So of course, with a title like that, I am going to start with such a familiar idea….’you can’t choose family’. Oh really?
To discuss this ‘properly’, we have to talk about the meaning of family. Does family only refer to the people that you are linked to biologically? That share the same genes? That you grew up with? That you learned from? Many people adhere to the concept of family being those who are in your same genetic lineage. The folks that are called mother, father, sister, brother. And extended includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. This is family.
What has become popular in recent decades – and admittedly, probably because there is something to this – is the ‘family of choice’. These are the people that you have become very close to, whether they be biological family or not. The relationship feels that historic and familiar. (In my understanding, likely because they are.) And yet, many of these people are not considered by others as family, and may well be left out of certain occasions.
Within my own family of origin (‘biological’), there is a bit of history of being together as such, coming apart from that structure, and coming together again in a hopefully stronger bond. (Growing pains) This kind of event usually seems to be based on the experiences and belief systems of each of the people involved, and their responses to events that present themselves. I also have a very large ‘extended family’….very many people that I resonate with, and they with me, in a very close and personal way.
I personally believe that this variety of relationships in related to past lives and agreements and intentions in this current lifetime. These can very well include the people in the biological group. Also included in the biological group of origin are the people who come upon a reason to distance you as far as they can for reasons of their own. This is something happening within my own immediate family unit.
Now, my family of origin has a bit of history of estrangement. To much of our fortune, we have moved beyond that and into many deeper and more loving relationships. One has not. It seems that something I said or did has so enraged one sibling and the life partner of whom that they have removed themselves from any family events that I will be present at. Unfortunately, this situation is causing a fair amount of heartache with those in my immediate family of origin….yet missing the potential mark entirely, which is me.
So what I am pondering now is the idea that one and some CAN choose family. Or at least, they can choose who is not longer family. Whether that is temporary or for the distance is of course reliant on the event or situation. We can choose who we will relate with and who we won’t . We can choose who we feel close to and who we don’t. We can dispense with history and events and things done – happily or less so – and decide to leave out those with whom we have much history.
A last concept…are family relationship names a label that comes with description, rules, and expectations? Or are they based in the relationship itself? What does ‘sister’ mean? What does ‘mother’ mean? What does ‘cousin’ mean? Can we all be friends and loving of each other regardless of what the label and socially understood relationship is? Can we flex from that? This has actually worked for me….removing the ‘labels’ and just looking at and appreciating the relationship itself. This has been a beautiful thing!
Bluntly, I have a sibling and her partner who are dismissing me so much that they are causing extreme heartache to my parents….and the parents of one, and in-law parents of another. They have taken exception to something I apparently said a number of years ago. They have not communicated to me this issue and it’s possible resolution. But my other blood family is aware…painfully. So…..the target is not hit at all, but the ‘loved ones’ are.
So….it seems that to them, I am not family until I provide a resolution that they cannot share with me directly. Yet, others in my life share so very much with me, including so much progression, learning, and support/enlightenment. And there, we are called family.
So….what does the concept of ‘family’ mean?
Feel free to discuss….. and I love you! 🙂 🙂