Ask Abbie: Unconscious conscience charges sibling contentionPublished 12:18pm Saturday, September 14, 2013
Question: I have been going through some hard times lately and my sister has decided to treat me like a second-class citizen. I’ve asked her why she’s acting this way and what gives her the right to think she is better than me, but she never has an answer. She just gets mad and walks away. Now she won’t even talk to me. Why is she acting like this especially when all of my other family members are at least being nice to me and what should I do about it?
Answer: One, two, four, and eight-person rowing competitions have been part of the Summer Olympics since the 1900 games held in Paris, France. Suppose The International Olympic Committee decided to hold a race in which these various sized teams were allowed to compete against each other.
Combined efforts by team members who keep focused on the pursuit of gold and who remain undistracted by circumstances are the most likely for victory. Leaders of such initiatives must remain on constant alert to identify and correct any sign of weakness or concern for individual accolades over team performance amongst its rowers. For instance, if there is a rower who continues to fall asleep behind the oar even after repeated warnings he would need to be replaced before his poor performance had opportunity to diminish the team’s probability for success.
The formula for achieving an Olympic victory is very similar to the formula for achieving victory in the race called “life.” Combined efforts by team members who keep focused on the pursuit of life’s full potential and who remain undistracted by the enemy are most likely for victory. Leaders of such initiatives must remain on constant alert to identify and correct any sign of weakness or self-seeking activity amongst its supporters. For instance, if there is a participant who, like the rower continues to fall asleep even after repeated warnings, he would also need to be replaced before his negligence had opportunity to diminish the team’s probability for success. Your sister fits this description. The following explanation provides support for this analogy.
It is your sister’s conscience, not her body, which is constantly falling asleep. Because her conscience is unconscious, she is unable to understand the pain she inflicts upon others through her words and actions This sleepiness is not a physical reaction to fatigue but rather an emotional response to immaturity, lack of personal experience, unaddressed and unresolved pain, and/or lack of spiritual insight. She is too weak and resource-depleted from fighting her own internal battles to fill the position of teammate. Although you want her to be a part of your “life” team, she is more of a liability than an asset to you at this time.
She will remain a hindrance to your efforts until her conscience is jolted awake. Unfortunately, this will not likely happen until she finds herself drowning helplessly in the sea of life from overestimating her own strength and from underestimating the strength of others. If with newly awakened conscience she admits weakness and asks for help to survive, she will receive peace and be ready to participate on your “life” team. If she chooses to ignore a newly awakened conscience telling her not to do something, she will forgo peace, live in guilt, and be an unfit participant for any “life” team other than her own.
Your sister’s current actions and reactions are no direct reflection on you but are a result of the battle ensuing within her. Adjust your expectations of her accordingly so nothing she says or does will distract you from your race at hand. Make sure, however, you extend a genuine and open-ended invitation for her to join your team once her conscience displays heartfelt recovery.
To win the victory of your “life,” you will need all of your energy to rid and replace any underperforming individuals on your current team, to remain strong in your convictions, and to remain fully committed to your job as team leader. I am cheering you on and will be there to take a picture of you and your team as you cross the finish line well ahead of your sister in her sluggish one-person boat. Be sure to give a smile and thumbs up to the camera and to your sister as you pass by them.
Abbie Long is a Franklin native and advice columnist for The Tidewater News. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.