Some time ago, I started to re-evaluate the terms that I have passed to the people around me to further define these people within my life. This really began over five years ago, when my mother passed and someone who I claimed as a ‘family member’ was taking funds from her account… she was supposed to be helping my mother, and with a sheep clothed malevolence, she robbed her to the grave.
I will admit, I wanted to do horrid things to her; even wanted her to rot in prison for her transgressions, yet, in the end, I chose otherwise for the sake of her children. WITH A WHOLE LOT OF PRAYER, I was able to stay my hand, yet it created a need in me to uproot what was my ‘family tree’ and began to plant anew.
I allowed my relationship, with the exception of three on my mothers side of the gene pool to die and be buried with her. This came with years of GREAT THOUGHT and eventually I started to rebuild my definitions that were used to connect me through blood, or circumstance to others. Let us begin.
Many of you that are reading this have worked hard for financial, corporate, spiritual, educational, or industrial status, especially yearning to gain titles and/or hierarchical positions within this world. Those things are given great energy and deemed extremely important, even sacred as we work hard and diligently to EARN them, yet we can be introduced to a complete stranger, told he or she is ‘FAMILY’ and we accept that and run with is blindly, only in some cases to be blind-sided and possibly betrayed by this person who took NO effort in earning the position of ‘FAMILY MEMBER‘ within your life. They never earned this extremely IMPORTANT position, yet are given this because someone else told us to accept them as such.
The dictionary defines ‘family’ as ‘a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not:’ considered traditional OR ‘all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor.’ Many that we encounter that fit common progenitor should be left there, yet we have been taught that those that are introduced as ‘family’ are to be treated with a sense of togetherness and/or respect, even when they have done nothing to acquire these gifts. We call them UNCLE, NIECE, NEPHEW, COUSIN, GRANDMOTHER, GRANDFATHER, MOTHER OR FATHER, and they portray themselves as strangers or interact with you like they are the sworn enemy, yet we make excuses for their transgressions against us and say the fatal phrase, “BUT they are still my (blank)”.
This is supposed to negate the pain and suffering inflicted; the given title that, when held, is supposed to be sacred and respected. This is supposed to be acceptable because of this dysfunction that has gone unchecked for generations.
This is no longer acceptable to me. I hold family very close to heart, and I see how many have exploited the terms in my life and the lives of others. I decided that these titles, even for me, should be AND shall be earned… no longer given like free groceries at a food bank, only to have most of it thrown away because the pride of the foolish can outweigh the need to eat.
Many of the selfish, careless, and indignant things we do to others (me too…) would cause us to lose credibility in society, our jobs, and even our lives in many cases, yet we still tend to excuse it and ‘forgive’. What makes this problematic, is in our forgiveness, the person performing the act usually, but not always, learns NOTHING from it, and depending on their outlook upon you, will do something worse next time, knowing that forgiveness is coming because hey, ‘WE FAMILY’. Please understand readers before I go on, I am an GREAT ADVOCATE for forgiveness, it is what Christ teaches us; I am also one who knows that what we cherish, we cherish. I also know that many (but not all) people who have earned, take care of their earning, yet this decision is more for me than the person.
It is not something that you tell the person; you just let it happen. If you find that this person is someone you can truly call brother; for example, let that be and enjoy that bond… if not, you leave them where they are. It only places them in the sacred place within your life. It is not to control or manipulate; that won’t work anyway. its a matter of choice, not obligation. If I haven’t earned the title as ‘family’, I do not want it. I no longer want to give people something that they do not really want, NOR deserve, and I believe that when you say, ‘you are my family’ that means GREAT things. I no longer wish to throw that to the wind.
I hope this makes sense. Please feel free to comment.