We Are Family

 

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Family is important to me. And although I adore my Brady Bunch family, it wasn't until several years ago that my life coach pointed out that family is actually the way I see that world and want to do business, reflected primarily through 1. Relationship 2. The atmosphere or environment of being social, such as a party! The truth be told, my best memories growing up were of the holidays spent in merriment and cheer with the large extended family and of every holiday party I got invited to! I am at my best within family and I believe it's meant to be that way.

 

Now living in a city built around the corporate structure of banking, you might not think this model for business and life is a good fit. I however, am thrilled with the prospects of what this perspective means. I am thrilled with what this perspective has done in my own life, as my vision continues to grow around community and family, not merely what I can create that might be obsolete in short order, but what a group of people (women my sweet spot) could do to change a city and the world. You see that’s what I believe family has the potential to do. You can see my manifesto about this here.

 

Family, the Good, Bad and Ugly

Family means a lot of different things to a lot of people. Those who have been hurt by it often want nothing to do with it. I have certainly lived in this reality concerning the instability in my family of origin, but I recognized that ‘s not the whole story. Family is so much more than one snapshot or necesssarily relatives for that matter.

 

Although like many folks, some of my experiences pertaining to family, have at times left me scattered, frayed and with a defensive posture to avoid being sucked back into a toxic whirlwind, whether through my original family or the family culture of “church” that I have been associated with for thirty years. I am however grateful for the enduring qualities and example of family, relationship and love that swallows up the negative. There is an opportunity we each have to be a part of the solution and not the problem. I saw this modeled profoundly through my Grandfather, the normalcy and consistency in my life.

 

It’s interesting that our values are often forged as a solution to a very real challenge we ourselves have encountered, thus, my coming to recognize that my struggle with family showed me that I was made for family. We were all made for family.

 

We Were Made For Family

Although we exist within them, we were not made for corporate structures. We were made for family. We were made for relationship. And because we are valued and truly defined as those who are fully loved and accepted, we can live beyond our structures into something bigger, more satisfying, namely the beauty of relationship.

 

Remember the 1970 Stephen Stills song, Love the One Your With? Family is about recognizing and loving those around you, where you are. There are a lot of things that keep us from living in this way, especially the whiplash of previous failed attempts that have us looking over our shoulder, tentative, afraid and isolated, the very thing that keeps us separated.

 

However, when we realize that there is actually no separation from the One who made us, the Source of love, who is not somewhere off in the sky, but within us, all hurt and disappointment gets swallowed up by the expansiveness existing within this Love. Really, where can we go and be outside of this Love except in our mind? We are not far off; we’re swallowed up in love.

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When we awaken to this reality it makes it easy to love right where we are. We can love the one we’re with!

 

When we understand any shortsightedness or misstep of love does not define us, we can awaken to the reality that we are a part of a big family (like it or not) and we are wildly and lavishly loved! Recognizing this creates a celebratory atmosphere where we want to live in shared merriment and joy. Welcome to the party! We are family!

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