The ‘F’ Word

Dear World,

FAMILY

WHAT is it about Family that disturbs us?

WHY have we got issues with our Family?

 

WHY is there such a War inside us when it comes to Family?

WHY is there a lack of understanding when it comes to Family?

 

WHY does our Family bother us so much?

WHY does this ‘F” word feel like a swear word to some of us?

WHY does our behaviour radically change in front of Family?

 

WHY does our tone and voice change at every Family dinner?

WHY does the institution of Family not leave us feeling great?

 

WHY do some of us fear being with Family?

WHY do tempers rise around Family conversations?

WHY do we feel emotional when it comes to Family?

 

WHY do we have a habit of pandering to our Family?

WHY do we always act fake and phony with our Family?

WHY do we have an attitude that sucks with our Family?

 

WHY are we raising everyone in our Family to be individuals?

WHY do we come together as individuals and look like a Family?

WHY are we just a group of individuals abiding to rules as a Family?

 

WHY do we hate the unspoken Family rules and regulations?

WHY do we subscribe to Family values that have never made sense?

WHY do we go along with family nonsense that drives us nuts?

 

WHY do some of say we only Love our Family, not others?

WHY do we say we would die for our Family but not for others?

WHY do we think Family is everything and others are not the same?

 

WHY do we see so much pain on the faces of our Family?

WHY do we want to fix our Family so we feel better?

WHY do we want Family members to see things our way?

 

WHY do we move to the other side of the world to avoid Family?

WHY do we want to keep away from our Family in the first place?

WHY do some of us dis-associate from our Family at a young age?

 

WHY do we dread the very thought of a Family get together?

WHY do we feel tension in our stomach when we visit Family?

WHY do we always need Alcohol when we are with Family?

 

WHY do we expect our Family to remember our Birthday?

WHY do we demand more from our Family at Christmas?

 

WHY do we begrudge being around Family at Happy Holidays?

WHY do we struggle and have a façade with Family in December?

WHY do we go away every Christmas, knowing it is because we don’t want to be near our Family?

 

WHY do some of us only see our Family every Christmas or at Birthdays even though we live in the same town?

WHY do we say we really Love our Family when we rarely spend more than a few hours in their presence, once a year?

WHY do we keep convincing ourselves that we will make contact with Family members, but never get round to it in decades?

 

WHY do we neglect our Family most of the time?

WHY do we make the effort to visit Family when we want something?

WHY do we think buying gifts for our Family erases all the unsaid stuff?

 

WHY do we always hide our private life from our Family?

WHY do we feel we have failed our Family in every way?

WHY do we have so many Family secrets that we hide from the world?

 

WHY do we lie through our back teeth consistently with Family?

WHY do we lie to our Family, as if they don’t know?

WHY do we stink of Tobacco and tell our Family, we don’t smoke?

WHY do we think we are getting away with it with Family?

 

WHY do we have a false way of communicating with our Family?

WHY do we feel forced to smile and be nice to our Family?

WHY do we feel burdened by our Family problems?

 

WHY do we feel obligated to do things for our Family?

WHY do we feel a sense of duty to our Family?

WHY do we feel responsible when it comes to Family?

WHY do we feel like unpaid servants when we do things for Family?

 

WHY do we feel so hurt by certain members of our Family?

WHY do we feel a sense of separation and division in our Family?

WHY do some of us prefer hanging out with friends, not Family?

 

WHY do we treat our mates better than we treat our own Family?

WHY do we have a saying, ‘who needs Family, when you got Friends’?

 

WHY do we feel friends are more supportive than Family?

WHY do some of us treat our neighbours like real Family?

 

WHY do we crave Family in our darkest moments?

WHY do we try so hard to be a part of a Family?

WHY do we pretend we don’t want Family, when we do want it?

 

WHY do we lie to others about our Family, so it makes us look good?

WHY do we whinge about Family members, behind their back?

WHY do we judge, gossip and curse some of our Family members?

 

WHY do some of us keep sitting on the fence when we know we need to speak up with Family?

WHY do we hold back our natural expression just to please certain members of our Family?

 

WHY do we feel that no one in our Family is interested in us?

WHY do we feel no one bothers to truly listen to us in our Family?

WHY do we feel like we are doing it all alone and yet we have a Family?

 

WHY do we feel like we are never met for who we truly are, when it comes to our Family?

WHY do we lose it with Family and not with others?

WHY do we hold little or no respect when it comes to Family?

 

WHY do we feel so much guilt when we are with Family?

WHY do we feel bitter with some of our Family for stuff?

WHY do we hold resentment towards people in our Family?

 

WHY do we feel angry when we even think about Family?

WHY do we get frustrated over and over again with Family?

WHY do we hold so much sadness with our Family?

 

WHY do Family need to adopt our ideals and beliefs about life?

WHY do we try so hard to make things right with our Family?

 

WHY do we have such a lack of understanding about our Family?

WHY do we carry so much pain inside us from our Family life?

WHY do we have weird feelings we don’t like when it is Family?

 

WHY do we have ugly memories of being raised in our Family?

WHY do the words our Family speak, sometimes feel so harsh?

WHY do we feel our buttons are pressed more with our Family, than anyone else in the world?

 

WHY do we always like to blame Family because it suits us?

WHY do we give ourselves such a hard time with Family?

