Wednesday, December 03, 2014

What is Family?

Over the past couple of Thanksgivings I have spent it with what would appear from the outside as part of my "Family". But not until Thanksgiving of 2014 did I realize how as much as past holidays gave the appearance of being with Family, on the inside something was always missing. I invested my time this year with people who were kind and loving and even as a "Gaijin" (as it's called in Japanese) I felt accepted for who I am. 

Family accepts you for how you are and even promotes and supports who you are when you don't. A good friend recently has been presented with what some would say is an unsurmountable challenge, but with the help of his family he is learning that it is surmountable and will still be loved and accepted for who he is regardless.

The Oxford Dictionary defines FAMILY as "a group of parents and children living in a household." Personally I think this definition is at least one generation outdated (about 20-25 years) since if I look around my community very few are fit this definition. Another Oxford definition of FAMILY is "a person or people related to one and so betreated with a special loyalty or intimacy" which is closer to a more current view of FAMILY. Not so berate Oxford but I propose this definition of family both from my beliefs and what I would like from my own FAMILY is "a person or people related by beliefs or customs and so betreated with a special loyalty or intimacy and acceptance." I challenge you to create or critique my definition as well. In my heart of hearts I believe FAMILY is who you make them. In my own life, I have had strangers treat me with more kindness and love than people who elected for the responsibility of being my FAMILY but treated me without kindness, love, and could provide no nurturing environment for me to thrive (although I did despite this).

Who do you spend your holidays with? Does your FAMILY look and feel like the outdated definition? Or have you elected to create your own FAMILY or tribe to be more inclusive and supportive and stretch across the blood lines?

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Trust and Commitment

I started this blog because I felt I had something to say and share. My life has changed quite a bit since then and maybe my perspective as well. Because of this my frequency of posts has changed but somethings in my life are still the same. Like I said in a previous blog post, along the way I would like to create my own tribe which I believe I am slowing doing. 

I write this blog for myself. I never thought I would have any readers of this blog, however a reader asked me to write about the topic of trust and commitment. And since my recent theme has be about yourself or myself I am going to continue along the same theme.

When most people think about trust and commitment, they think about it in terms of trust and commitment to others. With everything that has gone with my life this year, I know that I have spent too much time looking externally for answers. I have a plethora of life experience, I would dare say more than most people ever will. So my journey of introspectiveness will continue and suggest you take a quiet moment to reflect if you trust and are committed to yourself.

The Oxford Dictionary defines TRUST as "Firm belief in the reliability, truth, and ability of someone or something." I don't believe I have ever had a firm trust in myself. I am self confident yes, but trust in my reliability, truth, and ability is something entirely different. 

I ask you these simple questions:
  1. Do you trust yourself? 
  2. Do you keep your promises to yourself? 
  3. Do you trust that you have your best interests in mind? 
  4. Are you committed to your goals? 
  5. Do you even know what your goals are to be committed to?
  6. Do you speak your own truth to yourself? 
  7. Can you believe in your own reliability to yourself? 
  8. Can you believe in your own ability?
My mantra this year, is if I can't love and be comfortable with myself who else will be? I don't mean the you that you show people because you want them to like you. I mean the you that sneaks up on you in your sleep, or comes out when you are frustrated or desperate. Can you embrace your true nature and speak your own truth? Can you love the little kid inside and speak like an adult to him telling him its ok that he is safe and loved no matter what happens?

I honestly can say most of my life I would have answered a resounding NO to everyone of these questions. You may have said no quietly to yourself when you read the same questions. So what answer do you want the answer to be? Can you commit to know trust and love yourself?

The Oxford Dictionary defines COMMITMENT as "The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity." As many of my older posts elude to, I am not sure what the point of my existence is. Most of the time I don't love myself and judge myself for just taking up space in time and using up resources. Its funny but someone who was close to me doesn't even consider these questions and just exists and consumes. I am not saying either position is right or wrong, but I feel more comfortable thinking there is a reason for me to be here, that I have helped people, even if just through this blog.

I ask you these simple questions:
  1. Are YOU dedicated to your cause or activity? 
  2. Do you even know what causes or activities you are dedicated to? 
  3. How can you be committed to work or a significant other if you don't even know what you are committed to for yourself? 

Trust and commitment are important, especially to yourself. I would go further to say that you should only be concerned with trust and commitment to yourself. Without belief in your own reliability, truth, and ability or simply SELF TRUST how can you trust anyone else? Additionally, if you are not dedicated to your own cause or activity or  SELF COMMITMENT how can you be committed to anyone else? 

I leave you this song by Adele that made me think about trusting and commitment to me.

This is dedicated to everyone who thinks about others first instead of looking internally for the warmth and love we all desire but rarely pay ourselves with first.

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