I began writing this article just before I was about to leave for a week long holiday with my brother to Sri Lanka, and when Aurianna asked me if I would write this piece, I thought long and hard about what I’d most like to talk about. I wrote about how if I only had one chance to give anybody advice, it would be this...
You are the Center of the Universe. It is all about you.
How much has changed in such a short time.
My truth is that we are, in fact, the center and creator of our own Universe, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, that there is no one path to God but that we’ll all get there eventually and that we were put on this Earth to enjoy our bodies and experience the beauty of physical reality.
I haven’t stopped believing that, but I got my game plan wrong.
For quite a while, I had been living under the assumption that as I am the center of my Universe, all I had to worry about was my own happiness – other people’s happiness was their responsibility and if their happiness coincided with mine that was great, but if not they can take their negative vibes somewhere else, preferably far away from me.
Sri Lanka and the lessons it brought couldn't have come sooner. During the week, my brother and I backpacked from the West coast to the East coast, and it was the first time since we were children that we have ever spent such a continuous amount of time together.
We grew up inseparable, but there has been a divide in our family for the last four years. My brother is in a relationship with a woman, who, put bluntly, is not what any of us would have wanted for him. The differences in her behavior and actions were in stark contrast to our expectations of the type of woman he should be with, and as his baby sister I was the most outspoken against her. My refusal to embrace and accept his choice of partner has resulted in such huge arguments that the topic is now Taboo in our family house and she and I are not allowed to visit at the same time.
I’m ashamed to say that I had been quite proud of my accomplishments in this arena; I did not like her, neither did anyone else particularly and so if she was no longer allowed to be discussed or welcomed while I was present, that was great. After all, this was my family, why should I tolerate any thing I didn't like.
The problem is that by refusing to engage with the topic, by seeing her as the enemy and an intruder into my family life, I refused to welcome the opportunity to learn acceptance, tolerance and practice truly loving my brother.
It was the last day of my holiday, my brother and I sat on the beach and we had successfully managed to avoid the subject for the entire holiday. We’d had a great time, we’d laughed and travelled and had amazing experiences and I was reminded how much I truly adored him.
We began to share stories; I animatedly discussed the two great loves of my life and how we’d met, he patiently listened and smiled. Then he asked me if I’d like to hear how he and his girlfriend had met… I humored him. But as he told me the story I saw him light up in a way that I hadn't before. The woman he was describing wasn't vicious and common, she wasn't confrontational or vile… she was sweet and funny, kind and patient.
For the first time in four years I saw this woman, not as a threat to the fun loving dynamic of my family, or as an intruder into my family home, but as my brother saw her, and I felt ashamed. I had been so confronted by our differences that I forgot the one thing we have in common – this woman loves my brother. And he loves her.
That’s when I realized,
You are the center of your universe, but your loved ones are in your orbit. Their emotions radiate around you– you can’t turn away from a negative situation and pretend its vibration doesn’t hit you, the same way you cannot stop the stars from shining on you. Turning your face away from the sun doesn’t stop the light; it just puts your face in the shadow.
Her and I haven’t spoken for over a year, after we’d had an argument on my mother’s birthday and she’d left my house with both of us in fits of tears and seething with anger. I decided to contact her and apologise for my actions, I wrote authentically that although we had our differences, we both adored my brother, and that I’d like us to be able to come to a resolution. She wrote back thanking me and hoping we can do the same.
It will take time to heal the damage done on and by both parties. But I have realized that if I want the light I feel from my loved ones to shine on me, I have to learn to embrace and accept all of it.
I cannot pick and choose which parts of them to love and pretend the rest doesn't exist. I am trying to learn to face the fullness of the situation, both wanted and unwanted, and by facing it, allow myself to love all parts of their nature. I realized that that is what it takes to truly love someone, and although I adored my brother by judging and turning away from his decisions I wasn't allowing his presence and love fully into my life.
You are the center of your universe, but your willingness to look out openly and with love, to accept without judgment, and to openly welcome confrontation as a chance to practice acceptance and tolerance, will dictate the light you receive from those in your orbit.
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