WHY do we feel so much pressure when it comes to Family?

 

WHY do we constantly have a need to impress our Family?

WHY do we lose common sense when it comes to Family?

 

WHY do we favour members of our Family, who have a better job?

WHY do most have a favourite in the Family that can do no wrong?

WHY do we see the authority figures in Family like they are perfect?

 

WHY do we feel like parents to our parents in our Family?

WHY do we feel we are parenting our siblings in the Family?

WHY do we always compete with our siblings in the Family?

 

WHY do we sometimes wish we had a different Family?

WHY do we think we were born into the wrong Family?

WHY do we feel like the black sheep in our Family?

 

WHY do our Family speak to us like we are still a child?

WHY do our partners dislike us, when we are with our Family?

WHY do we hate being told what to do by our Family, when we are grown up and have our own kids?

 

WHY do we have a need to fight and mess things up with Family?

WHY do we seem to never learn the lessons with our Family?

 

WHY are we invested in our blood Family above anything else?

WHY are we making out that Family are more important than anyone else in our world?

 

WHY are so many of us false around our Family?

WHY do we take Drugs and lie to our Family about how clean we are?

WHY are some of us compulsive liars when it comes to Family?

 

WHY are we always justifying things to our Family about our life?

WHY are we so desperate to help our Family to rise above their issues?

WHY are some of us so needy for that Family unit to stay alive?

 

WHY are we so bored with the  hot talk at Family gatherings?

WHY are we trying to be better than others in our Family?

WHY are we so rude in the way we treat some of our Family?

 

WHY are we so irrational when it comes to Family stuff?

WHY are we unable to deeply Appreciate some of our Family?

WHY are certain members of our Family just not our cup of tea?

 

WHY are we invested in those in our Family that we see as clever and intelligent?

WHY are we living in such illusion about our Family, when every cell in our body tells us otherwise?

 

WHY are we not admitting that if it was not a bloodline, we would have nothing to do with some of our Family?

WHY are we not saying that we prefer those outside our Family as we have more in common with them?

 

WHY are we willing to endure so much pain in the name of Family?

WHY are we so deeply hurt by the actions of our Family?

WHY are we so afraid to stand up and speak the Truth to our Family?

 

WHY have we got this way of making sure we focus on the bad ugly stuff that happened to us growing up with our Family?

WHY have we adopted a position in our Family from day dot that is not who we truly are?

 

How divided are we as a world, when it comes to the word Family?

 

Definitions of Family –

Google

1. a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

2. all the descendants of a common ancestor. (1)

 

Oxford Living Dictionaries

1. a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.

1.1  a group of people related by blood or marriage.

1.2  the children of a person or couple being discussed.

1.3  informal – a local organizational unit of the Mafia or other large criminal group.

2. all the descendants of a common ancestor.

2.1  a group of related things. (2)

 

Collins English Dictionary

A primary social group consisting of parents and their offspring, the principal function of which is provision for its members. (3)

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

1. the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children.

2. a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head (household).

3.   a.  group of persons of common ancestry (clan).

b.  people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock (race).

4. a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation (fellowship).

5. a group of things related by common characteristics. (4)

 

Have we seriously Lost the Plot?

Are we confused with all these meanings?

How separated do we feel because we have so many versions to tell us what one word means?

WHY are we not one-unified when it comes to the “F” word?

WHY do we have so many different meanings, in the first place?

WHAT about all the other country definitions for the word Family?

WHAT is the original meaning of this word?

HOW was this word used and lived in the past?

Have we deviated from the essence of the word Family?

Have we side stepped to suit us by moving the meaning?

Have we honoured the word for what it truly was?

Have we ever lived the Truth of what this word truly is?

Is it worth considering that the real Truth of this word has never been lived, because true Family is about Brotherhood?

Is it too late to go back to the Truth of a word and live it?

 

History of the Word ‘Family’ –

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

First Known Use:  15th Century.

The earliest uses of Family denoted “a group of persons in the service of an individual”, a sense that is now archaic.
Although this early meaning may seem far afield from the way that most of us use Family today, it is not surprising when we consider that the word comes from the Latin familia, which meant “household”, a designation that included both servants and relatives. (4)

The Online Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., “servants of a household” from Latin familia “family servants, domestics collectively, the servants in a household,” thus also “members of a household, the estate, property; the household including relatives and servants,” abstract noun formed from famulus “servant, slave,” which is of unknown origin.

The Latin word rarely appears in the sense “parents with their children,” for which domus was used.

Derivatives of famulus include

famula “serving woman, maid”
famulanter “in the manner of a servant”
famulitas “servitude”
familiaris “of one’s household, private”
familiaricus “of household slaves”
familiaritas “close friendship”

1540s – In English, sense of “collective body of persons who form one household under one head and one domestic government, including parents, children and servants, and as sometimes used even lodgers or boarders.”
Century Dictionary

1620s – “any group of things classed as kindred based on common distinguishing characteristics.”

1660s – as “parents with their children, whether they dwell together or not,” also in a more general sense, “persons closely related by blood, including aunts, uncles, cousins;” earlier “those who descend from a common progenitor, a house, a lineage.”

1752 – family-tree “graph of ancestral relations”.

1753 – as a scientific classification, between genus and order.

