I had a great question posed to me from a comment on one of my prior blogs.
It stated: “What came to my mind reading this was: could “Who Mattered” change, depending on circumstance or timing? Take your sister for example: many would argue that family always should matter- myself included. They are a source that one can invest in because no matter what happens, a sister will always be a sister. A brother will always be a brother. A parent, a parent. However, there are families that dissolve one way or another- like in divorces, for example- where it is actually healthier for a parent to be separated from a child (glad I don’t have to be the one who decides that!) So in this situation, did we see an unhealthy parent once mattering, and then not? Or do they always matter? Maybe I’m being too philosophical about this, but I like the “mental candy” that this question is to me: what does it mean that someone “matters” to you?
I definitely have some thoughts on this! Actually as I thought about creating this blog, I tried to think of some arguments someone could pose to challenge my phrase “I matter to who matters.”
To my blog follower referenced above, YES!, who matters to you CAN change depending on circumstance or timing. [I hope I don’t lose any readers as I try to process through what has gone through my mind.]
My personal definition of who “matters” to me is this – it is a person that can have one or many of these following actions or feelings towards me: invested in my happiness, cares about my well being, loves me unconditionally (meaning they would never withhold love from me as a “punishment” because I’ve upset them OR use love as a “reward” because I’ve finally pleased them), lets me be me and is okay with that, willing to help me, willing to listen to me, tries not to judge me even if they disagree, respects me, is considerate of my feelings, morals and values, supportive of my efforts, a cheerleader for my success and doesn’t get jealous because I may be “better” at something than them, doesn’t try to compete with me, cries with me, and prays for me (I can’t think of any more right now, but I’m sure there is more!!!)
So, at any time a person may come and go with feeling this way towards another, right? Yep! It’s human nature!
The comment mentioned my sister. For those readers that have no idea what that cryptic comment may mean, my sister and I have a loving and comfortably distant relationship with each other. Some years we are closer and more vested in each other and some years we make little to no effort at the relationship (no anger involved – just more invested in other life moments like children, grandchildren, spouses, work, etc…) Have I had moments where she felt very distant from me, like I didn’t even have a sister? Embarrassing to say, sure. During some of the year stretches, I just didn’t feel close to her. Once in a blue moon, she would really hurt my feelings and I’d back away. I’m sure I’d really hurt her feelings and she would back away. Moments like these are human nature. IT’S NORMAL.
BUT – if you ask me if she matters to me. I’d answer with a resounding yes, yes, yes and yes. She’s my sister. My ONLY sister. I love her even those I’m not close to her at times. I care about her. I love her unconditionally. I pray for her, my brother-in-law, my sweet niece and nephews. If she ever asked for help from me, I’d give her the shirt off my back in a heartbeat.
For me – family will ALWAYS matter. They are my family and I will always value my relationships with them, close or distant. That may not be the same for others. Truthfully, I believe there will always be moments where someone matters more than other moments, but the importance of that relationship is always there.
Now – for me – friends are a different story. I have had some friendships where a person mattered to me and now they don’t. I’ve also had some friendships where they mattered, they didn’t matter and now they do again. People change over time and so do the relationships they are involved in. Sometimes the change isn’t always good and it can affect the relationship. The friends that matter to me now fit all or part of the definition I mentioned earlier in the blog. I am invested in their happiness and I believe they are invested in mine.
I was also thinking about people that may argue that they have no one. No family or friends that matter to them OR no family or friends where they feel like they matter to that person. How can any of these philosophies that I’ve mentioned applied to them?
Read my next blog 😀