When I can see the Finish Line that is death, I want to know that I gave and received love freely.

The thought of death keeps me going and living my life to the fullest. When the time comes there should be no shoulda woulda couldas. This means having tough conversations without delay with the ones I care about the most. It means setting boundaries, and being stern so that I can be the best version of myself for those closest to me, who depend on me the most – my partner and my two daughters.

We’re an abusive breed, us humans. There’s a song about it. “Sweet Dreams are made of this, everybody’s looking for something. Some of them want to use you, some of them want to get used by you…”

Some of us abuse substances which causes us to numb out and become irresponsive to the people around us. Life passes us by while we lie there in a self-induced stupor. Others are caught up in their own delusions of grandeur and again, life goes on around them without ever touching these individuals in their own bubble.

All the people I’ve seen around me abuse something. Either we’re caught up in a non-ending cycle of buying stuff we don’t need, indulging in goodies in the pantry or turning to our Smartphones because life seems too dull and ordinary. When I’m too tired, frustrated, or haven’t taken the time to care for my emotional needs, I project all my faults onto my brother, whom I’d decided a long time ago to be someone who cannot be trusted.

Do you know that saying that elephants never forget?

I write memoirs because I’m blursed (blessed/cursed) with an exceptional memory. All family events leave some sort of an impression on me.  From my lens as the older sister who can’t do wrong, everything my brother does is wrong and I have to change my view to adopt a warm and accepting manner toward him. Nobody likes to be criticised nonstop. It is so toxic for one’s self-esteem to be in the presence of someone who judges you.

90 Days of Gratitude Challenge

I gave myself a behaviour change challenge. I’m focusing on all the great things my brother brought into my life for 90 days. It takes 90 days for a behaviour to change and this gratitude practice will set a new habit of appreciating my brother. This won’t mean that I’ll accept him disrespecting me in any way. I’ll have my boundaries and will respect myself first in all interactions. It’s possible to stand up for one’s self without putting anyone down. I can simply state my view and walk away.

Are you starting a gratitude challenge to strengthen a relationship?

Meet me in Write Club Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 6-7 AM or Tuesdays 1-2 PM. Let’s write a better relationship with ourselves and the people we love. Let’s return all their projections and remember what a long way we’ve come. We know we are awesome people. We are not tyrants (not all the time, anyways :)) Dare to dream of a better relationship – one with mutual care and presence.

It is possible. Your journey starts with one word.