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.
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