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Question

Dear Gramps,

Ever sense I was young I have always felt that my mom loves my brother more than me. No matter what I did I would always get in trouble and my brother could get away with murder. Still till this day I have tried making our relationship stronger and it’s like she is not even willing to put a foot in the door. The world has always revolved around my brother. It’s his way or the highway. And whenever I try to be in any kind of conversation they tune me out. I actually feel quite alone when the whole family is together. The only person that understands and can see it is my boyfriend. What is the best way for me to handle this situation? I hope you will respond back!   Thank you!

Kelsie

 

Answer

Kelsie,

As earthly beings one of the greatest desires of our hearts is to feel loved and to be loved, especially by those who carry the title of “mother” and “father.” As their children we long for their embrace, their recognition, and their mutual approbation as we experience life’s trials, success, disappointments, etc… Oh the joy that swells in our hearts in relation to their acceptance of our lives; however, oh how our heart aches when we experience their indifference.

The best way for you to act, my personal thoughts, in light of Elder Bednar’s words, “we are agents to act and not objects to be acted upon” (2 Nephi 2:26). Our moral agency, given by God, allows us to “act” instead of being acted upon. Right now, it appears, this circumstance is “acting upon” a value source — your mother. Her favoritism is providing you with a choice (the enticement of virtue in relation to its vice) that is bearing heavily upon your heart.

My recommendation, accept that their is favoritism and move on. Don’t think another moment about how she treats you, only think upon how you will treat her. I have a family member who defines abuse as, “someone who doesn’t agree with them.” This circumstance is difficult at times, knowing that if I share an opposing thought or opinion to his desired outcome… I am abusing him. In the beginning this hurt more than it does now, because he also is/was a value source. I still value his thoughts, however, I discovered for myself what is important is not how he treats me, but how I treat him. I have learned, it is better for me to “act” and not allow his actions to “act upon” me — action verses reaction.

Gramps

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