1788 – meant “thief,” from family in a slang sense of “the fraternity of thieves”.

1796 – phrase in a family way “pregnant”.

1807 – As an adjective from c.1600; with the meaning “suitable for a family” by this date.

1809 – family circle.

1856 – family man “man devoted to wife and children, man inclined to lead a domestic life.”

1902 – Happy Family
an assemblage of animals of diverse habits and propensities living amicably, or at least quietly, together in one cage.
Century Dictionary – 1902

1966 – Family Values first recorded. (5)

Hello

So what could we learn from the original meaning of this “F” word?

How are we 600 years on from the first meaning?

WHY did it have changes over the years?

WHY do we complicate the meaning of a word?

Is there something here we could learn?

Can we understand things when they are presented in this way?

Can we join the dots and keep it simple?

Does this confirm things are not making simple sense?

Could it be possible that we as humans have not been able to have a “happy family” with the definition given in 1902, as we are unable to live amicably or at least quietly together?

Could it be possible that back then FAMILY was to include servants, slaves and maids?

Could it be possible that in the past all others were not held EQUAL to the person who was the authority in the Family household?

Could it be possible that the word FAMILY is INCLUSIVE of ALL and not just bloodlines?

Could it be possible that regardless of our position in society, we are all one and the same, when it comes to the real meaning of FAMILY?

Could it be possible that each member of society are our Brothers and living in True Brotherhood is what the essence of Family is about?

Could it be possible that TRUE FAMILY is about EQUALNESS and BROTHERHOOD, which then confirms we are all inter-connected?

What if we have deviated from what this word originally meant?

What if we are not living the word FAMILY in its true essence?

What if we have lost the plot when it comes to Family?

What if we changed the meaning to make it a suitable truth?

What if TRUE FAMILY is not the Family interpretation we have today?

What if TRUE FAMILY is pure and real and very possible?

What if TRUE FAMILY is the future for all of us, but we just don’t know it yet?

What if TRUE FAMILY is about ALL of us as one world and no one is excluded?

What if having TRUE FAMILY means dealing with our hurts and moving on?

What if TRUE FAMILY means no more separation and division among any of us?

Could it be that Simple?

References

(1) (n.d). Google. Retrieved December 13, 2017 from
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=definition+of+family&oq=definition+of+&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0l4.6762j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

(2) (n.d). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved December 13, 2017 from
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/family

(3) (n.d). Collins Dictionary. Retrieved December 13, 2017 from
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/family

(4) 2017, December 12. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved December 13, 2017 from
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/family

(5) (n.d). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved December 13, 2017 from
https://www.etymonline.com/word/family

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Comments 39

  1. The Week – Issue 1146 dated 14 October 2017

    A retired high court judge talked about the ‘river of human misery’ that he had seen during his career. This was not about drug abuse but about the high rate of family breakdown in Britain.

    70% of children in 2014 were living with two parents.

    The Marriage Foundation estimates that if current trends continue, nearly half of all children born in the UK today will have seen their families break up by the time they are 15.

    Politicians talk about mental health and educational achievement but shy away from mentioning one of the key factors behind such issues, for fear of being accused of attacking gay people or single mothers.

    If we read this blog what is it presenting to us about Family?
    Is there something here for each of us to learn?

    Why do we have such division amongst those who we are closely related to?

    Is it time to consider each and every one of our relationships as something precious that we need to develop and learn from?

    What is it about our expression that is missing that brings in the ill when it comes to relationships?

    Are we missing something and do we need to explore this by talking openly with an absolute honesty about how we feel in any given moment so we can grow from relationships and not allow them to break down?

    We need real role models who consistently work at their relationships and evolve, so they are not stuck, to show us another way to be and live in this world.

  2. What a brilliant blog. I was nodding my head when reading as there are definitely a few things I have done when it comes to my family and what I think family should look like and act like.

    This blog pushes to one side all the beliefs one has regarding family and presents what family really means.

    This blog is not to be ignored and there is a lot we can learn here.

  3. Family is so important to us because we are using family to make up for a lack of love and connection to ourselves.

    We try to make up for not loving ourselves by demanding we get love from our family.

    No wonder many families are dysfunctional, when everyone is looking to their relatives to give them the love they will not give themselves.

    I have been committed to making more self-loving choices in my life. It has supported my body to heal many of my issues.
    This has totally changed my relationship with my blood family.

    It is so much easier for me to just allow them to be and to truly just love them.

  4. Gosh – what a mess we seem to be in regarding family. Thank you for raising these pertinent questions, and giving us the opportunity to stop and ponder.

    I know in recent years I have come to realise that everyone is my family – and I have come to appreciate all the people in my life no matter who they are or when or where I met them. And this has simplified my life too. In that I no longer wear different ‘roles’ or ‘hats’ when I see my family, or friends, or people in my life or work colleagues, as to me they feel the same.

  5. An observation I have of myself, and of others is that there are some things we do in life, like foods we eat, the way we wash our clothes, the habits we have in daily life that we have picked up from our upbringing. Often we don’t realise we are carrying these habits that have come from family life when we were younger, and we continue them to be ‘our normal’ – but what if we began to ‘parent’ ourselves, to learn what is true for us in our daily life, to review gently our habits, and to find our own way – rather than doing things the way our family always did them?

