Family Defined by Quality

The word family can mean a lot of different things to different people all over the world. Within all of these meanings, there is one thread of ‘togetherness’ or people ‘sticking together.’ However, there seems to be a range of definitions that describes this ‘togetherness’ and keeps people who call themselves family together.

These definitions of togetherness are often identified by the behaviours, patterns, beliefs and ideals within family groups that we continue to play out and express with each other, many of which may not be good or true for us and our wellbeing.

We can often come to tolerate or accept behaviours and ways of being from family members that we would deem unacceptable from strangers, let alone justify. Yet we tend to let these slip through for ‘family,’ simply because we have been born into that group or there is a familiarity and a comfort.

If this is the case, then it means that family – something that should be only about love – can become something that is not loving and can actually be harming and abusive. And abuse here is anything less than the deep love we know within our heart, the grandness we are all from. But what makes us accept these tendrils of untruth? What part do we each play in this?

We do know from deep within our body, from the things that hurt us, that certain behaviours, patterns and so on do not belong with who we truly are. Through accepting what does not feel true, not changing, not speaking up and expressing, not living our fullness, we continue our part in the ill way, keeping ourselves and those around us – those we say we love – less than the greatness we all truly are.

Let’s come from a different angle. What if we only defined family by quality, a knowing of a true quality, which then guided us to consider behaviours and ways of being, saying, Yes, that belongs” or No, that does not belong”?  Our inner marker would then be our guide, no matter whether someone was biologically related to us, if they were a long-term friend or if they were just someone quite new in our lives.

This quality would support us to be with ourselves and others in a way that comes from true decency and respect. It would not allow us to be or accept anything less than this. From this place of our inner-knowing, we would be able to clearly see patterns and behaviours that are not part of our inner essence and yet still continue to hold everyone in love, knowing we are all equal within our hearts and essence.  

It starts with our living a quality that we feel to be true, honouring and cherishing of ourselves. This lived quality then feeds us back, leaving us unimposing, not putting conditions or expectations on others to supply us with a love we want but are not giving ourselves first.

Love needs not, it just is – an emanation of purity, joy, stillness and harmony. Wow… now that’s a marker to live from!

If we want love in our lives, we must claim it and this claiming starts with self. Love starts with knowing our inner-most and its quality – then letting that be our gauge for how we treat ourselves, how we are with others, how we move and walk through life in all that we do… And from here, our love deep within becomes our marker of what true family means.

I have found that this true quality of Love in our lives can become our marker of family… breaking down the false consciousness of family being limited to blood relatives.

With our willingness to embrace our love from within, we can be guided by our inner knowing and connection. From here it is easy to see, feel and know that anyone can be family.

Defining Family and Love by quality is a life-changer on a global scale.

By Johanna Smith, Bachelor of Education (Major Special Needs, Minor Psychology), Graduate Certificate of Early Childhood, Studying Diploma of Counseling, Esoteric Complementary Health Practitioner, Woman, Teacher, Mother, Wife and Friend

Further Reading:
True Family
Family Love
A true family model for the 21st century

569 thoughts on “Family Defined by Quality

  1. Johanna now that’s a new way to define family and one that breaks down all the stereotypical divisions between family, families and within families and resets life to be about quality and love, allowing us to live together as one family committed to that quality.

  2. This article really makes me ponder on how we treat each other and what we accept in our blood related families, often accepting behaviours that we would not accept from non-family members.

  3. I have been inspired to see family not only as those who are blood related but to others in my life as-well, I have close relationships with people who are not blood related and these people I consider my family. This feels very gorgeous and like our true way of being together.

  4. Sometimes we hurt the ones closest to us as if we have the right. However this is far from the truth as we have the responsibility to bring love to all equally.

  5. The measure of a human being is indeed reflected in the quality of their relationships and interactions, not just with family but friends, colleagues and all others.

  6. This is a beautiful description of true love; ‘Love needs not, it just is – an emanation of purity, joy, stillness and harmony’, this makes me realise that in families what we call love is not always true love but can be a version of love that we have come to accept and tolerate but that can in fact be very unloving.

  7. Family is a wonderful thing and I feel like everyone deserves to feel the presence of it in their lives, whether it is blood related or housemates, or work or friends etc. there are so many definitions to the word now. What people do not deserve and what often comes with the word family is the sense of ‘ownership’. Family should not own us.

  8. ‘And from here, our love deep within becomes our marker of what true family means.’ This is very lovely. Today I was working and I felt the warmth of being with family as our whole team were meeting (we rarely are all together). Though there were a few moments of irritation between people there remained a quality of togetherness and love.

  9. ‘Love needs not, it just is – an emanation of purity, joy, stillness and harmony. Wow… now that’s a marker to live from!’- It sure is and when we do take the time to focus on ourselves and learn to be loving and caring, not accepting anything from ourselves that is abusive then we lay the foundation of what true Love is. With out need just the willingness to be open and sharing this Love. Calling out and not accepting anything but this truly has to come from us living that with ourselves first.

  10. The living quality and love you speak of applies to everything in life – family, work, friendship, all relationships – and as you say first starts with each of us.

  11. We can be so sold to the Family idea, that our parents are to care for us, love and cherish us. So when they don’t we get crushed – and so many of our “issues” can be tracked back to a childhood memory when something happened and we no longer felt like it was okay to be ourselves. In our attachment to the picture of what a family is to be, we close off the door to connecting to people who may care for us more than our blood relatives ever could.

