When I first heard the saying ‘family is more than blood’, it felt like a relief because as much as I love and care for my family there were times when I also met people with whom I felt as close and familiar with and who I loved just as dearly as my own family.
With family I got tied up in so many ideals and beliefs that I remember always feeling like I was doing what was expected of me rather than acting on what I felt was true. I always wanted to please my mum especially and play the ‘good’ daughter, so there were many times when I would put aside what I was feeling and do the ‘right’ thing. This of course ended up making me feel exhausted and moody, as I was not honouring of myself in any way.
I was holding this big belief that I had to conform because that was what families do – even when I was quite tired I would push myself to attend family events because of the pressure I put on myself to be there no matter what, and also because I didn’t want to miss out on anything.
Thank goodness I began to question these tightly held beliefs and ideals I had around family, because it was very draining on me and not loving in any way.
I can feel now how holding onto all these beliefs and ideals keep me trapped in some way, and then out of reaction to this it made me act out certain patterns and behaviours in my life to bury what I was truly feeling at these times: for example, I would eat a lot of sugary and comfort foods or would watch a lot of TV or go shopping, all to avoid what I was feeling. The whole way I was living life was in avoidance of myself – a running away from feeling my own strength and power. This is something I felt even more strongly when I became a first-time mother and was bombarded with a load of ‘pictures’ about how to parent instead of trusting that as a woman I have all the innate wisdom and qualities needed within to know how to parent successfully.
Learning to let go of these pictures I adopted that kept me in a spin and further away from being ‘me’ has been a work in progress.
Life for me has become very different as I now embrace people and treat them with the warmth and familiarity I would a dear or close family member. This has become more natural for me as I began to address the relationship with myself first and started to confirm and appreciate all the beautiful qualities that I bring. This was not easy at first as there can be many voices in my head trying to crush my new loving self-talk, but slowly and over time I have been building a deeper connection with myself and this has been key to transforming all the relationships in my life.
I am enjoying a greater connection and intimacy with others that I always thought was only reserved for that one special person in my life or a close family member. I am grateful that I challenged this limiting belief as it has allowed me to see the wider family available to me everywhere I go.
Family for me now has a very different meaning as I have learned to walk through life with an open and loving heart, no longer waiting for the other to first show their love to me to see if I can trust them or if I will be accepted: I see them as my equal and equally as loving as myself, even if they are too shy to express their love in that moment.
For many years I used to feel quite hurt and let down by people and so I went into protecting myself from others, but interestingly this shutting myself off from others hurt far more than how another could have hurt me. I was holding certain people I didn’t know, or trust, accountable for the way in which others had treated me in the past, something that I justified in my own mind but that really held me back from experiencing a deeper and true connection with others.
It took a lot of effort for me to live in this protected way because I had to resist any love that was offered to me: it doesn’t make sense as I was really craving and missing that connection and intimacy with others but I was putting up a huge protective wall that said ‘back off’.
No matter how we are in life or what our demeanour is, deep down we are all wanting to feel loved and accepted.
Having this awareness about myself has supported me to be more understanding when I meet others and to not react to their guard or to judge them in any way. Learning to hold them in love and acceptance with no expectations of receiving anything back has been life changing for me and has allowed the space for another to feel safe to express and to enjoy the connection that is being offered.
By Anna Douglass, International Flight Attendant, Mother, dedicated student of the Ageless Wisdom, Australia
Family Defined by Quality
Truly Appreciating the People in my Neighbourhood
This way of being in relationships, the trying, the pleasing, the wanting everyone to ‘get on’ and be friends, is exhausting, because we’re constantly on the alert to how others around us are acting, feeling and responding to us. When we allow ourselves to be who we are, no need for politeness or niceness, it opens the way to a truer and fuller way of being and living in the world – and a stronger reflection for all others around us.
Family is about the people we have around us, and the fact that we may not think we share ‘blood’ but in truth we all share DNA – and are closer than we might assume.
