Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What does family mean?


I have hesitated writing this post and frankly, it brings me a lot of anxiety--but sometimes I think truth overrides the pain.  Sometimes you need to let go of what was and concentrate on what IS and what WILL BE.  And sometimes that comes with a price.

I want to write about FAMILY.

It is difficult when problems arise amongst family members and it is even more difficult when they are not resolved.  And when there is a possibility of them never being resolved...whether out of self-preservation or forgiveness not being given...it hurts.

The thing is--we are always taught that family is the most important thing and that we should always remain loyal to that.  Frankly, it makes me sad when I see and know of families that well...seem to have their stuff together.  Where two parents have lovingly raised their children and although there are always growing pains...there seems to be a sense of functioning that I have never experienced.  This is such a sensitive subject for me because I don't desire to show the negativity of where I have come from or what I have known.  I guess I just desire to be real here.  The realness is that I am not from a family that functions well and I don't believe it ever will...and I have yet to personally experience one in my life that does.  

I am not naive to think that I am so different than everyone and that the rest of the world lives with white picket fences because everyone has issues, some far far worse than mine.  But what I do know is that my life has not been rose-colored whether by the actions of my family members or my own.  And it has in fact consisted of relationships that have been extremely difficult.  And that painful decisions have had to be made because of it.

And so I ask--what IS a family?  To me a family is full of people who love you.  People who forgive easily.  People who do not judge or demean or manipulate.  Whether that consists of one person or many--that love is the same between each other.  Where there is no abandonment and speaking with your loved ones brings peace and not turmoil.  Where there is no devils advocate (who wants to be that anyway?) and instead a voice of guidance.  Family is a place you want to be. It is the knowledge of unconditional love surrounding you.

With recent happenings and past experiences I have had to assess my life and wonder how to create that--how to control or play the part in a way that brings about such a family (which..uhmm...is quite difficult with my temper).  And shockingly...the answer I have received is to do nothing.  The only people that matter are my husband and my children. And as much as it aches to separate myself from the possibility of having an extended family that I dream about... I know that my only concentration should be on me and my own and with those who seek the same things.  And that maybe the only thing I can do is give the gift of what family really means to my children.  And the way to do that is to focus on and shower THEM with unconditional love so they know the security of it.  

Sometimes I have been wounded, sometimes I have been the one whose actions were uncalled for, and still I have to ask myself how I should proceed.  I have decided to stand with my own because I think that space and time can be good. For me, the only thing that resonates deeper than the pain of for now letting family members go...is peace. 

11 comments:

Sue said...

I'm sorry you have to make such hard choices. At least you have the opportunity to create in your immediate family what you wish for in your extended one. And maybe, someday, having done that will be an example and source of healing for your family of origin, too.

Amy said...

I'm trying to think of what to say. I agree with Sue and with what you said about your own family. This can be the start of what truly makes a family and the example of what love can bring to the family unit.
I'm so sorry your family life has been so difficult.
Lots of love!!

likeschocolate said...

Families can be so complicated. I yearn to have a large happy family; however, we too have some family members who can't seem to forgive or want to live in the past. While we want to be with them they make it very difficult being with them. I wish I had an answer for you or advice, but since I don't have one all I can say is just pray for them. That is all I can do too.

Debby said...

I feel bad for you. I can tell it is breaking your heart. From my own experience of hurtful relatives.....I think doing nothing for awhile is the best. Think of you and your immediate family first. You can't change the others and it will continue.
Good luck. (((((HUGS)))))

heather said...

Hugs, Carrie. HUGS and you're children are so blessed to have you as their mother.

Haley @thedistractedblogger said...

Hugs! The best you can do is be there for your family and work on yourself. If you feel the need for your kids to see the extended family make a reservation at a restaurant. The family will probably be on there best behavior in public and if it gets ugly you can always go home.

Take care and do something silly with your kids to cheer up a bit. You are a good mamma!

Carrie said...

Thank you dear friends. Such a touchy subject-- and I honestly am surprised I let myself write it and post it at all. But I kept feeling like maybe I am not alone. And even though I lost some readers (really?-is it that much of a downer?) I think truth is good. Thanks for all the virtual hugs;)

~Christine~ said...

Thanks for this post. I'm sure it wasn't the easiest thing to write about. Unfortunately there are many of us out there in the same situation as what you have described. It's heartbreaking and one really has to contemplate as to what their own decision is in resolving the matter. I am happy that you are at peace with your decision to "do nothing." I'm still contemplating......

sariqd said...

You know, one of my sisters has disowned me and then came back and then wigged out again. My experiences with her is that the relationship is so toxic that I need to protect myself, my husband & kids. Hence, I have blocked her from my life. That doesn't mean she doesn't exist. I still love her but there is not room in my life for that toxicity. It's ironic though, with the love/hate relationship she has (with the whole darn family), she is first there to offer her kidney if we needed it. Maybe someday we'll all wise up and figure it out. that's what life on earth is for, yes?

Regina Collins said...

Wouldn't it be nice, if we could all just follow the example of the Savior. Forgiveness and unconditional love would prevail. I love the quote " at some point we have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life". Hopefully, all will be ok in the end.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

You know Nephi had to do the same thing for the safety of his family! Isn't it wonderful to have direction from the Lord for our own personal trials and experiences? You are doing the right thing, Carrie, even if it IS hard.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin