|I made a grave mistake waiting for the "right" time to connect with a sister-in-law who was obviously so incredibly special to so many.|
The realization of what I believed about myself, and the subsequent discussions of the laws of attraction (you get what you believe, be careful what you wish for and all that jazz) have been worked through over and over with Dr. Speed Dial and I am making progress. Alas, this week I realized that my progress has not moved fast enough, and because of that--because of my innate suspicion of those that are kind to me--I missed an opportunity to be loved, I missed an opportunity to have a spectacular human being firmly planted into the soil of my life. I missed it, and I can't get the moment back.
You see, on Tuesday, one of my sisters-in-law passed away. She had been sick with cancer for a long while and fought it valiantly with grace and beauty. My daughter Ila shares a birthday with her aunt, my sister-in-law. Sue leaves behind a beautiful family; a son, a daughter, three gorgeous grandchildren one of whom is Ila's age. In fact, her grand daughter and Ila were born weeks apart four years ago.
Back then, I was very sick and my dear sister-in-law, Susie, made an incredible effort to help. When she bought things for her sweet grand daughter, she bought the same for Ila. When it was time for Ila to get her first doll, it was Susie who gave it to her. On Halloween and other holidays, my sister-in-law loved all over my daughter as if she was her own grand child. All of this might not sound unusual to some of you, but you see, before the birth of my daughter, I really didn't know my sisters-in-law very well. I am ashamed to say that I still don't. They were people I would see twice a year during the holidays, because after all, as I told you, it felt very awkward and foreign to be around people who were so completely kind and wonderful. I didn't truly deserve that did I? How did I get so lucky?
So for years, I pushed the idea that I might be able to be part of the bosom of this gorgeous family way way way way way out of my consciousness. This was easy to do because it was coupled by my husband's equally erroneous feelings of not belonging among them as well. Being the youngest of ten boys (you heard me) his brothers were all grown and gone with their own families when he was young and so the camaraderie of some of his other brothers seemed intangible to him as well. Therefore, my sister-in-law's kindness was incredibly generous and completely selfless and, well, I did what I usually did when faced with kindness and love, I avoided it, shunned it and made sure that it'd go away thereby confirming what I'd always believed about myself--I was unlovable. I am absolutely sure that these insecurities makes me seem aloof and haughty and not very nice. But I assure you that my tendencies to push people away or not even give them a chance comes from a place of pure uncertainty of my worth in the world.
However, because of the intense work with Dr. Speed Dial and a decision to change what ails me, I have come to realize that I don't do this thing called family well. I also came to know that I had done that nasty pushing away stuff with Sue. However, in my mind, there was always this thought that now that I was starting to believe in myself a little more that perhaps, perhaps, I could make it right. I could accept the love and kindness. I could start over so that she and I, Jeff and Ila could feel like family feels, like Sue had tried to do four years ago.
But now, it's too late. It's too late. I may have thought about forming a relationship with this loving human. I may have thought about visiting her, Facebook chatting with her, asking her to watch and mentor Ila every once in awhile, but...I never did. I never did, and now, I never will.
There's a saying, "In the end we only regret the chances we didn't take, relationships we are afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make." My sister-in-law's passing makes this message feel urgent to me. Dear readers, no matter what is in our past, no matter the mistakes, no matter our beliefs, we must never let them interfere with being loved and being accepted. Even more importantly, we must never let all our baggage keep us from loving others. It is our sacred duty as humans to push past whatever holds us back from having true, real and wonderful connections with humans so that we never regret or cause regret in others. Even the most jaded humans need to feel loved. I know most of us would agree that it is the most flawed among us that NEED the most kindness, the most understanding, and the best that humans can give. Why is it then that we don't apply that kind of thinking to ourselves? Jaded as we are, finding a human who WANTS to love us--flaws and all--is probably just what Dr. Speed Dial would order.
I made a grave mistake waiting for the "right" time to connect with a sister-in-law who was obviously so incredibly special to so many. But dear Mudders, the only thing that I can do, or you can do when making a mistake is learn from it. Let our mistakes change us for the better.
And so, that is what I am going to try to do. As I shed the itchy heavy coat of "I'm bad" and learn instead that I am--what ALL of us are---combinations of our choices, our deeds and most importantly our intentions about ourselves and others, I will turn towards the idea that I am lovable. I am worthy. We all are, Mudders. Thanks to my dear sister-in-law, I intend to learn to be a better family member, (if my extended family will still have me). I will choose to receive the kind of love that everyone deserves, and most importantly I will freely give back that love to all who give it to me.