I don't have a sister and was an only child for 14 years. I am learning motherhood and navigating what sibling relationships are at the same time. I can't think of to many areas where my kids are similar. They all think differently, see the world differently, interact differently, do relationships differently and are motivated and pursue totally different things.
There have been many instances of comparison and unhappiness in how they see themselves in contrast to how they see their sibling. And of course the opposite has happened of one seeing themselves as better then the other. There was a time where I was speaking to one of them when they were unhappy with something about themselves in comparison to the other. I shared with them my perspective. I told her how I love the differences and how I would be devastated to have 2 of the same person. Then I asked her what she would do if she saw her sibling grieving a part of who they are because they wanted to be like her. She responded with an absolute sadness if her sibling devalued who they were. I told her it was the same for me when I see her devaluing who she is and trying to do or be who her sibling is.
Why is it so easy for us to devalue the things that come naturally to us and covet the things others can do? Why would she so easily throw in the trash a part of who she is, but so absolutely fight for who her sibling is?
I think we all struggle with this in our lives, but in a sibling dynamic (living in the same space, no room for masking who we are, buttons being pushed on the regular) we get to see the reality of the deep pain we have when we are not aware of the wonderful intentionality the Creator put into us.
The way I see my children, the way I am attuned to their different nuances and see where their greatest strengths can also be their greatest weakness, their natural talents can be unknown by them because it is so natural for then and the inspiring and challenging perspectives they bring that make me think and reconsider things I have let become the norm.
I had another conversation with one of my kids addressing their complete irritation with a relational habit of their sibling. One is a rule abider and risk evaluator and the other a rule tester and risk taker. And this creates great tension between them and a whole lot of work for me. One day when I had the patience and made the time to address this in a deeper way then "stop it" I had a chat about the positives in the differences. I shared with her how her father and I are them same in that one is a rule abider and risk evaluator (me) while the other is a rule tester and risk taker (her father). I shared how her father has taken me to places I never would have gone, stretched me to try things I never would have tried and explored where I never would have explored. And how I have slowed him down to smell the roses, consider things he never would have taken the time to consider and notice dangers or wonderful things that were easily raced by and missed. I told her we don't need to change and be like the other, but we do need to value the opinions and perspective of others that seem to challenge how we do things because they will bring good things into our life that enrich and enhance our path. Either changing our direction, changing our step or solidifying the decision we have made. So when your sibling says "hey you shouldn't do that!" instead of letting that divide you from each other, stop, consider the perspective and decide if it is a risk to show them it is ok to take or is it a warning of something harmful that is in the end helpful to you. It's a good thing to stop and consider your steps. And your adventurous spirit can inspire your sibling and those around you to take a risk, not fear mistakes and live in grace.