You were born into a specific family. If you are anything like me, they have some interesting quirks, foibles, and other oddities about them. As you grew up, you may have grown closer…or further apart.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. For the most part, however, they’d don’t get me. I have taken many paths over the years that have confused and confounded them. My life, my choice…but part of the nature of the love of family is striving for acceptance, even when understanding lacks.
When I was 19 I was introduced to the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), a worldwide medieval reenactment organization. If you are unfamiliar with the SCA, think Renaissance Faire, minus fantasy elements. Further, rather than putting on performances all the participants are in it for their own entertainments.
Through the SCA, I have met amazing people. I have made many friends all across the world. The community that this organization can be, at its best, is incredibly supportive. For example, if I were to travel across the country, I could probably find someone to crash with in almost every state.
From this experience, I have gained more than just friends. Many of those I have come to know over the years have actually become family. We get together outside of SCA events, enjoy each other’s company, rely on one another for comfort, understanding, and everything else family can provide.
Unlike the family of my birth, these people, the family of my heart, get me.
Family is all about acceptance and understanding
As a child, you looked to your family for acceptance and understanding. These were the people you knew you could trust to be there for you, to support you, and accept you for you.
That may not have changed as you grew up. Maybe your family continues to fully support you and your decisions. However, it’s entirely possible that your family, though they still love you and accept you (I hope), would prefer a more ideal you, based on their biases.
This is part of human nature. You meet someone in a certain time and place, and that is the first impression of that person. Over time, as you get to know them better, it shifts, but still settles to a “knowing” of that person. So if they change, you have to make a choice.
Do the changes you see in a given person improve them, or lessen them in your estimation? This is completely a judgment call on your part and may go totally unvoiced. It tends to be pretty subconscious. Your perception of reality is entirely based on your experience, environment, education, and numerous other factors — and as such will color your impression of the people in your life.
Your blood family knows you all your life. As such, they see you change as you move through the phases of your life. While (hopefully) they still love you, and always will, they may not get you anymore. I think this may be the very definition of the phrase “familiarity breeds contempt.”
The family that you choose, however, accepts you as much as you accept them. They are a source of comfort, and offer support, at least generally, from a similar shared base community. You understand one another, and that makes you feel good.
You are worthy and deserving of support and encouragement
It is important to recognize that the family you were born into and your chosen family can totally coexist.
Love is the ultimate expression of abundance. So having a loving family of blood and another of community is enormously positive. These are both excellent sources of encouragement, support, understanding, acceptance, and all the other aspects of human connectivity you could need.
I am deeply grateful for all of my family, both blood and chosen. Thank you for being a part of my life, and making it amazing.
Finding positivity isn’t hard, but it does require action
Knowing that family is an incredible source for positivity you can take comfort in your tribes, whatever form that takes for you. When you recognize how powerful the love from family is, whether blood or chosen, you can use the positivity from this to be the best you that you can be, which ultimately empowers you. When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that tends to spread that to others around you.
As such, you can build more positive feelings and discover more things to feel positivity and gratitude for.
Gratitude leads to happiness. Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude. An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of positivity that begets even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, and your family, whatever form they take, helps you see that.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on July 1, 2019.