August 26, 2021 She Misses Her Now-Married Sister
Dear Vicki: I’m writing about my older sister. Jenna’s funny, outgoing, and the life of every party (back when we still had large parties). There’s only three years between us and we used to be really close; we always did things together. But ever since she married Frank a few years ago, she doesn’t seem to have time for me. We still live in the same town, but now she’s “too busy” to go to the park or even meet for coffee outdoors. If it helps, she’s 26 and a popular lecturer online and at a nearby university. I’m 23 and an elementary teacher. What can I do to get her back? I feel like I’ve lost her. Signed: Missing My Sister
Dear Missing: This is a difficult issue. For siblings, growing up often brings a degree of growing apart. As we mature, our worlds expand and there are suddenly more people, places, and events demanding time and attention. But no matter how old we become, there are still only 24 hours in a day. When we fill our adult lives with new people and opportunities, something has to give and that “something” is often time with parents and siblings. But let’s take a look at your specific situation and see what else might be going on.
The fact that you’re an elementary teacher and the one missing the sisterly connection suggests that you’re a primary Earth personality. They are wonderful with young children and take seriously the deep and lasting bonds of family. On the other hand, because you describe Jenna as, “funny, outgoing, and the life of every party,” I suspect she is a primary Fire personality. Fire people love quick and fun connections with others and truly can be the life of a party. From a relationship perspective, you and Jenna relate on the Nurturing Cycle (the big circle) of the Five Elements model below. As you can see, Jenna’s Fire feeds your Earth, which means that attention from Jenna feeds you beyond your sibling relationship which probably makes it doubly hard for you when she isn’t around.
As a primary Fire personality, increased “busy-ness” in life will always energize Jenna, so she is likely a very happy person these days, especially as things open back up from Covid. Her understandable desire to spend time with her new husband will also draw her away from older social patterns, including shopping or meeting you for coffee. The absence of these old patterns with your sister is bound to upset you because deep and lasting connections are so important to Earth people.
So, what can you do? A lot! There are multiple ways to address the issue of missing Jenna. Some include finding ways for you and Jenna to be together that work for who she is now. Others include finding ways for you to fill the time you used to spend with Jenna. We’ll start with possible ways for you and Jenna to reconnect.
The Fire energy in Jenna will naturally gravitate toward exciting events that offer opportunities to be with people. These will also likely include Frank, especially this early in their marriage. If you can accept that time with Jenna and Frank is better than no time with Jenna at all, consider planning a few fun events with the two of them. You might want to bring a close friend with you to help balance the dynamic so that you and Frank aren’t both vying for Jenna’s attention. You don’t mention if you like Frank, but Earth people are usually capable of developing deep connections with almost anyone. He is a permanent part of Jenna’s world now (at least as permanent as any marriage), so this might be a good time to start getting to know him better. And if he makes Jenna happy, that’s your first reason to like him.
Another option to create time with Jenna is to gift her a “girls only” event for her birthday, the holidays, or some other special event. A spa day might suffice, but many Fire personalities find a full day of “doing nothing” too slow for them. You might consider dance lesson, or even skydiving. Remember, she is a Fire personality and they love excitement and movement! And while an Earth person normally wouldn’t pursue these types of adventures, you are looking for something that will entice Jenna to fit it into her already crowded life.
And therein lies a big part of the problem: Your life is feeling empty without her right now. It will be important for you to find other people who want to shop and share coffee. Nothing will change the special relationship you have with Jenna, but if you let it, your Earth energy will easily find other people with whom you can have close relationships. And if shopping and sharing coffee are especially important to you, look for other Earth personalities. They excel at both!
Finally, if you find that it’s really difficult letting go of the times you and Jenna spent together in the past and creating a new relationship with her (and her husband), you might need to work with the Metal energy part of your personality. Remember, we have all five of the elemental energies in our personalities, we just lead with a primary one. Letting go of someone or something sits in the Metal element, and if that element is out of balance, it becomes harder to accept change. To balance your Metal energy, you can wear a hematite or snowflake obsidian crystal with the stone touching your skin, use eucalyptus or lemon essential oils, or drink red clover tea several times a day. These all keep Metal energy pliant and able to let go whenever necessary.
Once the “newness” of Jenna’s marriage wears off, she might be more available for coffee and shopping. But until then, I encourage you to pursue alternative ways to spend time with her and options for your time without her. And remember the wisdom that you know deep in your Earth soul: families are forever.
Blessings to you,