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

410 thoughts on “Family Defined by Quality

  1. Knowing and living and expressing the qualities of love, harmony, and joy – the foundation of any relationship, we reflect for our blood family the potential of how it can be, and often they respond and themselves become part of the wider family.

  2. “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.” – to break away from this paradigm it can help to see our mother, sister, daughter, wife as another woman; or our father, brother, son, husband as another man…this can give us a fresh perspective on the situation and help us feel what is indeed acceptable and not. And it also supports us in appreciating the other very deeply as we get to realise how much of who they are is shared with us, and also how much of what they do is there too to be and appreciated.

    1. Very beautiful support Henrietta. I can feel how doing this could also expose pictures of the roles we may still be holding onto and imposing on others.

  3. Holding on to a notion of family only being ‘blood relatives’ is like saying some people are better than others or more worthy of our love. When one stops and feels this, it’s false assumptions are obvious.

    1. I heard a conversation on the bus the other day where a young woman was talking about the possibility of having children. It was scary the way she was talking about someone who was not yet born being ‘hers’. There was a sense of ownership of the unborn child that I felt already excluded everyone else. It was almost fierce. What if we can turn this around and know that we are here to support anyone who comes into this world and not own them, it creates a very different picture and a very different feeling.

  4. We absolutely have a choice to choose quality every moment of our life. Or to be more precise to align to a energy that takes care of the rest. Why wrack our brains trying to think of the right thing to do when the truth lives in the vibration with which you move. Thank you Johanna.

  5. Defining ourselves by the equal quality we bring, to family and to the world, this is evolutionary, for it invites us to look at the whole world as our family with no one excluded.

  6. I know that at times I have met someone new and they instantly feel like family. They feel familiar. They are obviously not blood family so how do we explain this? It shows that there is a connection that runs much much deeper than blood.

  7. “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”?” This is such a common sense and equalising approach to family life that would potentially rule out any possiblity of even low level abuse, disrespect or dishonouring of any family member. Something that we would all do well to embrace.

  8. We do not need to close ourselves down to ‘outsiders’, we can bring the quality of Love to everyone we meet. We are in relationships wherever we are, and these relationships deserve all of us.

  9. I like be what is shared here about making it about quality before family. How simple is that to base everything on love or not love. It changes the whole way relationships are configured.

    1. Quality is everything, if we ignore the quality there is no true foundation. Making it about the quality of love changes the whole way relationships are configured.

  10. We are brought up to be totally loyal to the family no matter what. So when things get abusive or even when they are loveless it is expected to take it on the chin. Some of this can be so subtle that you just think it’s the normal. When you experience a relationship with anyone and true Love is the quality it becomes very clear the two types of love that are available. Love has no boundaries and is equally for all and this is what I feel to be absolutely true. Now there can be no other way for me, so when it’s not Love it has to be called out, lovingly. We all deserve the absolute pure Love that is available which is in each and everyone of us waiting to be connected to and expressed. Letting go of hurts and being open no matter what. I keep working on this and have realised there is so much depth that it is unimaginable what is possible.

  11. From reading this blog I can feel that we are all one family but too that there are many constructs in me which I have took on in life and have another view of what family is. So I know where to work and that is to let go of the construct I have made from my mind but I can feel too, do not live in my heart.

  12. ‘If we want love in our lives, we must claim it and this claiming starts with self’. This was a profound and healing moment when I realised I didn’t have to wait for someone to love me, I was already love and all I had to do was connect to it, love and care for myself.

  13. ‘If we want love in our lives we must claim it and this claiming starts with self.’ Very true Johanna. How can we claim to love another if we don’t truly love ourselves first? And what is the quality of that love?

    1. Well said Sue, how can we claim to love another, if we don’t know what true love for ourselves is. We have to start with self, live it, feel it and claim it before we will get it back to us as we reflect to others.

  14. If I speak to people I don’t know, say over a shopping trolley or some such mundane thing in life, I love to speak to them as my family. Sometimes I see people taken aback by such simple warmth, but I carry on anyway and quite often this can brighten someone’s day immeasurably.

    1. Shirley-Ann I do so agree with you. It has happened to me that some random person has spoken to me in such a manner that I feel enveloped with love and a lovely warmth emanates from my body.

  15. What we experience family to be defines what “togetherness” then means instead of knowing what true to-gather-ness actually is and make family a group of people who lives that.

  16. ‘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.’ I love getting to know new people and feeling that they hold themselves and others in a true quality – it is like knowing something that is common in us all.

  17. I’ve met many people over the years who define friends as family even though they say they know they aren’t ‘technically’ family but feel more like family than family members who are behaving in unloving ways. We do know family isn’t defined by blood but is a quality we all share. Even though some may hide this quality beneath unloving behaviours.

