. Some are still searching.
Opinions and expectations are probably the largest obstacles to maintaining peace in our large family. Difficulties arise dealing with strong personalities, theology, financial matters, illnesses, and addictions. Identifying that fine line between enabling and accepting is a struggle. Everyone has an opinion and thinks his/hers is the correct one. Learning when to keep them to yourself is an art. Usually there is someone who wants to do all the talking and little listening. And most times, it’s better to just mind your own business. Sometimes, more is expected from others than is given. I believe that one should never expect more from others than he/she is willing to give him/herself. Sometimes, it stems from jealousy and accusations that life isn’t fair. Life might not be fair, but it is what one makes of it.
I was once ruled by my family. Now, I am responsible for my own life and happiness. I no longer allow myself to be controlled or manipulated, nor do I depend on anyone for protection or assistance. I used to be a peacemaker. Now, I maintain my own peace of mind. I have found that detachment has been a passageway to peace in my life. I’ve learned how to love without being pushy, and I know how and when to walk away. I have not cut anyone from my life, but I have established boundaries when relationships are destructive to my own well-being. Detachment simply means I’ve chosen acceptance over resistance.
Whether or not I agree with their philosophy of life, I love all of my siblings. Our differences make us who we are. I am learning to accept their flaws just as they are learning to accept mine. I hope one day we will reach that quiet place of acceptance…no judgments, no expectations, just able to share a memory or two, and a bit of laughter. As always some will arrive early, some will arrive late, and some may never arrive at all.