My Family Is Not So Different Than Yours
Dec 03, 2021
My family is not so different than many.
We love each other and mostly support one another through ventures, achievements, misadventures, mistakes…LIFE with all its ups and downs and all-arounds.
When I think of each member of my family, I smile and recall heartwarming memories. We’ve been through a lot together. Billy broke his arm on the ATV at a family gathering. Some time back, Uncle Alvin slid into home base just in the nick of time to win the game. One of beloved nieces found her mom, my sister, overdosed in her bedroom. Several of us were the first in our families to graduate with college degrees. Quite a few family members have struggled with addiction. This year, a couple precious babies were born.
As a family, we’ve experienced much loss, some of it divided us and alienated us. Some of it, brought us together. Some of us, are not as supportive as others…yet. Some of us, are self-involved and don’t have time nor energy for others…yet.
And the truth is, we may never get there. It’s a personal decision made by each us, for our own reasons and that’s okay.
Maybe, we have judged one another based on an experience or pieces of information we have heard. Or judged ourselves and stayed away. Could be, some of us made a conscious choice in how much energy we give certain people in our circles and that’s absolutely okay, and actually quite healthy.
Perhaps, I have been each one of these family members at certain times in my life. Perhaps, I still am.
I learn. I learn. I learn.
I now know and really get it - each of my family members is doing the best they can – given the circumstances they have experienced, and the mind set they have chosen. Me too.
I’ve learned to give myself love, care and grace. In doing so, I can fully do the same for others. As I continue to heal, become more and more aware of my own thinking and actions, conscious or otherwise, I can choose to think or act another way. I strive to choose kindness and love. I acknowledge that it isn’t always easy but know I can do hard things (thank you, Glennon Doyle!)
Sometimes, practicing love and kindness requires I let go…of pain, sorrow, guilt, judgement, storytelling, justifications, excuses, and my own ego.
I am strong enough to do the work and make hard decisions. Sometimes, that means that I choose to protect myself and my family from those who haven’t learned how to respectfully treat others. Unfortunately, sometimes they are family members. It’s hard, but again, I can do it.
Sometimes, I make the decision to take up the challenge and put in the effort to work through rough patches…but the stars must be in alignment.
For me, that means the following:
- I am strongly compelled by love, kindness and/or instinct.
- All parties agree to cooperate responsibly and respectfully and make shitola happen (work diligently).
- We’re all in agreement about where we’re going or what we’d like to see happen.
- If it doesn’t happen in a reasonable amount of time, we agree it’s okay to let go
Coming to this new awareness has been a challenging process…but also, a true blessing.
I am grateful for my family. My heart knows we are each doing the very best we can, given our circumstance.
I make the choice to envision each of them as they truly are - loving, lovable, loved and valuable, leaving my judgements out of the picture, even if we have made the choice not to be in each other’s physical presence anymore. It’s peacefully liberating. We are human beings – good, bad and ugly, at times. But at our core thankfully, we are pure love.
Loving, lovable, and loved!
Love is ALL there is!
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