  18. Regardless of what is going on, I continue to regard all the people in my life as family, because at the core is always a beautiful person who deserves to be loved and understood and this for me is what true family is – to walk with an open loving heart that regards every situation with understanding.

  19. Family is a word that we have placed a huge limitation on. And I find those who have ‘family’ outside of blood family can still feel odd or needy in these relationships as we have not known to honour all our connections. If we bring again our quality to all family, we loose the uncomfortableness of the tension that underlies our needs, wants and ideals. As we are no longer looking to be fulfilled, but bring a full whole person to every relationship.

  20. If we are open everyone is family, just like anyone you meet in a supermarket is your best friend the moment you both connect and then you move on your way without any attachment whatsoever. This is how we can be with everyone . . . What comes with the common idea of family is possession and attachment and this kills joy and makes it all hard work.

    1. It’s like having Ideal-tinted glasses on when we see people. And that’s why it’s fascinating to watch people after natural disasters. Everyones glasses come off and you see brotherhood in action.

  21. As you say Johanna, love starts with ourselves, we can only ever change ourselves, and when we do, everyone notices it. I love your quote ” If we want love in our lives, we must claim it and this claiming starts with self”, I shall put that into action.

  22. It is interesting to note that the most abhorrent behaviours generally occur between people who know each other or are related, especially within families as is the case with domestic violence, honour killing and female genital mutilation.

  23. I love these few words… “Our inner marker would then be our guide…” as it’s the relationship we develop with ourselves, inwardly, that makes this marker become more a part of our every day choices.

  24. If we accept abuse from some and not others the relationship we have with abuse is still alive. We are still willing to be abused because in certain areas the ideals we hold can blind us to Truth. Not that we need to see everything all at once, but the more we can drop our ideals the more we can actually see Truth.

  25. I’ve never really understood family, I get it on a temporal level however the love I feel within me has never naturally wanted to be exclusive nor limited, more that it holds everyone equally and everyone feels like family.

  26. ‘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.’ This is key to understanding others – we can feel their true essence the same as ours and recognise their behaviours as not being of that essence, therefore our love for them does not diminish and we have no need to judge.

  27. The moment you know everyone to be your family there is no longer any difference, reason or condition that could justify loving any person more than another. We may have personal preferences and or affections but they don´t touch on the equal love that is held for everyone equally.

  28. The saying that ‘family is thicker than blood’ is such a loaded saying. You can’t go anywhere with it and you have to put up with what ever is going on. So when we pluck up the courage and say no to this and say that actually it is about Love and not blood and we will only be with people that respect this in each other then Family is actually based on Love. A quality that holds us in the bare minimum respect and decency.

  29. Truly our life is defined by quality. We think that it’s more to do with the make of the car we drive or food we eat – but in reality it’s the energy we live. Go deeper with this, and explore what comes, but to live life in the same vibration expecting true change to arrive is the definition of insanity. Thank you Johanna for sharing this quality with us.

  30. “Love needs not, it just is – an emanation of purity, joy, stillness and harmony. Wow… now that’s a marker to live from!” This is beautiful maker to live from available to us all to connect to.

  31. True family is one where we walk as equals, supporting each other to be all we are, and expand beyond the expectation and limitations of ‘roles’ such as mother, father, sister and brother. “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.”

  32. “If we want love in our lives, we must claim it and this claiming starts with self” – yes, self-love leads naturally to love, leads to family and its growth. In other words, love is family and family is love.

  33. “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.” These words are ringing loud and clear like a bell through every particle of me, sounding the tune of the true way forward for humanity.

  34. Thanks to Universal Medicine, I have family members from all over the world, from every kind of background, age, gender and race, united in our return to love.

  35. After speaking with a group of women this evening I realise I have such a loving family. I know what true family feels like and what’s beautiful is having discovered this with people who are unrelated to me, and also bringing this quality to my relationships with my blood family too. Very beautiful.

  36. It is wonderful to consider that every one knows what true family is, because we all know what true love is – that deep down inside, each person has the knowing of love as a beholding light, and that by this marker we can each live in harmony with each other, knowing that this harmony is a science that is lived.

  37. I think it’s great to look at how we may be accepting a lesser quality in some of our relationships – both from the other person or from the quality that we bring to it, whether it be at work, at home, with friends etc… Why would we hold anyone as any lesser than another? We may spend more time with certain people, and do different things with different people, naturally so but that shouldn’t affect the quality of what we bring or accept…

  38. Yes, we are all the same and when we truly connect with each other. It feels no different from being with a brother or sister, parent or grandparent and so on. If we don’t limit ourselves in opening up to people around us, everyone can be family when it is defined by quality.

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