Thank you @cleowade for your Instagram post on @gloriasteinem's new book "The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off" and the chapter entitled Families Born and Chosen. First, I ordered the book and can't wait to receive and read it! Second, I love this topic of how we define family. I have always been a firm believer that blood does not create a right to relationship. You read articles and news stories everyday about the mistreatment or abuse by a family member. Stories of people who are terrified to be who they truly are out of fear of rejection by their family so they diminish themselves instead of celebrating who they are. This life is too short to not surround yourself with people who not only love you, but encourage you to become the very best version of yourself that you can be. People that don't expect perfection, but expect to stand by your side when you do hard things that might result in failure and are there to help you up and cheer you on to try again. And here is the really tough one, life is too short to allow anyone to only take from you and not give of themselves.
With the holidays approaching, this can be a really difficult time of year for some. It makes me sad to think of people sitting at tables surrounded by misunderstanding, fear, anger and sadness. Or sitting at a table pretending to be someone they are not for someone else's benefit. I am hopeful that creating a chosen family, a patchwork family or simply surrounding yourself with friends can bring peace to those searching for it.
@cleowade's post poses the question "Am I helping others around me to bloom as themselves?" As a parent, we are all hopefully doing the very best that we can to give our children everything that they need to be true to themselves, happy and healthy and successful adults, however success is defined for them. If that opportunity is not offered to you, feel free to choose to surround yourself with people who can, because as Gloria Steinem says "the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off!"