Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What is family?

What is family, anyway?

To some people it's blood, and they believe that anyone to whom you are tied by blood, you owe an eternal debt of obligation to. Some people believe that the people with whom you share blood ties are entitled to forgiveness, no matter the transgressions or how deep the scars.

This isn't what I believe.

Sometimes you have to walk away in order to move on. It's not about forgiveness. It's about finally standing up for yourself and choosing not to be hurt anymore. It's about not settling for shitty relationships that can never be made healthy, because life is too short.

But then, a voice from the past jumps directly in your path. Briefly, but you are startled and shaken. And for a whole day, you anguish over old hurts that suddenly feel scraped raw and bleeding again. And that hollow place where the family you wish you had had resides, suddenly feels achey and bottomless.

You want to cry, but you don't let the tears fall. You don't want to allow those old hurts the power to crush you again. Crying won't change anything, anyway.

So you take a deep breath, and you look around you. And you remember that "family," like "friend," is nothing more than an empty word when it's not backed up by love, and respect, and kindness, and effort. And you realize that you make your own family: your spouse, your children, and a circle of friends, all of whom make you feel whole.


Jodi said...

Funny, I just had a similar conversation with my husband tonight. What is family and why are those bonds so hard to sever even when you know you're better off without toxic people in your life? Your head knows the answer, but your heart keeps hoping for a different outcome, I suppose. Let your heart have a good cry and then put your head back in charge of things and remember all the reasons your family no longer includes those people. Family is who you choose to surround yourself with - in good times and bad.

Talley Images said...

I know this feeling too well...

At least you have your bloggy friends to back you up when others dont.

Chrystal said...

*sigh* I feel you.

Angie said...

I so needed to here this (especially today) thanks for putting my thoughts in order Lisa :)