    This also brings the responsibility we all have in being inspirational role models. The first people we meet when we are born and young is family – and they become our first role models. This calls us to realise just how responsible we are in our every move, word, thought as those around us may ‘copy’ our way or pick up the habits we have that may not always be true for them.

  6. From a recent experience I realised there are many ideals, beliefs and expectations about family that can catch us unawares if we are not paying attention, or if we are not aware of what our own body needs we can be swept away with what others are doing – even if it is not something your own body wants to do.
    Everything from expectations about visiting family, how long you visit for, whether you take gifts, to expectations about you being ‘part of the crowd’, joining in with things – and when we do step out of these there can be reactions from others.

    ‘Family’ is a much needed conversation.

    Do families truly support everyone in them to learn, develop, grow, evolve, or are there tendrils/expectations, or ‘unwritten rules’ going on where one or another has expectations of you fitting in or fulfilling their unmet needs or hurts?

  7. I am starting to truly understand the concept of codependence.

    Are families about love or codependence?

    Is this a good thing to ponder about at the holidays?

    I spoke with my sister last week on the phone. We have not talked for 10 years because of family stuff. We talked about what true love is. We talked about what codependence is.

    At the end of the conversation she said this was her christmas present, talking to me.
    Re-connecting.

    What a gift.

  8. Another amazing blog Simple Living Global. Thank you.

    Just this week I was speaking with a colleague about Christmas, as I don’t celebrate it anymore he asked if there ever was a time when I did celebrate it.

    I said yes, as that was the way that I was raised but now that I am an adult and have questioned things for myself, as it does not feel true for me I don’t do it.

    He seemed to understand and replied that we do just do what everyone else does and not question things.

    How many ‘family traditions’ and behaviours come from that lack of questioning and believing or even accepting that we have to go along with what we are presented with because this is the way it has always been done or because this is what we have been told.

    Personally I have found great strength and freedom in listening to and following what feels true for me and with that I know that everyone else benefits as it gives them the space to breathe and also feel what is true for them, whereas if we are all following like sheep, it becomes harder for anyone to break free and be who they really are.

    True family supports us all to be who we really are without imposition, dictation or the need to fit in with anyone else’s needs.

  9. This is an amazing blog asking some powerful questions for all of us.

    “Could it be possible that the word FAMILY is INCLUSIVE of ALL and not just bloodlines?”

    This definition feels absolutely true.

    It’s like the version of family we currently work to is a massively shrunken version of this true one.

    What an offering to reflect on this and the potential of blowing the doors off this shrunken-ness by treating all as equal.

    We could start by noticing where we do hold some higher or more significant than others and see where that takes us.

  10. It is so easy to give our power away to family when we know deep down things are not right. I did this for a long time.

    Not speaking up when situations are imposing. Allowing someone to push you into doing things you do not want to do. The list is endless.

    I love this blog and shows what family really represents.

  11. We tend to turn to something that is familiar when things get uncomfortable. Is that why we look to our family when we are in trouble?

    It is important to ask for help when you need it, but the tricky part is knowing when that is.

    Are we giving away our power when we ask for help or is it just time to be open to another viewpoint?

    What has helped me with this decision is remembering to check in with myself first. It is a innate ability that we all have, but like many things if you do not use it you lose it.

    The more we stop and connect to ourselves, it builds a level of trust. In most cases we do know what to do. It eventually becomes a familiar thing that we turn too. A familiar thing that actually knows you better then anyone, even your family.

  12. A few years back I used to joke with my brother that going home for Xmas was like regressing back to being a teenager: everyone in the family acting like we did back then, even though we had all moved on.

    It made me realise the strength of engrained behaviours and the patterns we move in as family units.

    The hardest part about shifting those patterns for me was a fear of rocking the boat. But once you notice the patterns it gets harder and harder to stay in them.

    What if being open to rocking the boat is actually the only way?

    1. Yep.. once those patterns are noticed and felt in our body it becomes harder to ignore them, until we get to the point where our own boat is rocking so violently that the issue has already been outed. I had that experience recently, and I didn’t even have time to go into my usual quandry about should I/can I say this or not.. what I could feel about a situation was out of my mouth before I could stop it.

      Being honest about what we can feel might cause a reaction from others, but since they can already feel something when we hold back, we might as well take the risk and just say it, because when we do, there’s at least the potential for growth, and when we don’t, we all stay the same.

    2. Yes Jennifer, rocking the boat is a good way to get peoples attention.

      Maybe rocking the boat until people start getting wet?

      Or until the boat capsizes. That will get people to wake up.

  13. Yes, yes and yes. These questions are brilliant and thought-provoking: why do we treat our blood family so differently to anyone/everyone else, when everyone is family, when the whole of humanity is one giant family?

    If we all treated one another with exactly the same levels of respect, decency and understanding, would there be war and hatred, or would any level of disrespectful and disharmonious behaviour stick out as something that just doesn’t belong?

  14. These are the kind of questions that have the potential to turn a family obligatory gathering into an opportunity to deepen our connection.

    Yes, it could be very confronting to bring up the topics. But if there is any love at all, it could be a place, to get past our fears and open up to a new level of communication. A deepening love.

    And love is all we are looking for.

  15. There was a time in my life where I really did feel like the family was a swear word.

    In fact it went on for decades.

