The Way of Life — Why I Let Go of the Person I Was Once Closest To

A few days ago, I had a lively discussion with one of my brothers about the different values within our Western society. At a very early point in the discussion I noticed that there are things we definitely don’t agree on, and not in small way. We have completely different views on these topics. We represent totally different groups, with entirely different values and belief systems.

Different Home, Different Values

It is interesting to me that this is the case, since we come from the same family and have the same parents. But looking back, I believe what triggered the different outcome of our values and beliefs was that at the age of 14 — five years after my parents split up and my Mom moved the three of us to a bigger city — my brother moved back to my Dad’s, the place we spent our first eight or nine years. As a result, I can see there are extreme differences in how my brother and I each learned to view the world. And I’m not saying that the worldview I have is better than his, but of course I can relate much more to my worldview because this is what’s normal for me. In yesterday’s discussion, I found out that I not only disagree with his views on certain things, but that some of his opinions on them actually feel almost offense to me and make me angry and . I know that not everyone shares my opinions and that’s just how it is. However, there is something about by brother’s comments that are hard for me to accept, or in some cases, even tolerate.

Then vs. Now

My big brother and I used to have a great relationship in our mid-teen years. I would visit him often and party with him and his friends. During those years, he would freely show love to his sister. We went through the break up of our parents together and supported one another in many ways. And then it all changed. Reflecting on our past, I realize it changed when I went to Switzerland to study. He wasn’t very supportive of my decision. At them time, his advice was for me to just start working and earn my own money. Since then, and for six years now, our relationship became much more distant towards one another. Now, we do communicate, but typically only via text, and mostly just when one of us needs something from the other.

Rewind and Let Go

Last year, one of my plans was to work on improving the relationship with him. I really wanted to make this happen. We did spend almost two weeks together when he and his girlfriend came to visit us in Asia. I knew then that it would be truly difficult to re-establish a great brother-sister relationship. I can sense his negativity towards me. The distance between us is evident even when we are standing in the same room. We are different now, and have absolute different values. Yesterday’s conversation confirmed my suspicion. Maybe we aren’t meant to be there for one other now. What I know for sure is that I need to surround myself with people who are supportive of what I do in my life. I need the friendship and support of those who don’t judge me because I live a different life than them, and who love me just the way I am. It is painful to realize that this is not something I can get from my big brother. And it hurts, it really does. But I understand that it is time to let go of that plan and let it go. It is time to move on, in spite of the pain. And yet, you will always be my brother, and I will always love you.

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