“Learning to hold them in love and acceptance with no expectations of receiving anything back has been life changing for me”. How beautiful to give everyone the space to be themselves without expecting anything at all. This is truly loving.
This is a beautiful article because of how honest you are in nominating all of those pictures that have kept you trapped, and you are also being honest about the freedom you are coming to enjoy, which is inspiring in its beauty because it shows what is possible if we make it so.
That has been a big one just letting people be where they are at and not judging them for what they are choosing. This only really truly started to shift when I stopped having those judgements about myself, and still on occasion I can feel that trying to slip in to try and debase me. Its all about loving everyone for who they truly are and this includes ourselves. Accepting that we are precious powerful beings simply by being naturally who we are.
Loving myself more, and having a deeper connection with myself has enabled me to be more open with others. This year is the fiftieth anniversary of a small group of some nursing friends I met whilst training all those years ago and we all still meet up at least once a year. Back then six of us shared a flat – three to a bedroom – and all on different shifts. We shared heartbreaks and happy times. Despite all of us being very different individuals I consider them as family, as I do many others in my life these days.
Sue what comes across with what you have shared with us all is very beautiful that the bond of love, decency and respect that you all have with and for each can be felt, that you all consider yourselves as family; it doesn’t matter if you are related or not.
Society tells me we have to be subtle, we can’t be too intimate or trusting, but every time I open myself fully to others whether friends or strangers, my whole body feels joy, so which do I listen? My body or society? All answers are within me.
Opening to the true world of family has asked me to open to love all around me, and hold myself in equal adoration as those I call family.
It is deeply humbling to realise and accept that we are an equally potent part of the world and all we live in and with.
“Family Is More Than Blood” – the thing about family and our own understanding, application or regarding of it, is that whatever it is it gets fertilised into every other single relationship in our life. I’ve noticed and noted just how work families are a mirror of “blood” families, with dynamics and excuses made for ill behaviours attitudes and so on of staff. Dysfunction at home is dysfunction in the office too. Is dysfunction in society/community too.
I used to belief family was the most important. Not having many relatives I tried to keep a fragmented family together without discerning the quality of the relationships nor the purpose of it all. It was simply ‘because it was family’ I have come to realise that family is so much more and is defined much more by the quality of the relationships then it could be by blood.
Carolien, I also felt since young that keeping the family together was important and I was the go between in the family to try and keep some sort of harmony because I hated to feel the disharmony that was the dysfunctional family I grew up in. Reading your comment I realised that its time to let go of my blood family let them be, as I have felt that there is a bigger family to know and that is the family of humanity as everyone is struggling and to be able to hold steady in the face of the current upheaval is what matters. I have experienced Universal Medicine and the Benhayon family hold steady which over a period of years has supported me to become steady. This supports others to hold steady so that in the end we are all holding steady and can feel the movement to move in a way that expands our understanding that the sole purpose of this life is not to be here.
When I limited myself to family being my own blood it meant I was constantly missing out on what true family is, it meant that I did not appreciate others but ultimately it meant I would treat different people differently. The more I make life about people about being one big family the grander my life is.
This is a blog to be read by all of how family images has been represented for generations. For many years deep down inside I’ve always knew it wasn’t it.
The family I love is the one where they can be anybody, anywhere and have that open relationship – true family encompasses all.
The word ‘family’ can often be used to excuse a multitude of abuse and hurtful behaviour – true family is love and support, and that means it extends way beyond the bounds of blood.
Wanting to please people to keep the peace I have realised, is so disempowering for one thing it does not actually resolve anything it can make the situation worse and of course we end up feeling resentful because we know that we have gone against what we know to be true in our bodies. I have discovered this is such an old pattern of mine that I am now willing to look at. This is what I absolutely love about Universal Medicine that the modalities support me to look at my life and see the patterns, ideals and beliefs I have taken on over the years that are actually not what I really feel about myself or the world about me and dismantle them. The more I dismantle the more freer I feel within; my body feels as though I am at last allowing myself to just be me; which seems strange perhaps because of course I’m me, but there’s another me there as well and it is this other me I’m setting free at last.