    Growing up I was convinced God got it all wrong as I was in the wrong family and definitely in the wrong religion and wrong culture. Nothing was adding up and I was always the odd one out. Add to that my incessant questioning why we were not the same as other families in this country.

    I had zero understanding about life, let alone myself and my family. With no real role models and parents who spoke very little english, I had no foundation and no claim of who I was and what on earth I was here for.

    Blaming them for all the hurts I had was convenient and I realise that now.

    They each too have their own stuff and I understand why and so it is easier not to judge.

    What I am known for today in my family, is my no nonsense manner and saying things exactly as they are. Bit like how a child does and no one questions it.

    Gone are the days of pleasing and pandering and in are the times where I deeply show great love and care towards any family member, but I do not see them as more important that anyone else in my life. Blood family to me is not about making them a priority and not others. I know we are all one and the same and this has helped me beyond words.

    I am a rock for my blood family and they all know it. In a 911 there is no doubt they would contact me for the wisdom I hold and the steadiness that I live with everyday.

    My husband is totally part of my blood family and treated with the utmost respect and that says a lot too as we are from totally different backgrounds.

    It is amazing to see how things can change and it is never too late to heal the lack of communication and all the deep hurts that come from our family stuff.

    All this was possible after I applied the teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. Fact.

    I know today there is absolutely nothing that my family could slag me off about or judge me for, as I live a life that holds the utmost regard for myself, all of them and the whole of humanity. Tall order and a big fat claim but it is true.

  16. I have chosen to do something different with my family.

    I have many friends and relatives that now live 3000 miles away. And three children that I am very close to
    (I was the major care giver for them when they were growing up) and now 5 grandchildren. I have lived my whole life in that area, until now.

    I have no regrets for the life I have lived, but when I turned 60, and my children were all fledged, I realized their are things I will do differently when I parent again. And I realized that my parenting was not finished.

    By honoring myself by moving to a warmer climate – California and by not doing the holidays or flying back to see them all the time, I have given them the greatest gift of love I could give. That taking care of myself is a critical part of having a true loving relationship.

    Yes, it has rocked the boat, but I have never done things the normal way anyways, so it is not that big a surprise.

  17. I was raised to treat guests differently to family.

    So you keep special crockery and glasses and only get them out when you have guests. You prepare fancy new recipes and special drinks when they come. And they get served by you as the host.

    I have changed this over the years, as it is not the way for me.

    So when people come over to our house now, we share our favourite family meals. We don’t prepare everything like in a restaurant, people ‘muck in’ with the prep and help set the table.

    It’s a beautiful way to be. You can feel people enjoy the shared endeavour and they feel way more at home.

    I feel this is part of defining what family means.

  18. Why do we treat our family badly sometimes and worse than we would treat a stranger?

    It is like day to day we forget to appreciate all there is to appreciate about those closest to us and so those moments can come more easily when we take them for granted or judge them or forget to see things from their point of view.

  19. I was talking to a father of 4 yesterday. Originally from Africa, he shared how he is looking into how he can move his family to another country where they can afford a maid and a nanny.

    He said wants this because he finds life hard in London. He wants to be able to spend quality time with his children and not have all the cleaning and other jobs to do.

    I understand that feeling and it got me thinking about ‘quality time’ and what we actually mean by it.

    We talked about that and whether folding laundry together could be quality time. Whether preparing a meal or clearing up after one could be quality time. And whether when we say ‘quality time with family’, we really mean ‘relaxation’.

    Yesterday was a day off for me with my young children. We did heaps of house jobs together and homework and they helped prepare the meal and, less willingly, load the dishwasher.

    I asked them last night what was their favourite part of the day. The answer from both of them was ‘all of the day’. Which is a pretty good indication of their definition of ‘quality time’.

  20. I just read that the First World War has been called the Ultimate Family Feud.

    This is because the kings of 3 of the countries at war were cousins: Britain’s King George V, Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II and Russia’s Tsa Nicholas II.

    I had not known this.

    It underscores for me that family is about choices and living the meaning of the word, not about bloodlines.

  21. Another great blog, Simple Living Global, on this very contentious issue.

    Why do we see families as such hard work?

    Why do we dread the societal gatherings that bring families together?

    Why do we have a saying like: “You can choose your friends, you can’t choose your family?

    From society’s point of view, my family is defunct.

    I have never had a father in my life and I have no relationship with my mother, sister or two brothers.

    Because of what went on in my childhood, I have never really experienced what a ‘true’ family is all about.

    But what is a ‘true’ family?

    Is a true family having a father, a mother, 2.4 siblings and a pet?

    Or is it possible that true family is seeing everyone as our father, our mother, our brothers and sisters?

    Is it possible that we should be seeing our friends, work colleagues, shop assistants, bus drivers, bank workers, supermarket staff, even traffic wardens, as true family?

    As this blog says:

    “What if TRUE FAMILY is about ALL of us as one world and no one is excluded?”

    How would that look?

    Although I have never had a father in my life and the rest of my family is so disconnected, I know that there are people in my life, that are not related to me by blood, who I see as my father, my mother, my brother or my sister.

    Is it possible that we have we made the ‘F’ word too insular?

    But even in our insular families, there is a lot of disharmony, hence the saying ‘we can’t choose our families’.

