We are finally getting to the message that I wanted to express when I started this series of posts. We can choose our family. We frequently find our chosen family more supportive than our blood family.
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We choose our blood family anyway
Today we will be talking about our chosen family. Let’s take a quick look at our blood family. When we read between the lines of our last two posts we discover that we wind up choosing them anyway.
On Tuesday we looked at a strategy to separate ourself from a painful relationship with a non-supportive blood family member. Is that not a choice? Are we not choosing to go forward with our lives and leave the pain behind?
Yesterday we heard about a strategy that can be used when we choose to maintain a painful relationship. Once again, this is a choice.
The point here is we choose our relationships with our blood family members. Many times we do not realize we are making these choices, but we do. Why not exercise that choice more consciously to choose a new family – the chosen family?
An old saying
Many years ago I heard someone say that our family is not who we were born to but those whom we find as we live our lives. I am sorry that I cannot remember the source of this quote. However, it was my first exposure to the idea of choosing my family.
As I have travelled my path I have chosen many different people to be in my family. Some have stayed for a long period of time. Some have stayed for shorter periods of time. Others have chosen me to be a member of their family.
As I watched these relationships begin and end I frequently remembered the previous quote. I realized that I was finding my chosen family. I watched as I chose people to be in my family and then either I moved on or they moved on. Either way we determined that the relationship was not mutually beneficial.
Learning to choose the new family
As I watched these relationships form and dissolve I learned more about the process of choosing your family. At first I wanted to share what I had with everyone. At first I was not very aware of what the other person wanted. I figured that we could start the relationship (either a friendship or an intimate one) and eventually they would want what I had to share.
Guess what? It didn’t work. Eventually I learned that I had to be completely accepting of the other person before I chose them for the family. That idea also needed a bit of fine tuning. I realized that they had to be completely accepting of me or the relationship would not work.
Do you remember the story of Diogenes? He was said to have walked the streets of Athens carrying a lantern during the daytime looking for an honest man. Of course he did not find one.
I have frequently thought that story describes the process of finding someone who is totally accepting of us while at the same time we are totally accepting of them. However, as opposed to Diogenes, we can find this type of relationship. It is rare, but it does happen. We just have to persevere and not settle for less.
Choosing your family is choosing your happiness
I have had people call this process of choosing your family cold and calculating. Some have said that it is insensitive and exclusive. I look at it as choosing the people with whom I want to share my emotions.
When we are emotionally healthy, or at least working towards that health, we need for those who are closest to us to be the same. Choosing your family means choosing those who will support you as you work through your emotional issues. You will do the same for them.
Not everyone is able to help everyone else. Why should we choose to share our emotions with someone who is unable to reciprocate? Eventually this becomes a one way giving of emotions and the relationship becomes unhappy. I prefer to take my time and carefully choose those with whom I will share my deep emotions.
When we carefully choose our new family we gradually create a small happy family where everyone accepts and supports each other. Does this mean that we do not care or share with anyone else? No – we still care about and share with many other people. It is just that we do not do it at as deep of a level as we do in our chosen family.
The chosen family becomes our source of strength
As we create our chosen family we create a source of renewal and replenishment. Our chosen family accepts us for who we are. When we are with them we can relax and be ourselves. They do not want us to be anyone other than who we are. This allows us to replenish ourselves.
Our other relationships have many expectations placed on us to be what we are not. When we are with our chosen family we do not have to deal with those expectations. That is like lifting a huge weight from our shoulders. We can breathe easily and relate in a natural manner. The chosen family becomes like a magnet that draws us in and replenishes us.
We wonder why it is so hard for other people to understand this concept. We are baffled that people choose to spend so much time around others who want them to fit into their expectations. We wish we could just reach out and wave a magic wand so that people could see how unhappy they are choosing to be.
Instead we spend our quality time with our chosen family. We go out into the world and do what we do. When we are done we return to our chosen family. All they want to know is how we are and what did we learn while we were out in the world. Personally, I think that is the way a family is supposed to relate. How could life be more simple than that?
That’s all for today. Tomorrow we will summarize this last week of posts into a review of exactly how to simplify our life by understanding our family.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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