When we hear about some of the horrendous abuse that people have experienced, a majority of them are committed by family members or relatives. Often cases of abuse in families are not reported, we tend to avoid exposing abuse, mainly I feel it is because of the ideas and beliefs we hold around the word ‘family’. My observation is that we tend to be more tolerant of abuse by family members than people outside of our family circle. Why is this and what is it about the ideals and beliefs we have around family that allows this to happen?
‘I have been building a deeper connection with myself and this has been key to transforming all the relationships in my life.’ True Anna, I feel the more I connect to the stillness within, to allow my delicateness to come out, it is without ‘doing’ anything that relationships change.
I remind myself that I have total autonomy in choosing my reality. It’s true in unawareness and a lack of purpose I can be led by an energy not of my choice but in that that is a choice too. How I want my life and reality to be, I can choose to be that first. In the times when reversing a movement feels very difficult, I just feel into that difficulty, let it be, continue my life and return to feeling my truth, and repeat again.
Adele what you are sharing with us is very wise, because we can be held by an energy that we haven’t discerned that can keep us locked in choices that are abusive to ourselves and others. Finding these pockets of disharmonious energy is great for our health and well being as when we are able to heal them we feel freer in our bodies and can repeat the process over again until our bodies are clear of the impositions we have imposed on it.
With the current war going on in Syria and all the devastation that comes with it we would best to remember and live these words “Family is more then Blood”
When we truly understand the meaning of family, then it would be very difficult and almost impossible to go to war. The word family has been distorted and used in a way to seperate people. Separation is the seed of all forms of conflict in our lives and on a global scale.
Sam, I recently read an article about the war in Syria. What the journalist should have been asking is what has been gained from this war or for that matter any war? Thousands of people have died or been misplaced, thousands of people are living in appalling conditions with little shelter and Winter is coming, there is systematic killings of certain tribes because they are considered to be unworthy of life. Who has the right to make these decisions? Why is it not possible for people to live together? It’s as though there is an unseen hand behind these wars that stirs up the conflict just to keep everyone living in fear and uncertainty as when people live in this way they are easily manipulated and controlled.
Opening ourselves up to the family that humanity offers us, actually expands the love we live with and for those who we share our everydays with.
That family is more than blood is a common phrase that is easy to throw around and boast with but what you describe here is very tangible and gives an understanding of what this truly means.
I cannot agree more that “family is more than blood” as I have many people in my life I consider to be family who are not biologically related to me. One is a 95 woman who has no blood family to watch over her and to support her in this last stage of her life. Over the last 15 years she has become part of my family and it has been a joy to been able to support her during this time. Her presence in my family has added a whole new dimension to our lives.
Very beautiful Ingrid. What you’ve shared gives us an understanding of true family, it is not bound by blood but connected and held by love. When we understand and see that everyone is our family, this will change the way we live, express and relate to each other.
“With family I got tied up in so many ideals and beliefs that I remember always feeling like I was doing what was expected of me rather than acting on what I felt was true.” How many of us can relate to this I wonder? I know I spent much of my younger life ‘pleasing’ my family rather than doing what felt right for me only to end up feeling resentful. But when we see everyone as family, and live in a way that is open and true to us, life becomes simple and easy, we deepen our relationships with each other, leaving no room for ill feelings.
Currently away in another county I can really feel how we are all family, I am in a place where there are many many different nationalities and we all look different yet underneath all the many languages and dress wear there is no question for me we are all family.
‘ I have been building a deeper connection with myself and this has been key to transforming all the relationships in my life.’ Yes Anna it must start with us or we are looking outside of ourselves and creating untrue, idealistic pictures and building relationships on that – what we think that we want and desire.