    So why do we espouse the fact that blood family means everything whilst at the same time behaving like we hate our families and wishing we weren’t a part of them?

    We like to say that family means everything to us but we then feel it is OK to project all our fears, judgments and insecurities on them.

    Is it possible that we do that because it is our families that bring up all of our past hurts –
    hurts which we haven’t dealt with yet?

    We sometimes treat our friends better than our families.

    Is it possible that this shows that being related by blood has been given too much importance and being related by ‘humanity’ will serve us better?

  22. In my line of work I am asked to apply Equalities legislation to ensure that decisions are fair and that goods and services are accessible to all. Today I have had thoughts of this blog and the Equalities Act and the simple fact that if we saw everyone as family we would not need Equalities legislation as we would treat EVERYONE as an equal, regardless of their status in society.

    There would be no need for complex laws as we would quite naturally treat each other with common decency and respect, being open to receiving each person and connecting with them and making decisions from there, without prejudice or bias.

    This line from this blog, stands out for me today as a key question that would serve as a solid foundation for any true Equalities Act –

    Could it be possible that TRUE FAMILY is about EQUALNESS and BROTHERHOOD, which then confirms we are all inter-connected?

  23. Talking yesterday with a colleague about managing his family member’s will and estate.

    It sounded like a hideous experience.

    Instead of being able to simply administer things as the family member had requested, there were all sorts of wranglings going on.

    Relatives wanting this or that. People dissatisfied with their lot and comparing their grant with others.

    Mostly, you could feel they were wanting the maximum money to bail them out of their choices. And they were prepared to derail everything and disadvantage everyone to get it.

    It was sad to feel that for some, ‘family’ means absolutely nothing.

  24. For the last four months, every Saturday I have gone to a care home to do some voluntary work with elderly residents.

    After a few weeks of visiting I felt strongly that the residents are part of my family as I felt such a genuine connection with them. I shared this with a friend but never said anything to them.

    This week when I walked into the home, one of the residents greeted me very warmly and said to the member of staff standing next to us – ‘She is family.’

    What did he mean by this?

    I feel that he meant what the author of this blog is presenting here, that we are ALL connected and as I treat him as an equal and valuable member of humanity, like I do all of the residents and I genuinely care about them, he can feel that and hence why he made this statement.

    What if TRUE family goes way beyond any blood lines?

    What if this were true and we lived that fact?

    Would we have much less war, arguments and separation in society?

    Could this be a model for harmonious living?

  25. Thank you for this absolutely amazing blog.

    Reading and rereading this blog this evening has been a powerful experience for me as the questions it contains have helped me increase my awareness about my relationship with my family.

    I have realised that the love I have for my family is laced with both obligation and resentment.

    I can see that this stems from the fact that despite being raised by our parents to care for and take care of each other, my two brothers have been absent in different ways for different reasons.

    So, I have been the one to take care of things, especially since my father’s death four years ago and sometimes I have approached taking care of family members or family business as an obligation and I have resented my brothers for not pulling their weight.

    It’s so fantastic to now have an awareness of how I have coloured my behaviour with obligation and resentment. I can feel in my body right now how harmful those two things are.

    But now that I have the awareness of the obligation and resentment I have been carrying, I can make a commitment to drop those feelings and let them go.

    1. I love what you share here Raja and the honesty.

      I feel there is heaps of unspoken resentment in many families.

      Just today on a walk, I shared with my kids how I was feeling resentful about them not pulling their weight in caring for our home. Saying it out loud like that had an immediate impact.

      The tension I had been holding dropped away and I could feel the resentment was actually towards myself and my choices to do too much and not hold them to their responsibilities, rather than towards them.

      We have been talking recently as a family about how important it is that we share how we feel with each other and role modelling that was also powerful.

      It seems to me this honesty business is the best way to support the whole family.

  26. For decades I had a really contentious relationship with my mother. I would blame her for everything, to the point I could not bare to be in the same room as her. We argued non stop. We always wanted to be right.

    We did not speak for 5 years (my choice). But during that time the author of this blog really helped me understand why I had such a relationship.

    The reality was I had so much resentment with life I used my mother as an excuse to not deal with my own issues. It took at least 3 years to realise this.

    Slowly but surely I started to see things differently and I decided to make contact with mother.

    Fast forward to present day and I could honestly say both my mother and I have an amazing relationship. By me building bridges with her I was able to be more open with her.

    I really do Appreciate the fact I had to go through this as it most definitely changed my relationship with people around me for the better.

  27. I have been realising these last months how much people need people.

    Where would we be without support around us, for the big and the little things?

    Anchoring and wisdom in times of uncertainty.
    Pulling us up when we’re off.
    Asking how we are, truly.
    A helping hand with the activity of life.
    Life experience to share, to advance.
    Reflecting a different perspective, angle and expression.
    Human touch and affection.

    I appreciate every one of these things, that for me represent true family, regardless of
    relationship.

  28. Thank you for this marvellous blog.

    I was raised in an Indian Punjabi family and family is very important in Punjabi culture.

    One of the bedrock beliefs in Punjabi culture is that because our parents brought us into the world and raised us, we have an obligation to respect and look after them as they get older.

    Perhaps this is why I have always found it hard to say no to my family, particularly my parents.

