There is something to be said about having siblings. Siblings are your first friends, enemies, partners in crime, alibis and victims. I grew up with three younger siblings. We all know how to stab each other in the back but we will clean up the mess before Mom and Dad come home. 10154205_10152355480207247_7797993350170277392_n

Watching my siblings grow up has been a blessing. There is no other word for it. Watching someone from the time they are born to the time they are in a serious relationship to the time they are paying taxes like an adult is mesmerizing. But at the same time it’s horrifying.

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Why is it horrifying? Well because they are entering the world. I don’t know about you, but a hard lesson I had to learn was to shut my mouth and let my siblings make their own mistakes. As much as I wanted to prevent them from hurting themselves, they wouldn’t hear me. They wouldn’t hear anyone. They had to make and clean the mess themselves. This was like taking my heart out, stomping on it and putting it back in. Many fears go through my mind; will they survive this?, Will they get up? Will they fight for their life or become a victim from it? Will they become productive members of society?.

But all those fears were very selfish of me. I was worried about them instead of supporting them. I was showing sympathy instead of empathy. I had to take myself out of the equation and see the world through their eyes and support them in a way they wanted to be supported usually with kind words and conversation. No one, especially younger siblings, want to be told how to live their lives. By giving compassion, I received compassion. 1797357_10152355481322247_6077655168018910438_n

It’s amazing how we forget to give compassion and empathy to the ones that are close to us and to open up our minds to different ways of thinking.

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Remember to bring compassion and empathy to your family table this holiday season.

Hugs and Smiles,

Nicole