8 Things You Should Thank Your Siblings For

8 Things You Should Thank Your Siblings For

The greatest gift our parents ever gave us was each other.
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Looking back on your life, there are very few people that have been there through it all. Perhaps the most overlooked and forgotten members of that small group are our siblings, the brothers and sister who witnessed your day one or were the first few tiny humans you watched arrive into the world. If you take a moment to reflect, you can do nothing short of marvel at the uniqueness of the relationship between you and those that share your blood. So here are just eight things your should thank your siblings for, right now. Text them, call them, or tell them, because there is nothing quite like the love of a sister or brother.

1. Thank you for being my friend.

There’s a clichéd opener for you. I realize that this is a given in any posts about one’s siblings, but in all seriousness, without brothers and sisters teaching you how to love others, you might have been helplessly alone your entire life. Your siblings were forever your built-in playmates, go-to partners in crime, and comforters in strife. Through that original relationship of selflessness, you were not only blessed with an eternal pal but also given the skillset needed to approach any friendship in the future. And what’s more, as you grow and mature, your friendships change. If you look back on your relationships through the years they have probably been of vast variety. But your siblings are your constant, a friend for all seasons. Without them to guide you through each stage of life, you might have fallen flat on your face, so for that we are all grateful.



2. Thank you for teaching me how to fight.


In life, there is going to be conflict. It is inevitable that someday there will come a time that you’re having a casual conversation with someone you love, and somehow it will suddenly erupt into a fight in which both parties will be screaming at one another across the room, bewildered that the other doesn’t see how incredibly wrong they are. While some arguments are valid and based on a solid difference of world views, more often than not these little disagreements were unnecessary from the start. There is nothing wrong with conflict; in fact, it is healthy. Your relationship with your siblings isn’t determined by how often you fought, but rather how many times, no matter the situation, you chose to make up. In life, you aren’t forced to retain any relationship. At any point I am allowed to walk away from a friend, boyfriend, or acquaintance. But the beautiful thing about your siblings is the responsibility naturally engrained within you to keep that bond intact. Through the constant seesaw of brothers and sisters, you learned how to see arguments for what they were and how to put aside your feelings and apologize. You develop habits of treating others' opinions with respect. And most importantly, you accept that it’s always better to lose the fight than to lose the relationship.



3. Thank you for being my biggest cheerleader.

Whether it was a soccer game, dance recital, or band competition, your siblings have seen it all. While they were often dragged to these events against their will and forced to sit through them, there are very few things as comforting as looking up from third base with sweat pouring from your brow and seeing that spunky little version of you, clapping in the bleachers. There is nothing quite like receiving praise or seeing pride coming from your brother and sisters. No matter if you are the third saxophone to the left or the star of the show, you are the only person they see on stage.



4. Thank you for giving me friendly competition.

In one way or another, your siblings encouraged you to be greater versions of yourself. Sometimes that was through a healthy challenge posed by a need to be better than those around you. Sometimes that was simply through being incredible role models that you desired to live up to. Either way, the natural competitiveness that comes with any family dynamic created an environment in which you could constantly strive to do better. While working to beat them out, you also learned to accept that you can’t win them all, and it is your responsibility

to cheer on anyone and everyone who chooses to challenge themselves.







5. Thank you for giving me thick skin.


Let’s face it, the world can be a harsh place. There will come a time in third grade when the kid with no friends calls you fat, or in sixth grade when the popular girl makes fun of your acne, or in 11 th grade when the boy you like tells you that you’re ugly. At some point, another human in your life is going to make an active decision to say or do something just to directly hurt your feelings. While I in no way think this should be an inevitably for our generation, it simply is, but our siblings help us raise up defenses against these attacks throughout our lives. You see, your siblings are the first people that are allowed to make fun of you. And sometimes that’s good. You need to learn that laughing at yourself, or the ridiculousness of others, is a coping mechanism of this life. Your siblings were the original “bullies” that might have accidentally pointed out that your nose was longer than most, but they are also there to immediately provide a joke that makes your freakish ski-slope of a smelling device acceptable, and will be there to break that of anyone else who chooses to comment.



6. Thank you for loving me at my worst.


One of the greatest things about your siblings is their ability to love the good, the bad, and the ugly. In some friendships, you can hide the less desirable parts of yourself. It is even possible to trick your significant other into believing you constantly radiate sunshine and rainbows. But when you live with someone in each stage of their life, you learn almost every side of someone’s personality and, with that, accept that not every facet of a person is something you are going to enjoy. Your siblings develop a particular talent of loving you the way you receive it best, and patiently await your comeback when you are dredging your way through tough times. They don’t demand your best from you at all times; rather they allow you to let your guard down at home and work through life when it calls for it.



