Letters to my Sister in Japan — Day 107

Dear Sister,

About a week ago, when we spoke on the phone, you told me that if someone wants space they’ll let “you” — the general “you” — know and that I — the general “I” — should respect that. No matter our best intentions, no one is obligated to respond or listen to us. People will act in accordance with their interests, and we have to accept that. Discrepancies and disagreements will exist, but once we reach that point, the only control or power we have in that scenario is how we present the narrative to others.

Kind of abstract and goofy, huh? Forgive me, it’s late.

What I’m trying to get at is that I have close friends and family members that I want to help. I see them doing, what I think, are the wrong things, but what authority do I have that allows me to even humor such unfair criticism? If I truly love the people I say I love then I should simply observe and support. That’s why they chose to include me in their lives in the first place, right?


Few things feel worse than feeling powerless to help the people I care about, and ultimately that is what it boils down to. Feeling powerless. Maybe the cure is not in the actions of my friends, but rather developing acceptance in my own heart? Yeah. That seems right-ish.

I bet this feeling is a hundred times worse with kids.

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