    Having said that, I have recently found myself able to say no much more to my family. This change has occurred as my understanding has developed of the fact that everything we do either harms or heals.

    For me, a good example of this is giving lifts to my Mum. My mother does not drive.
    In the past, whenever she mentioned an intention to go somewhere, I would immediately ask myself if I was free on that day at that particular time. And, if I wasn’t going to be at work or previously engaged with something, I would offer to drive her wherever it was that she wanted to go.

    But, this has changed for me.
    Now, my position is: why on Earth would I want to take Mum’s independence away from her?
    If she wants to go somewhere, let her go.

  29. Just heard a news story today about an Indian man who strangled his wife and has received a 30 year prison sentence.

    He wanted to start a new life with a man overseas and the murder would allow him to get a large sum of money from the insurance.

    I have been following this news story because as an Indian myself, I know that no one ever talks about being gay. It is totally dismissed and ignored and the fact is, I do not know anyone who openly says that they are.

    This confirms that for people like this man there was no expression of his real sexuality.

    As he said in a statement, he was not honest.

    How does someone contain this within their body because of duty, religion and culture?

    WHY is it that people like this are so afraid to ‘come out’ so to speak and be up front, open and honest, so that others also may do the same?

    Back to the story and apparently his wife knew for 6 years and this is the sad bit.

    It must have been out of duty that she stayed and put up with all the things he got up to.

    I know many who do that, who have been brought up with strict Indian rules.

    Growing up in the same religion and culture, I can say that it was simply not accepted when I made a decision back in the mid 1980s to divorce my husband.

    It was unheard of back then and divorce was quite rare.

    What I knew was that things could not continue and someone has to stand up and speak up, as the truth is unhappy marriages are just not worth it.

    I know things started to change as 2 of my siblings also divorced, again something that is not looked upon as good. In fact it is just not normal in the culture I grew up in to ever divorce – you just put up with it.

    Today I am deeply blessed to report I married a man who was not of the same culture and 30 years on, I can see how different my life is. The main thing being I am deeply content and very few I know can truly say that.

    I observe many in my culture who are so unhappy and you can see it in their faces.

    My parents at the time were not open but as the years passed they came to love this man I married and I know how much he means to them, despite not being the same colour skin, religion or nationality.

    What I do know is there is another way and speaking out, standing up for what we feel and know is our truth is worth it.

    Who knows, if this man found the courage to do that he may not have got a life sentence in prison which is what has just happened.

  30. At an accident & emergency department yesterday, the triage nurse was sharing how busy it was in the main department.

    She said the sad thing was that many families take in their elderly family members for Christmas so they can have a peaceful time at home without them.

    This is apparently a common thing. It happens every year, across the country.

    It had never occurred to me that someone would do that. But it occurs to hundreds of people every year.

    And once you think about it, you can see why.

    Get the oldies out of the way so you don’t have to care for them or involve them.

    Tell yourself they are in good hands.

    Maybe you are sick of looking after them.

    Maybe you simply can’t be bothered.

    What a tragic and disgusting indictment this is on our society and of the word ‘family’.

  31. Psych Central – 15 February 2019

    https://psychcentral.com/news/2019/02/15/sibling-bullying-may-be-more-common-in-bigger-families/142896.html

    New UK study published – Children with more than one brother or sister are at greater risk of sibling bullying than kids with only one sibling.

    The findings also show that firstborn children and older brothers tend to be the perpetrators.

    According to the lead author, sibling bullying is the most frequent form of family violence and it is often seen as a normal part of growing up by parents and health professionals but there is increasing evidence that it can have long-term consequences, like increased loneliness, delinquency and mental health problems.

    WHY do siblings say nasty or hurtful things which we call psychological abuse?
    WHY do siblings physically abuse by hitting, kicking, pushing and punching?
    WHY do siblings emotionally abuse another sibling by ignoring them or telling lies?

    WHY is psychological abuse the most common form that this study reveals?

    Do we all agree with the researchers, who believe that bullying can happen more often in larger families because resources such as parental affection and attention and material goods are more limited?

    The fact that sibling bullying occurs across the board, regardless of the background of families speaks volumes in itself.

    Whether families are wealthy or not or single parent it seems to be there.

    So here we have one study, trying to tell us something is not right growing up for some of us in families where there is more than one sibling.

    If we read this blog and all the questions presented, can we join the dots and gain an understanding why this may be the case?

    Have we ever done real life qualitative research studies to show what goes on with siblings from an early age and the affects it has on another sibling?

    If we have done these studies, then firstly why is the world and its brothers not up to date with this type of stuff and secondly have we considered comparison and jealousy in detail?

    How many of us are aware of the comparison stuff, that goes on with our brothers and sisters and the self fury we have at the choices we are making, which ends up in jealousy towards others?

    Do we hope and wish that our own blood brothers and sisters do not have any ill towards us and that we equally don’t, but the truth is it happens and there is no manual or book out there spelling this type of stuff out to us and where to go with it when it does happen?

    Have we ever given it any thought about what happens when we have recognised jealousy with another sibling and it continues throughout our life, even if we have our own children?

    What is the real harm here and who ends up copping the invisible attacks that come with the vibration of jealousy?

  32. Talking to a few people this week in the community and there seems to be a kind of ‘thread’ weaving through the stories that had a similar feel to them.

