I have a younger sister. We had normal bouts of sibling rivalry and jealousy growing up, but nothing too severe. She was the consummate “little sister”. Pesky and annoying one day, fun and friendly the next. And now that we are adults, I can say that we have become friends, we actually have a pretty good relationship. A fact I never would have believed when I was ten. I have even learned to appreciate some of her qualities that I found less than savory back in the day.
One of her more bothersome characteristics, at least to my younger self, that I kinda admire now is her ability to express herself and her emotions.
She was always the drama queen, or so I always thought, but maybe it wasn’t really drama just realism. Now I realize that healthy expressions of emotions are, well, healthy. I could never get over how she had no compunction crying in front of the world. To me it was incredibly embarrassing, but maybe she had the right idea. She would get it out of her system and be done with it.
The waterworks still come easy for her and she still doesn’t care. She tells you what’s up with no thought of evasion or fraud. Not that she doesn’t have her issues, but openness is not one of them.
I know some people, myself included that could learn from her sincerity. There are a lot of people in my world these days that are keeping guarded watch over their emotions. It’s understandable when someone feels hurt or insecure. But you have to open up sometime. You can’t be strong forever.
The façade of a “happy face” masks a deep hurt in so many people these days. There comes a time when even the thickest veneer begins to chip and the truth is revealed. The break downs are so much harder when the mask has been worn for such a long time.
Why not let someone in? Why not believe for an instance that you aren’t a burden to those around you, but a blessing? Maybe take our relationships and friendships to a deeper level of trust and love by allowing those we care for to help shoulder the load. These days so many people live so far away from their best friends and confidants from the past that they don’t know where to turn when things happen. It’s hard developing friendships and relationships when you reach a certain age, and the need for human companionship doesn’t diminish when you get older. Why do you think so many old ladies always want to talk in the grocery store?
We live in the land of abundance. Food is abundant, look at the rise of obesity. Entertainment is abundant, again, look at the rise in obesity. And loneliness is abundant, look at the amount of people on anti-depressants. Maybe if we choose to walk in open, frankness with each other instead of hiding behind flimsy personas that everyone can see right through, we could really relish the kind of relationships that God had in mind for us when he created us. How freeing would that be?
God created us for real relationships, not insincere affiliations. That doesn’t mean spilling your guts the kid behind the counter at the deli, it means taking the time and trusting the person who is sharing your table.
I know I need to take a lesson from my little sister (you have no idea how hard it is for the big sister in me to admit that). I need to express myself truthfully, yet nicely, to the people around me. And I pray that my friends who are hurting will learn to do the same thing someday.
God loves us, and our friends do too. Why not give them a chance?
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.