Being the second oldest among my siblings has had it advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest advantages is being a big sister and being depended on, turned out that was also a disadvantage. Well maybe not the being depended on, but what I created in mind about what that meant and should look like. I redefined dependability as responsibility. I found myself feeling responsible for family members and their lives, which later spilled over into feeling responsible for every person I grew to love at different points in my life.
What that looked like for me was, not only making compromises but also full-blown concessions. I felt like I had to help, even if it hurt me. Extend my support, even at the risk of my own detriment. I wavered on my boundaries and that’s once I established and got clear on any boundaries. I thought that I could help people who were clearly not remotely interested in helping themselves, even at times when the help was flat out rejected or used as a weapon against me. I felt obliged to make sure what I had, did or experienced, they did too. In short I felt like I owed it to people that I love to extend myself in every way possible, whether that extension was requested or not, appreciated or not, reciprocated or not.
What happened though is I came to a crossroad in my life, a bridge. I reached a space in my growth where I had to clarify why some things were as they were, how they were adversely affecting my progress and quite honestly my worth. What’s interesting though is, as soon as I deliberately started to reconstruct my thinking about my responsibility to people, things that before I didn’t notice or would brush over became very clear. My perception of responsibility changed and just like a light being flipped on in a dark room, things became very clear.
I recognized immediately what this revelation meant. It signified to me that I was upon a bridge, a threshold to the next phase of my life, growth and abundance. I always knew that until I got to this place of releasing the obligation that I felt to other people and the feeling of being responsible for them, that I would be stagnant and God would not trust me with any more than I currently had. And as crazy as it may sound, I’m grateful that He deals with me the way He does. I know full well had He entrusted me with more at any moment before this revelation, I would have squandered it all away. Not because I am irresponsible, but because my perception about responsibility was skewed.
The bridge for me was not about leaving anyone behind as I crossed it, rather about me getting clear on some things, accepting responsibility for my life and understanding that everyone else is responsible for theirs. The bridge signifies growth and the awareness that I cannot make life decisions for anybody other than myself, but it also stands strong for others to cross and join me on the other side…if they should decide to.