‘ I have been building a deeper connection with myself and this has been key to transforming all the relationships in my life.’ Yes Anna it must start with us or we are looking outside of ourselves and creating untrue, idealistic pictures and building relationships on that – what we think that we want.
“Learning to let go of these pictures I adopted that kept me in a spin and further away from being ‘me’ has been a work in progress.”
In re-building a deeper and more honouring relationship with me and my body, I have come to appreciate and value my innate sense of what feels true and in this allow the untrue pictures to drop away and realise that I already am all of that which i am!
It all starts with self-love.
I have loved letting go of the blood family ideal and exploring how people come into our lives who feel like family – based on the relationship we have with them. As is shared here – it breaks the confines of needing to be a certain way or make allowances because someone is related – and opens it up to an equality based on love and support
A young child once proclaimed to me “The whole world is family” and then asked if I wanted to know why. I said yes. He said “Because we’ve all had so many past lives all over the place that we’ve all been family at one time or another”. Great explanation 🙂
Letting down the barriers of our past hurts allows us to appreciate others in a way that before may have seemed unimaginable and consequently our relationships become deeper and more true. It is in this way that we start to understand, appreciate and honour our relationsips, and in that, that true fmaily runs deeper than any blood line ever has done and ever will.
“I am enjoying a greater connection and intimacy with others that I always thought was only reserved for that one special person in my life or a close family member”. This is what we all miss out on when we reserve our love for the ‘special people in our family’. I now realise that selective or conditional love isn’t really love anyway, so we sell ourselves and our family short when we ‘love’ in this way.
“No matter how we are in life or what our demeanour is, deep down we are all wanting to feel loved and accepted.” this point shows us that no matter what is going on in the world, where different people are with different things, what we say or don’t say we do and don’t want – it all comes down to love.
Thanks, Anna. Holding onto hurts and thereby living in protection is the greatest shame of all, because there is so much joy to be shared when we let people in. I have definitely had a measured approach to relationships for most of my life, but now feel the barricades are coming down and every interaction offers a fresh opportunity to open my heart with an ever deepening love.
Very beautiful and inspiring, Janet. I get a sense in these moments of how the richness of an interaction with one person enhances all my relationships.
‘The whole way I was living life was in avoidance of myself – a running away from feeling my own strength and power.’ Those more or less invisible rules, unspoken expectations which we make expectations on ourselves, before we even know it, keep us where we are and only when we are open to feel the true impact of this chain we can make us free and choose to live in full our own life.
When family becomes more than being about blood only, we begin to realise the total corruption of family and within a family that holds this bloodline fallacy as its masquerading truth. Family is not resigned to blood alone. In truth it is assigned only ever to equal love. The love of all, is the love of the all we are all a part of to mean that under love’s vastness we are all part of one vast family.
When it comes down to true relationships, it makes no sense that we should treat anyone differently from anyone else, whether they are blood family or not.
The concept of family we live is like looking at a vast field of flowers and making it all about 1 leaf. We reduce down the vastness we are all from for a lie that gives us an apparent security and feel good high.
Anna its amazing how we limit ourselves to see family as something that is blood and then perhaps allow adoptions into that mix but often always excludes everyone else, how much greater would life be if we truly embrace one family with everyone. What if we saw all relationships with equal quality and potential and not simply force ourselves to be a certain way with the immediate blood family?
” No matter how we are in life or what our demeanour is, deep down we are all wanting to feel loved and accepted”.
How beautiful this is to realise as we become more open in our hearts we open to everyone and begin to feel we are all one big family through this ever deepening relationship we build within ourselves.
Our identity as a person is often created by our experiences growing up. If our experience is different to others, which of course it has to be, then we can allow this to hold us separate from others and see them as a different family. But if we focus on our essence as people, knowing that our essence is equal to others, this burns through any differences that we have and allows us to open to and appreciate others for who they truly are. We can then embrace true family, which in truth is all of us.