What is Family?
Since Thanksgiving is approaching us rather quickly… when we think of this holiday we think of family… Who will be having it? Who will be there? What am I going to bring? Initially I believe we think about the all of the food that we will be eating… the anticipation of the turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, pumpkin pie…Than we think about who will actually be there. For some of us our family is wonderful and we can’t wait to be there with them. For others it may be awkward and uncomfortable because we may not get along with certain family members let alone like them. I have talked about this before and it can be a daunting task to be polite and respectful when we don’t want to be there but feel that we have to out of obligation because they are our family.
So the most important thing is to honor ourselves while being respectful. Sometimes we have to do the right thing and do things out of obligation. I believe there is always a fine balance when it comes to family or any relationship we are in when we feel obligated to be in it. The exception to obligation is if you are in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship or gathering than you do not need to attend. I think that gratitude is essential to creating the balance that you are seeking when you are in an uncomfortable situation. We all have a story and unfortunately someone else’s situation is a lot worse than ours. So the trick is to be present and be who you are with limits and love.
All of us could get our needs met from any family. We could volunteer at the soup kitchen or local church and serve food and share love and kindness to those who are less fortunate than us. Even though our family may not be able to give us what we need or want maybe we can get that elsewhere and feel fulfilled and at the same time fulfilling a greater need for another family. Friends for most of us are like family. Some people do not have any immediate family because either they are deceased or live in another state and they may be alone for Thanksgiving. So for them having a dinner with their friends’ family is like family to them. Family is whatever we make it to be and being grateful that we are not alone. There are so many people who are alone for Thanksgiving with no family or friends and are sharing a meal with complete strangers, but for that day they are not alone they have family within the strangers. For them that is a gift, a true day of Thanksgiving.
Family is whatever you define it to be that will create the joy and love that you are seeking this Thanksgiving. So be grateful for “family” and all of the gifts they can provide for you.