7. Thank you for showing me individuality is a good thing.





Your siblings are truly the first people to properly illustrate for you that being oneself is a desirable thing. Even if you were able to recognize through your classmates that each human is incredibly different from the next, you probably didn’t yet appreciate this because you would rather they each just be like you. As a child, you are predisposed to thinking that you are the best kind of human there is, and others around you were just lesser versions, poor things. But through your siblings, you spend time around people completely unlike you, but somehow you still value them as much as yourself. Your perception shifts from believing differences are wrong to realizing that you are just in love with the person they are, even if you would never choose to be them yourself. That’s powerful.



8. Thank you for all the things that are to come.





The neat thing about siblings are all the incredibly exciting events in life that they participate in and you can thank them for throughout your lives. As children you get to thank your siblings for being your buddy, for being loyal and consistent and kind. As teens you can thank your siblings for being your defender, for being supportive and tough and encouraging. And then you reach this wonderful period of your life known as adulthood, when you get to thank your siblings for being your bridesmaids or groomsmen, for being wonderful aunts and uncles, and for helping you lay your parents to rest when the time comes. They transition from entertaining add-ons to emotional necessities, and you find you couldn’t be more grateful for this shift in roles.


Whether you are the oldest of two, the youngest of eight, or the middle child of three, take the time to thank your siblings -- one and all -- for all the ways they have contributed to your life over the years. I guarantee you won't regret it.






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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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To The Sister About To Move Away, Girl, You've Got This

You may not physically be here right now, but you're always with our family.

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You were there on the day I was born, somehow sleeping soundly as our mom gave birth to me. I'll never forget the photograph of her presenting me to the world and you sitting beside her, holding up your newly-purchased beanie baby with pride as if being handed this toy was equal to the miracle of birth.

It was a crab, by the way, which somehow makes it funnier.

Growing up, you loved to trick me. You'd make me do chores for you and steal my favorite Barbies, but I think that's just part of being an older sister. I'd stick my tongue out at you and cry out the same phrase, "Mooooom, Sissy is being mean to me!" In fact, I yelled this phrase so often that it began to take on a musical quality.

You were mean at times, but you always had my back. You physically beat up other children that had wronged me, and you let me crawl into your bed so we could watch TV together and exchange stories. We'd often immerse ourselves in fantasy worlds where we were princesses and we rode unicorns side-by-side.

But we grew up, and our fantasy world evaporated like the muddy puddles we'd play in after stormy nights. One second it was there, and then, it was just gone. I remember having a conversation a few years back where we wondered if we had known the last time we played Barbies would, in fact, be our last.

When I was a seventh grader, you were a junior in high school. Our problems were very different back then, but that didn't stop us from talking endlessly about them. We were so similar. We bonded over cheerleading, cute boys, books and music. But even more than that, we bonded over our similar life views and questions about the universe. We both possessed an innate love for life yet we were both distrustful of society's guidelines.

Watching you enter new life phases enthralled me. I thought, Wow, that will be me someday. I danced around the house in each of your four prom dresses, my imagination taking me to a place much grander than a high school gymnasium. Through your stories, I romanticized the future and hoped that I would be as cool as you.

It was a little tough at times, though, always longing for a different part of life. When I entered junior high, all I wanted was to be in high school. When I entered high school, I decided college was much cooler because that's what you said. And you were certainly right about that one.

You were the only one I felt comfortable sharing my writing with, the only one I knew could read the meaning behind my sideways glances. We just got each other in every way.

And we still do. To this day, you are one of the people I love and trust most. I don't know what I am going to do without you by my side, as you've been right there for 20 years. But I'm so proud of you. Of the many things we would lay around and talk about throughout the years, one topic persisted: moving away. Moving used to be a pipe dream, something beautiful that lived in your mind but would never come to pass.

And then you took a chance. And now that dream is a reality.

I want you to know how much I admire you. You are so incredible and resilient. I've never met anyone so strong-minded and willing to fight for what she believes in. You would never compromise yourself or your values for another person, but you are generous with others and so kind-hearted.

You are curious about the world and have a desire to learn about life and the richness it has to offer. That is a special quality that cannot be learned. You are beautiful in every way and are truly a blessing to have as a sister.

And it is from these very qualities and so many others that I know you will do great on your own. Sure, it's super tough at first; nobody said it would be easy. But if anyone can do it, then that person is certainly you.

I will always cherish our moments together, and you can always count on me to be there on the sidelines cheering you on, no matter where your adventure takes you.

Much love,

Your Little Sis

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