When my sister and I were kids, we didn't have a very good relationship. There was lots of fighting and lots of tension between us. As we grew older and we formed our own lives, there was a period of silence between the two of us. We didn't talk much outside of when we saw each other in person. As time went on though, our relationship began to mend and we learned to put our hurt and brokenness aside for the sake of family unity. Now we encourage each other and lift one another up. We're still as different as night and day, but the beauty is that we learn from each other. I learn from her strengths and she learns from mine, I grow from her weaknesses and she grows from mine. We don't always agree, but our root is love, and that makes a world of difference.
For a long time, I felt as though my sister didn't love me. As children and even into our teen years, she wouldn't say those words to me without hesitation or animosity in her voice. It's taken a while, and she doesn't say it very often, but when she does say "I love you, sis", It's sincere and it's truly from the heart. Our relationship has had to go through a lot of mending, but I wouldn't change where we are for anything. I love my sister, and even though we can be brutally honest with one another, I feel like that quality makes our relationship better. My sister and I know how to hold up a proverbial mirror for one another. When we don't want to look at our own faults, we rely on each other to do it for us. I can tell her when she's being dramatic and she can tell me when I'm overthinking things. It doesn't feel good to hear and/or see that what we're doing isn't good, but it's exactly what we need to be our best selves.
I value that my sister and I can improve one another by simply being blatantly honest. I value that we don't get offended by the raw truth and can still build each other up and encourage one another. I wish all families were able to hold up the proverbial mirror for one another without being offended and pulling away but, instead, using it as a means for growth. Our families are the most important people God gave us, and he knew they'd be the most influential people in our lives. Unfortunately, when we're doing things we shouldn't, and our family holds up that mirror in an effort to keep us from making mistakes, we have a human tendency to pull away, we shut down, and we blame them for not being present or ostracizing us. I personally feel as this is the root of most family discord. It all starts within us and how we react to those closest to us when they hold up a mirror to show that we need to rethink what we're doing, to slow down and take a deep breath.