WHAT IS FAMILY, AND WHO IS IN YOUR FAMILY TREE?
What is family, and who’s in your family tree?
In the western world, family is traditional Mum, Dad and 2.4 children (although how you get 0.4 of a child is beyond me!). However, fortunately times are changing, and the traditional picture of family is becoming more and more diverse. Families can be made up of one, two or more parents, they can be a mix of gender, race and ages.
Not everyone agrees with the more modern versions of family, but so long as a family is made up of people who love and respect each other, personally I don’t see what the issue is with regards what mix of people make up a family.
The other interesting dynamic that modern living brings to the concept, and experience of family, is that of distance. Families no longer have to all live within a few yards or miles of each other and this brings with it an additional dynamic. And that is the concept of friends as family. As human beings we have a strong need to feel like we belong. That we fit, are accepted, and ultimately, loved. When families live further apart, this sense of belonging can become strained, and that can have a significant impact on how we think and feel about ourselves. Our confidence around who we are, and what we are worth can reduce and we can be left feeling lost.
It is a similar sense for those who lose a parent, partner, child or other significant member of their family. We can be left reeling about where we fit in the world now that our most direct world has changed so permanently.
Family is complex, rarely is it easy, and despite our hopes and dreams, it can change.
So with life, death, distance, complexities of relationships, history and a desire to belong, be accepted and loved is it any wonder that sometimes we don’t always feel closest to those we are related to?!
In these modern times not everyone includes family by blood as their nearest and dearest. For some, family is made up of friends. People you choose to socialise and create memories with. Ultimately however you define your family, it is about sharing. Sharing your heart, hopes and dreams with people you believe will catch you and support you no matter who you are, or what life throws at you.
And this really is the challenge to each and every one of us. Regardless of who makes up your family, where they live, and how many of them there are, are you truly able to let these people into your life today? To know who you are, to trust them with your heart totally and completely and be truly vulnerable to them and what they may say or do, or the decisions they may make that can leave you feeling hurt?
This month, MY Velvet Evolution focus is how family and fun work together. The ideal of family is fun happy memories but in everyday life, how does this work and what does it mean? How vulnerable am I with the people who make up my family, and does that impact on my ability to find, create and embrace fun with them? If it does, what can I do about it to improve things and have more fun with my family at no extra cost to me or them?
So as I begin to find fun with my family, I invite you to let me know what family means to you and how you experience it.
Who’s in your family tree?
Wishing you all a fun and family focussed month.