Today, 18th October 2015 marks the 11th year since my brother John chose to end his life. As I reflect on some of the things John taught me by who he was, I am sincerely grateful for every part of being his only sister. It’s difficult to describe a sibling relationship that was so full of love yet so full of abuse. Many years of my life has been spent trapped and controlled by the damage I endured and at the same time many years of my life have been spent understanding, forgiving, releasing, forgiving deeper and healing. I no longer actually consider any of these experiences John gave me as ‘damage’ but rather a true gift. He gave me the best opportunity in his life and in his death, to become the best version of myself and to live my life fully and deeply. To have and realise that gift is a blessing and therefore I could not label as ‘damage’. Yes he hurt me, but many people have and some continue to when I don’t conform to their expectations of me. I know I hurt others and never claim to be perfect, better or less than anyone else I meet. I am continually inspired to keep believing in myself knowing deep in my heart I am exactly where I am supposed to be and the pain and hurt is quickly transformed into my opportunities to find the treasures and grow. So the next time you are feeling controlled by the pain of when someone hurt you, damaged you, however you describe it, perhaps you could ask yourself why you still allow this to control your life rather than seeking out the blessings and gifts that experience has given you. I had a soul agreement with John’s soul and he honoured that before he ended his life and for that I feel very blessed and thankful.