Family is a luxurious intoxicant.
It is a powerful drug.
I say it is luxurious because family – in the truest, deepest meaning of the word – is not something everyone is fortunate enough to have. Many people have people they are related to, these people are called relatives, but this in no way guarantees they are your family.
Surround yourself with family. It is truly one of life’s greatest gifts to find and gather a collection of people you can truly call your family.
Allow yourself to indulge in your family.
The peace and happiness you feel when you are with that special group of people will help you feel free, and when you come down and away from it all, you will feel an internal warmth and balance that quickly give way to provide a perspective you cannot achieve in any other way.
Most people complicate things.
This is no surprise.
What baffles me is this insane focus and conviction that family means genetic connection. I personally think that is crap. A number of people with whom I share some kind of genetic connection, I share nothing else, including a relationship.
Far too many of us try to stick it out (and often times we do so dishonestly) and make things work because we fear being alone; your family is your family; they have to like, love and accept you. And if they don’t, what do you have? This is such a misguided way to look at it.
If you cannot form a healthy relationship with your relations, if you cannot foster and maintain that relationship, then do not have a relationship with that particular person or people. And, if these genetic connections go nowhere, it does not mean that you are and will forever be alone, it gives you room in your life to have a relationship with someone else. It allows you the opportunity to build your real family.
It seems like a fairly clear and simple concept. It seems easy enough to do. However, it is a concept too many of us fail to grasp. A concept too many of us fail to put forth the effort to begin to try to understand. And, it certainly is not easy to do.
Perhaps nothing is harder than realizing that the people you are related to – people like your parents and siblings – are just people. Sometimes you realize they are people you do not like. Try not to struggle with this for too long. It is inevitable that you will encounter people you do not care for, people you find it hard to be around, and people you cannot bare to tolerate. Why should it be so hard to accept that some of them might just be related to you? Some of them may feel that way about you.
Trust me, it is entirely possible, and I would guess it is the same for a lot of people.
You cannot like everyone. Nor do you have to.
There is no rule for that and a big, BIG difference between liking someone and loving them.
People are placed in our lives for several reasons. Most of the time we forget this, we forget that there is something to be gained on a much deeper level.
Our relationships should bring us comfort; they should be a being of balanced give and take. Relationships can be finicky. They can be fickle. They require work many people are not willing or ready to do. They require an effort a lot of people are not capable of, and while that does not make them bad people, it may force you to reassess and modify your relationship with them. We forget to nurture our relationships, we forget that they grow, evolve and change – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse – because we do.
You are not the same person you were last week. You are not the same person you were a month, a year, a decade ago; things have happened, you have experienced and grown, you are different. And you should be. If we do not do things such as experience and grow we will become stagnant, as will our relationships.
Everywhere we have ever traveled, every door and window we have peered through (especially those we should not have), every step we have ever taken we wear emblematically on our souls. Our destiny is formed by a patchwork of our extensive and infinite existence.
The battle scars you remember, and those deep wounds that linger, unexplained and taunting, are all reminiscent of the places with have journeyed to and the things – be them people, emotions or ideas – we have discovered on our way to here…to now.
Your family is what you make it. It is what you allow it to be. It is not a predestined, systematic or genetic formula. Your genetic connections may like you, they may love you – they may be your family. But they may also not. And that is okay, if you allow it to be.
The people you surround yourself do not define you; they should help you to define yourself.
Your family should help you become the person you were destined to be.
Your family should help you gather those quilt squares of experience and growth so you may create that beautiful tapestry that is you.