Family – one word, multiple meanings…
Most of my summer was filled with family and friends returning from all corners of the globe (I never quite understood how something round can have corners!). These said corners included New Zealand, Australia and America, and all had the same mission as they crossed oceans and navigated their way through airports…spending time with those they love.
I have just waved off my big hearted brother and the beautiful Orla as they begin their journey back to Australia. Yes, my heart may be heavy but there was no denying the overwhelming feeling of love and sheer joy that not only comes with these visits but with the simple fact that they are my family. I am beyond blessed.
As I accept this final departure of visiting loved ones over the summer, I can’t shake that underlying happy feeling of knowing I have such amazing family. It is this feeling I want to sit and reflect on a little bit longer and encourage you to do the same as you ask yourself what exactly does family mean to you?
You will note more reference to family than friends but this is because I consider my equally incredible friends as family. They are the family I have chosen for myself. And with that comes the reminder that many of my family are also my friends. This summer has really shown me that there is a very, very, thin line between friends and family, if indeed there is a line at all. To me, we all live in the same camp and shelter under the same umbrella. This, I love.
Family for me is made up of an eclectic mix of personas, each of them as welcome as that moment when you wake up in the morning and realise you’ve another day to live.
Family to me is the unconditional love and acceptance for each other regardless of how much time has passed since last seeing each other or how many oceans there are between you. Of course, all the technological connections now available have made it easier to maintain emotional connections but nothing, absolutely nothing beats the real presence of someone you love.
The visits home are particularly magic, somehow knowing you only have limited time makes us behave in ways we wouldn’t perhaps ordinarily. We are more open on so many levels, we make more time for fun and are generally more focused on making every single moment count. It feels so good because this is how we should naturally be living all the time. Consider this your reminder!
Family to me is so much more than I could ever possibly put into words. It is no coincidence I AM can be found in the word Family. I am, like all of you, made up of many different parts and each of our different family members allow us to express these parts accordingly to ensure we can be who we are meant to be. Personally I find it pretty cool how I communicate differently with different people, those who fully accept me for who I am, whichever part it is at the time, I know I can call my family.
As you settle into a new month, take some time to think about what family means to you and their importance in your life. No family is perfect but learning to love unconditionally will go a long way towards making you all stronger and happier, both as individuals and as a family.
Family to me, is everything.
I would like to dedicate this piece to some wonderful people I consider my family as they celebrate their gorgeous little boys first birthday. Happy Birthday JP!
Family is everything.