Thursday, June 21, 2012


I have been thinking a lot about this concept of "Family". I was raised that Family was the most important relationship in the world; that Family was there when no one else would be there; that "honoring your mother and father" was right there next to "thou shall have no other gods before me" in the 10 commandments. I was taught that I had to love my siblings because, well, because they are Family.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about this concept of "Family." I have four siblings. I am the oldest. I have a brother 3 years younger, a sister 5 years younger, a brother 9 years younger and a sister 10 years younger. We seemed to have a happy loving supportive "family" until 9 years ago when my oldest brother went off the deep end and verbally attacked me for a still mysterious reason and stopped speaking to me, my parents and my youngest sister. My middle sister has always been toxic, cruel, two faced and the one who stirred the pot of trouble. She aligned with my brother 9 years ago and also stopped contact with me and my youngest sister and had little contact with my parents until last year. Now they are BFF with mom and dad and I think it is cause our parents are getting older and their is inheritance to think of. Even my oldest brother is getting back in their graces, but won't visit cause I live close to them. So all us siblings are in our 50's now and a few are acting worse than 2 year olds!

OK, so lots of families have these issues. What's the big deal? Well it got me to thinking and talking to Goddess this week about this Family thing. I realized that as human beings we have this need to be connected with those of our own blood. I know there are adoptions that aren't like this, but even my uncle left his three biological sons more of his inheritance than the two Korean daughters they adopted as babies. "They aren't blood" he said.

So as I was talking to Goddess I began realizing that blood does not a friend make. And that is what Family is to me. Would I be friends with this person if I wasn't related to them? For my brother and sister the answer is NO!!!!! Now my youngest sister is in fact my best friend but those other two! No way! Even tho' my mom tells me over and over again, "you must forgive them, they are your brother and sister." Why the hell do I need to forgive and be friends with human beings who have acted like monsters and have hurt my parents so badly.

I finally decided that I can chose not to see them if they come in and not to be around them, just like I can chose to be that way with anyone I meet. In fact, if push came to shove and I "needed" help, they wouldn't help me, but I can bet that some of the people I have met on facebook sure would!!!! I can guarantee  myself of that fact.

So, when I call someone now a sister or brother it has very different meaning. It is now a true relationship word. In fact, the greek word for brother/sister is in fact the word that means "human being". It does not delineate family relationship as we know it now. During the recent Dark Moon ritual, I burned the names of my oldest brother and sister and ended the relationship. It was freeing!

I love the way Kahil Gibran puts it "Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. (The Prophet)

They do not belong to you is such a profound statement. Family is not about belonging it is about relationship to one another through Life's circumstances. And it is ok to say, "nope, you are not someone I wish to be around or to have a relationship with." And that also pertains to parents. I struggled with the whole 10 commandments thing when I worked in child abuse. I had a hard time trying to help children/teens/adults honor the parent(s) who burned them with cigarettes, beat them with electric cords, raped them repeatedly.
And I felt very uncomfortable when I would say, "well, if nothing else, honor them for giving you life." Hard one to swallow when their lives were not worth living so many times.

So I come back to this Family concept. As I approach my 60th year of life, I think I know what Family is to me. It is human beings who love each other for who they are, who enjoy being together whether in person or through technology, and who respect each other. That is Family.

I will honor my parents and help them always because I love them, respect them, and enjoy being around them. And they are elderly and need a helping supportive loving hand! Not because they gave birth to me. And if by some chance my oldest brother and sister would ask for my help. I would be there for them. Not because they are family, but because I am on this Earth to help people in need. Not because I "have to" due to the whole family thing, but because I honor them as another human being on this planet. It may seem ridiculous to spend this all this time thinking about this since they don't speak to me, but I think it is important for us all to look at how we view Family.

Who knows? In the long run there may be less guilt and anger as we are confronted with the people we were raised with. I know we can't chose our family members but as adults we sure can chose how we define them in our Earthly Journey. So, for me I have one sister and one brother (the one I work for!) and two acquaintances who I don't associate with.

Works for me!!!!!

Blessed be!

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