    1. and in that crushing we also become the parents who are not truly there for their children and so it goes on and on, on the not-merry-go-round until someone stops and reclaims and lives the love we all truly are.

  12. How we treat ourselves is the marker that determines how much we can actually be there for another and a marker for how we treat another too. We can think that we are treating another or others well and continue to neglect ourselves, but in the end, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

  13. “We can often come to tolerate or accept behaviours and ways of being from family members that we would deem unacceptable from strangers, let alone justify.” – Is this not strange that we make allowances for abusive or disrespectful bahaviour in our families because we say ‘it is family’….This exposes that we have certain investments that we are not willing to compromise or lose on, rather than living in a way that shows the true colours of a person, be they family or not family.

  14. If we all set the standard in all relationships to have decency and respect first and foremost, I am sure the quality of our relationships would be more harmonious and true.

  15. I am learning more and more the importance of how I am and how I am consistent in this with everyone I meet. To treat people with respect at work, in the shops, when driving, with friends at home and with family. It is not for example treating people with respect at work and then when at home just letting this drop because I know them ‘better’!

    1. Yes and of course it all starts with how we speak to and treat ourselves, for if we are not loving and respectful towards ourselves we are not going to be so with others.

  16. Lets face it, for many of us we have got the definition of what love is totally wrong, we place expectations, make agreements and do anything to not to truly go there.
    I love this sentence it sums it up “Love needs not, it just is – an emanation of purity, joy, stillness and harmony. Wow… now that’s a marker to live from!”

  17. How many of us are living or have lived certain behaviours and patterns that are not really us! I know I have and it is crippling, as it is living a lie. With deep appreciation and thanks to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon and my willingness to love me, be honest and let go of what is not truly me, many if not all of these imposing behaviours and patterns are no longer there. This also is a much needed blog questioning what is family and what does family mean, and more importantly, how do we treat people within our ‘family’ and also those who we consider are not our family? Ultimately and in truth we are in fact One, and it will be a day I will definitely celebrate when every person within the world realises this fact.

  18. I went shopping the other day and got to feel quality in action….I could see that some clothes had an energetic quality that brought certain qualities out in me, and others that whilst looking good, did not have that quality and left me a bit flat/one-dimensional. The quality allowed me a marker of what was true for me and what was not. We can establish an energetic quality in so many ways that can truly serve us to know what is true (love) and what is not (abuse).

  19. Yes Johanna, we have made life not about quality but about roles, images, beliefs and expectations.. Hence we have lost our drill in this, now being foggy in our minds to discern the difference. It is by our willingness to be honest that strips away the layers of fog. This is a great start.

  20. ‘Family’ is a word that comes loaded with pictures, ideals and expectations about what it ‘should’ look or feel like, including a lot of emotional baggage. True family for me is treating everyone with an equal level of grace, decency and integrity and love. It doesn’t mean those relationships all look the same, but that I bring the same quality and consistency, to all of them, equally, to the best of my ability.

  21. We have let the quality of our blood family let get so diverse and so abusive at times that we need to come back to defining the quality of family so we don’t make it a banner under which we can be disrespectful or even abusive to our kin. We now have to define family by a quality of love and care for each other because we have gone so so far away from it in our everyday life.

  22. If we are really honest some of the worst things in the world can happen in family – every kind of abuse including sexual abuse, violence, murder, neglect, lovelessness in its many forms, disputes and fighting, bullying, ignoring our family members, etc. The word family en-houses the whole gamut of both abuse and decency and love, so the word “family” really means nothing except for the definition of blood relations. It is simply love that makes an impression. It is not family that makes for wonderful relationships, it’s the choice to love, and that love can be available for everyone including family, work colleagues, and strangers.

  23. Yes if we would close our eyes and feel what love is, than call that family, that would be way more of truth than walking on the images and pictures of how love needs to be.

  24. There is so much attached to this word, “family”. Some will disown members of their family for dirtying the “family name”, others will kill for their “family”. There are ideals, expectations and demands placed on members of our family just because they are blood related, we put up with arguments and abuse all because of this word, and why? Because many of us are brought up to believe that we owe something to our parents, our siblings and our children.

  25. I was just in a conversation yesterday about family and the expectations they place on you which are far from love. The message seems to be ‘swallow what feels true for you and toe the line, look after each other and tolerate our behaviours no matter what’.

  26. This is an amazing offering for us to consider if our current ideals and beliefs of what family means actually sets us up to accept abuse in the subtlest of ways, so that we then are more accepting of abuse in all other relationships. Or do we see our family as a constellation in which we can explore, support, heal, pull each other up and inspire each other to live with greater love, truth and power in our lives? For love is the pulse the unites us all as true family.

  27. Its only by looking at it in this way, where love is the bond that brings us together, that we could ever hope of uniting and expanding brotherhood beyond the confines of our immediate relatives.

  28. The notion of family has become entirely reductionist. Imagine if we were to widen our scope of inclusion and acceptance. We’re able to do it as a nation when we’re in the midst of the World Cup, but why not consistently and why not globally?

  29. Defining family by blood line is very limiting and does not represent what we feel about people who are close to us but who are not “family” by blood.

  30. Only when you experience what is quality in relationships and this tending to take place outside of families, we become aware of how limiting the notion and reality of family really are.

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