Thanksgiving has come and gone and the festive holiday season is officially upon us.
I was raised in a rather conservative religious household that didn’t celebrate Christmas or any other holiday. It’s a very new experience for me to incorporate new traditions into my life. At some point I’ll tell that story… but not today.
I want to talk about who become our family. Family is such a complex crazy and beautiful thing. So many people today including myself think first of the nuclear family when they hear that word.
In my humble opinion Family isn’t limited to a noun, it’s not just simply something you are. Rather it should be thought of as a verb. Being a family is something you DO! Over the course of the last 3 years that concept of family has been firmly established in my heart.
I’m amazed at the amount of people who have supported me in sad times and laughed with me during happy times. My friends sat with me in silence when there were no correct words to describe the circumstances and they hugged and listened to me when I had no one else to talk to.
Humans are beautiful. Even in a polarized world, I’ve discovered that when the majority of humans see others humans suffering, they take action to elevate the pain.
Last year, a wonderful person who I now consider family gave me an exercise to try when I was overwhelmed.
“Focus on other people and ask yourself what steps you can take to make a person smile and happy, even if the smile lasts just for that moment or day. Make it your goal to leave your conversation with them feeling better than when the conversation started.”
I think that advice changed my life forever!!!
It’s caused me to reflect on so many different people I encounter. It also has had the unexpected side effect of making me think really really hard to locate beautiful qualities in people I don’t initially like or appreciate. It’s helped me understand that no one is perfect and also that I probably have a lot of qualities that others may not be initially drawn towards as well.
Dang, self awareness is a powerful tool!
As everyone goes about their life this festive season, I’m going to continue asking myself those questions and I’ll also continue expanding my family one way or another.
I hope everyone has a beautiful time this year. To everyone who has adopted me and treated me as family. I love you, and thank you 💙🙏🏻