Sunday, July 24, 2016

Love, Loss, Disapproval, and Reclaiming Self

Seventeen days ago, my younger brother died suddenly and unexpectedly.  The thing is that while I loved him, he disapproved of almost everything about me. (and what he did not know about me, he would have disapproved of even more) I have spent a good part of my life trying to be someone he would like.  Most of my people-pleasing behaviors were an attempt to be who he wanted me to be, and a lot of my anxiety, and belief that I was not “good enough“, was based upon his disapproval.

Spending the better part of the week after his death with my family brought on a resurgence of those feelings, and those patterns of behavior reasserted themselves with a vengeance.  It has been a challenge to let go of those behaviors, to recognize those feelings and release those anxieties.   My grief has also been accompanied by the conflict that existed between us and my feelings about that conflict.

The loss of my younger brother has caused me to reexamine my relationships with the other members of my family who remain, and my presence in the world.  I have also been challenged to remember all of the work I have done in these past years to discover my true Self, but most of all, to remember that Self. 

All of that work means nothing if I cannot remember my true Self in this grief.  It is not perfection that must be achieved but, integrity.  I am a strong, loving, capable woman who serves my beloveds well.   I am a woman who has a noble purpose that I serve with honor, courage and integrity.  And while my brother was a good man, whom I loved, he was wrong about my value and my worth. 

 Loving my family, does not require that I agree with them.  I will grieve him and love them even as I remember my true Self.  So Mote It Be.

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