Thursday, January 6, 2011

"I Just Want You to be Happy"

I believe I've said that statement approximately 1 million times these last 6 months or so.
My brother has gone through a tough time lately. And, even though I hate to see him hurting and the things that have resulted from that pain, our relationship, his and mine, has grown. It has grown more in the last year than the previous 32.

We've had some great conversations. Some dark and depressing and some silly.
But, through it all, through all the decisions that he needed to make, I would tell him  "I just want you to be happy".

But, if I'm honest with myself, and ultimately, with him,  what I should say is this:
"I want you to be happy WHEN you follow my advice." or "I want you to be happy IF you do things the way I would do them".

Because, truth be told, I would advice him and talk to him and listen to him. And tell him "be happy". Then, a couple days later ( or in some cases, hours) he'd call and let me know what he decided.  And, it felt wrong. And, it would upset me.

But, he's happy. And, isn't that what I said I wanted all along? For him to be happy?

His happiness shouldn't be conditional. My support of him certainly shouldn't be conditional (ok, if he was a mass murderer, perhaps that's a condition I would not support) .

It has made me stop and think:
  • everyone's idea of how to be happy is different
  • when we give advice, we have to give it freely, no strings attached
  • we cannot be surprised, hurt, angry, etc. when our advice is not heeded*
  • truly, truly, I do want him to be happy
  • most importantly, he's my brother and I will always be here to listen, to laugh and to love. 
And, to all of you:  I want you to be happy as well.

*does anyone else have a certain t.v. show quote pop into their head whenever the word "heed" is used?

1 comment:

  1. That's such a tough one! I'm talking from personal experience with siblings of mine here (not at all about you and your brother - wow, that totally sounded like an "it's all about me" comment, but I just didn't want you to think I'm judging you guys).

    I have a hard time with the "I just want you to be happy" phrase, because often times doing the thing that we think will make us "happy" means making decisions that aren't Christ-centered. I guess we can advise according to Biblical principles/standards and hope the person makes a choice that is God-centered, but ultimately, it's up to them and you're right - we just have to support the person making the decision, even if we don't support the decision itself. Such a hard balance - one I'm trying to figure out myself lately. How do you support someone lovingly (without any judgement) when you completely disagree with the choices they are making?

    Whoa - tangent much? Sorry. Probably not even what you were talking about, lol. Just stuff that's been in my head for a while, too. :)

    Anyway, I hope he is happy, too! :) Just keep loving him and communicating with him and I'm sure your guys' relationship will continue to grow. :)


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