Your Relatives are Not Your Family
I have made a grave error for much of my life. I have confused my relatives for my family.
Personally, I think that Vin Diesel and the entire Fast and the Furious franchise did not help much and should take some responsibility for misrepresentation of the power of family.
I have finally realized that my family is comprised of people who love me, lift me up, encourage me and celebrate my successes with me.
They are there to pick me up, listen to and support me during tough times. They are also people who are there for me during my ‘bad’ times to support, encourage and listen to me. My family members are people who want to be connected to the entirety of me, not just the good parts. They want to be a part of my whole life.
The people who encompass this family of mine are from a variety of areas of my life: blood relatives, pets, current or former co-workers, school friends and people I met in social settings who become permanent fixtures in my life.
My family is not my blood relatives; some of them are part of my biological family tree, but many of them are not.
Many of my family members are rooted in the tree of life I built myself to ensure I create a life I do not seek escape from; they are people I willingly choose to be as close as possible with.
I hate to say it, but there are relatives who wish nothing but the worst for you, gossip repeatedly behind your back and are unhappy with your successes.
I learned this throughout my life when I kept trying to fit relatives into my family box, and it repeatedly would leave me feeling alone, dejected, unworthy and unlovable. I repeated this pattern for decades. I kept believing that as I achieved external milestones and successes, I would eventually reach a level of worthiness and be accepted by my relatives. I kept believing that eventually, they would see how lovable…