    It was about the death of a parent and where the siblings are behaving in such a way that they know it is coming from jealousy and as one said today “utter cruelty”.

    Another talked about control and a medical professional said “it seems that the ugly behaviour was always there and then it all comes out once the family has a death of a parent”.

    What makes us change or behave in this way towards others who are supposedly called family?

    What gives rise to this type of behaviour knowing once upon a time they all lived and played together in their formative years?

    I wonder how the parent who died would feel if they could see how their own children – who are fully grown adults with their own children are behaving.

    Also how does the other surviving parent feel in all of this and do they ever get over the death of a loved one or does this type of behaviour from their children leave them forever heart-broken?

    Studies are showing that there is evidence of the heart being damaged by bereavement.

    I recall a woman on a train sharing her life story and how she gave up work after her mother died because of the way she was treated by the other siblings.
    She was close to her mother and felt so hurt by what they had done that she basically gave up on life and lives a lonely existence now. I could feel her sadness and how she was never going to get over this. It was like a movie that was on repeat in her mind and she was re-living the pain everyday.

    It goes on and on as I keep hearing more and more stories about so-called Families.

    What if true family are those around us and they are the ones we constellate to and this means they have the vibration we also align to and it feels natural to hang out with them and remain open and loving towards them?

    What if the family nonsense we hear about day in and day out is born from all our deep buried hurts, our unresolved issues and our lack of true expression – in other words not saying it as it is at the time?

    Could it be that simple and is there some wisdom here for the reader to consider?

  33. Thank you for this outstanding blog.

    The last 6 months have been a very difficult time for a couple of members of my immediate family. I have done my best to support them and, in doing that, I have seen that true support comes from a place of observation, not emotion.

    With family, well certainly as far as my experience has been for most of my life, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotions and drama of a situation. I used to be one of those people that would constantly react to what family members did or said – I would allow my buttons to be pushed all the time and I’d frequently get into arguments with family members.

    However, I’ve learnt over recent months that reacting to, or absorbing, the emotions in play when family members are in a grave situation is counterproductive, to say the least. When things are bad and important decisions need to be made, it is important to come from a position of observation so that one’s decisions and choices are not distorted by emotions.

    The last 6 months has shown me what I consider to be an irony about family life – being in a family can be a very emotionally charged thing, yet, when family members are suffering and need your support, your emotions are the last thing they need. Loving support comes from observation of a situation, not its absorption.

  34. UK

    Office for National Statistics
    26 March 2019

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/childhealth/articles/childrenwhosefamiliesstruggletogetonaremorelikelytohavementaldisorders/2019-03-26

    Children struggling to live in families that function well are more likely to have a mental disorder than those with healthy functioning families, new analysis has shown

    Children of parents who had difficulties with their own mental health were also more likely to have a mental disorder.

    In measuring family functioning, researchers looked at issues such as whether family members show affection for one another, whether they communicate openly or whether emotional upsets were resolved.

    In it’s report, Family Breakdown, the Centre for Social Justice describes the family environment as a place where “an individual’s physical, emotional and psychological, development occurs.”

    Children aged 2 to 10 living with step-siblings showed about double the rates of mental disorder, than those that did not live with step-siblings. This higher rate could be associated with problems that may be related to family breakups such as divorce, moving house, changing schools.

    Something is not right about this thing called family that we have created and the way things are is seriously affecting our health.

    Are the questions in this blog by Simple Living Global worth noting when we look at our family dynamics?

    Is there any truth in this?

    Could the questioning explain why we have this situation where our children’s mental health is clearly affected when we have disharmonious family arrangements?

    Is the focus on us being individuals, within the family unit the issue?

    Do we need to learn to work together rather than continue to fight?

    Do we need to appreciate and value what each family member brings rather than go into comparison and get jealous?

    Is it possible that the issues of jealousy and comparison do feature within the family environment and this can have a detrimental affect on our physical as well as our mental well-being?

    There is much for us to learn about the meaning of true family and this blog by Simple Living Global is a great start.

  35. Talking to a local tradesman that I know as he pulled up his van.

    He was saying how him and his wife have raised their children well and they are very strict and it’s paid off now that they are a bit older.

    Next –
    In my usual style I asked him what is going on as the state of the van inside was a total mess and full of rubbish of all sorts including food left uneaten.

    I am not concerned whether this call out from me was going to upset him or stop us talking again in the future. I just say it as it is because the standard was poor and yet I know him well to say that his standard of work in his trade is excellent.

    So it makes no sense – he would never leave a job with any mess so why does he put up with it in his van.

    He told me the mess was all in the passenger seat and foot well of the passenger and not his rubbish but the guy who works with him.

    Well I know this young man and I asked him WHY on earth is he not setting standards with him as he is the training apprentice.

    The answer was – he is my son and that’s WHY he gets away with it and nothing is said.

    I was quick to remind him that he told me how he had raised his kids and was very strict.

    Then I said this standard is unacceptable and poor and to tell him from Bina as he does know who I am.

    Why I have written this comment is how we have double standards when it comes to our blood family. It is like we have a different set of rules – WHY ?

    Is this what happens and is this why we have a world that is full of double standards?

    I know this website will have a blog one day about standards and it is very much needed but for now this comment will suffice on the Family blog.

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