Thursday, October 21, 2010

I must forgive myself

30 Days of Truth 03: Something you have to forgive yourself for

It's hard for me to admit fault or wrong-doing. I don't think I'm alone in that. It's never easy to say, "I screwed up," or "I hurt you." But the truth is, I've caused some deep hurt, and it's something I regret every day.

Growing up, my sister and I didn't get along very well. That's probably a huge understatement. For probably the first 15 years of my sister's life, we didn't have much of a bond. I was probably a very jealous little girl when Megan was born. I liked being the only child and having all of my parents' attention. But that doesn't forgive me the sins I committed in regard to my sister. I was rude, mean, and pushed her away for years. I wasn't the big sister she deserved to have - someone to play with her, protect her, and tell her how wonderful she was. I don't want to get into all of it, because I know it's painful for both of us. No matter what went down, I can't take back things that were said, or things that were done.

We've talked about it, hashed over the past, cried angry new tears. There are times when our tension turns even simple arguments into heated emotional tirades. Sometimes the past comes up when our discussions blow out of proportion, but most times it doesn't. She says she forgives me for it, but I don't think I've forgiven myself. I still have guilt and shame for how I treated my sister for all those years. I worry that things from way back when she was six still affect her at nearly-twenty-six. I fear she questions how things would have been different if we'd been different.

I'm thankful that my sister is a forgiving person. I'm thankful that we have been able to form a bond that should have started 26 years ago. I'm thankful that life experiences have become our great denominator and that we continually have new grounds on which to understand each other and to base our friendship. I just hope that someday I can be as forgiving of myself as she has been, and that the guilt can fade away and allow us to be closer.

I love you, Megan, and I'm proud to be your sister.