My brother is in town visiting for a couple of days, and we got in a long hike today. Beautiful weather, glorious sunny day, nice four miles or so in the woods.
Turns out, he has a lot going on in his life that has really been dragging him down. It' not exactly comforting to me to know that others have troubles, but at least there is a weird sense of affirmation that I am handling all my stuff more successfully than he is dealing with his.
Perhaps it is the nature of siblings to be somewhat competitive, but I don't mean it that way. I'm not glad that I am "handling it better." Really I'm sad about it; but there is part of me that wants to say, "buck up, dude; just get over it. It's not such a big deal." Of course, it is his deal, not mine. And it is big to him. And I am trying to listen and not give much advice.
I love my brother very much and want the best for him. I know he loves me too, and he certainly hasn't cast me into outer darkness after coming out to him (a year or so ago). But he never seems very interested in my life, only sharing about his.
We'll get there. It will take time, like all of this process. Time, and patience, and grace.
After all, I did offer to take out to a bar tonight, but he didn't seem interested. Why?