What makes a family?
Here’s the dictionary definition for family:
family/ˈfamɪli,ˈfam(ə)li/nounnoun: family; plural noun: families
- 1. a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.”she moved in with her boyfriend’s family”synonyms:household, ménage; Morenuclear family; informalbrood “growing up in the bosom of one’s family”
- a group of people related by blood or marriage.”friends and family can provide support”synonyms:relatives, relations, blood relations, family members, kin, next of kin, kinsfolk, kinsmen, kinswomen, kindred, one’s (own) flesh and blood, connections; Moreextended family; clan, tribe; informalfam, folks, nearest and dearest; datedpeople “I wanted to meet his family”
- the children of a person or couple being discussed.”she has the sole responsibility for a large family”synonyms:children, little ones, youngsters; Moreoffspring, progeny, descendants, scions, heirs; brood; informalkids, kiddies, kiddiewinks, tots, sprogs, quiverful; issue “she is married with a family”
- informala local organizational unit of the Mafia or other large criminal group.
- 2. all the descendants of a common ancestor.”the house has been owned by the same family for 300 years”
That’s not always the case though is it?
I grew up thinking that family was blood – those people who birthed you and raised you and your siblings.
Just ask any of the LGBTQ community and they will tell you that family is not always a safe or accepting space to be. Ask any survivor of domestic abuse in all its many forms. Talk to those that are called “the black sheep “ of the family.
All of them will tell you the same thing – family are those that stand with you, not judging how you live your life, those who accept you as you grow and change and love you through it all. Often they are not blood family at all.
They can be friends who found you and stayed, through the shit show that is your life. If you are lucky, they can be partners who see you for who you really are and love you deeper than your parents ever did – or could. And, if you are truly blessed, they may also be your in laws who accepted you into their family as if you were one of their own.
Family goes far, far beyond parents and siblings. Often they have a view of you that you left behind many, many years ago but they can’t seem to let that old perception of you go. That’s because that old version of you suits their narrative – the story they tell of the family they think they are. When you step out of that box and forge your own path they will do all they can to pull you back in.
This will show up as:
- Name calling
- Threats of disowning you
All of this is incredibly hurtful. All you are doing is being true to yourself so why does that threaten them so much?
- When you step out of the mould it makes them question the status quo. The story that they have of how life is “supposed” to be becomes shaky when someone ( you) say that there is a different way to live.
- People often fear the unknown keeping everything the same means they don’t have to stretch and grow and keeping you “small” enables them to maintain the illusions that they know more than you, that they are in control.
Being your authentic self takes courage, it is not for the faint hearted. Standing up for what you believe is worth all the pain that extricating yourself from family brings. You don’t always have to step away from them but sometimes that is the only way to truly become your own, individual self.
Here are some steps to forge your own path
- Know that just because you are sticking up for yourself and your way of life that you are not a bad person. Nor are you unstable, neurotic, or attention seeking or any other names you may get flung at you.
That is their shit and not buying into it will give you strength
- Realize that your family is doing the best that they can with the skills that they have. They are not bad people. They are only people who are scared of growth and change and can’t bear seeing anyone else doing those things. Wish them well – from a distance.
- Surround yourself with those who do love you and can see your shining light. These people are an absolute Godsend and are worth their weight in gold.
- Let go of any anger, bitterness or resentment you may feel for your family. They are only doing what they know and holding onto those emotions will only hurt you in the long run, no one else.
- Hold on to the happy memories and let go of the rest.
- Give thanks to your family for the lesson – even is the lesson is that you learned how you didn’t want to show up in the world. That is still a valuable lesson. Look for all the nuggets of gold. They may be buried beneath a pile of shit but they will still be in there.
- Congratulate yourself
forthe power of your convictions and for standing up for what you truly believe in – yourself.
I have found using my yoni egg to heal my mother wounds extremely effective. Yoni eggs work with clearing the base chakra which is the chakra dealing with safety and security and our birth family. Check out the yoni egg packages in my shop