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The Relief of Letting Go

by Lori Sciame January 11th, 2019 | Relationships
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free (1280x1279)Over the past few months I’ve realized something – letting go of a dream unfulfilled can be a huge relief.  My elusive dream involved my sister-in-law. Even after knowing each other for almost ten years, we never became close. Why, I wondered, couldn’t we be picture perfect confidants, those who share coffee, share stories, and ultimately, share lives? What made being friends so difficult?

And then it dawned on me. I realized that just because my brother loves her, doesn’t mean that becoming “sisters” would work for us.  In fact, we have completely different core values, plus we live far apart.  And from the first time we met, she’s been telling me what I’m doing wrong in my life.

She has opinions on my parenting skills, my church, my choice of career…basically everything I hold dear, and she has no problem with expressing these opinions quite loudly. Even when she ruined my daughter’s Confirmation celebration by preaching her own sermon after the formal ceremony, I didn’t explode.  I kept being “nice,” as I wanted us to get along, to be more than just acquaintances.

But something finally clicked in my head.  It dawned on me that I don’t deserve to be lectured about my life. I am a good mom, a faithful servant to my God, and a hard worker.  Plus, it was wrong of me to let her talk me down in front of my children. I suddenly realized that I needed to be free of this toxic relationship; I understood that I had to let my dream go of having this woman act as a “sister.”

Since coming to this momentous decision, I can’t begin to explain the tremendous weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders.  I feel much better about myself, and I now know that I should’t have allowed her to treat me that way for so long.  In the end, I figured out that she would never transform into the loving, caring friend that I yearned for, so I did what was right.  I changed myself.

Of course my biggest fear in this situation involved losing the love of my brother.  Thank goodness, this has not happened.  We still text and talk on the phone; we just steer clear of any mention of his wife.  I am thankful that our 50 years of being siblings does matter!

While I don’t recommend giving up on every difficult relationship, I do think that letting go of toxic relationships can be a positive thing.  As in my case with my sister-in-law, it was the letting go that allowed my self-esteem as well as my confidence to grow.  No one should be treated like how she treated me. I’m glad I finally put my foot down.

I am sad that we don’t enjoy a picture perfect friendship, but who knows, maybe now that I have changed myself, my sister-in-law will change as well!  I will remain hopeful – from a distance.

Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go. – Anais Nin

 

 

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