Be and Let Be
Every family fights. Deep down inside we’re all animals, so it’s in our nature to bicker with each other. I know. I can’t be in the same room with my mom and sister without biting off all my fingernails and growing eight new zits. So, taken away the cursed nature of our beings, how do we learn to fully enjoy socializing with our families? The answer is simple: by being ourselves.
I know how it is when you’re sitting around some family members and you have to watch what you say or what you wear. You have to pretend to be cordial and polite and decent. Now, those are excellent human qualities to have, when you’re at an interview or trying to make a good first impression. But at Christmas, or any other family-oriented event, throw all that crap out the door. There is no greater feeling than being able to walk into the living room with your sweats and wife-beater on and not get judged. After all, that’s not what families are for. They are not supposed to judge each other. Therein lays the notion that not only is it necessary to be ourselves, it is more necessary to let be ourselves.
By letting be ourselves, we are not judging. We are not getting angry. We are accepting. We can’t choose our brothers, we can’t choose our kids, we simply can’t choose. Acceptance is like food. You’ve got to have it to survive and grow.
My mom is the closest friend I have. If I could have chosen, I would’ve picked her anyways. We disagree and get angry, but we have more fun together than should be biologically possible. She is my friend and then my mom. How is that? Because friends are those we can choose, and we choose them based on how they make us feel. Friends make us happy, make us free, make us real. We don’t have to watch what we say or do because they chose us, too. I can completely be myself around my mom and vice versa. I tell her everything and we giggle like school girls. I’m smug about my relationship with my mom. Sometimes we’ll be out and about, get to talking about something funny, and then end up laughing uncontrollably. People look at us and I know they’re jealous. But my mom is easy on me. I am myself around her, she is herself around me; no masks, no lies, and it works. Try it.
My sister, Alison. Oh jeez. It wasn’t until after she left the nest that she realized who better loves you than your sister? No one does. That’s when we became buddies. I look at her and see beauty beyond words. She is tall with dark hair, big eyes, and a finance degree. I think she’s prettier than me inside and out, way. She doesn’t act like it, though. We’re dorks. We’re always laughing. Again, it’s because we can say how we feel, act how we want, dress how we choose and no one judges. Be and let be.
What if you have a crappy brother, though? Charles, my brother is not crappy, but at times hard to get along with. In cases like these when it is so hard to let your family be themselves because they’re frustrating, do what I do: develop a defense mechanism. Mine is humor for Mom, sorrow for Charles. Charles yells at me, I turn my head and think, “It’s because our stupid dad left us.” He’s not mad at me, he’s just mad. I feel sad and my heart hurts for Charles. He’s a good kid; he just needs time to figure himself out.
It may take people a lifetime to realize that our siblings are the most precious things we have. When the world turns its back, you can always cry to your siblings. When Mommy doesn’t understand, tell your sibling. When Daddy left, you and your siblings stuck together. When the bully pushed you down, your sibling was on your side. From birth, it was always your sibling to be the last person on Earth to judge you.
Be and let be.