As I read blogs and commentaries this week, I was struck by the number of people dealing with family, family issues and repairing/bringing back family bonds. As I will not be with direct family this holiday, I began to think about the connections that bind us together. The bonds that create the world around us. Are we family by DNA or family by choice. I’m not sure there is always a difference.
What Is Family?
Family are the shouts in the dark that keep you awake
trying to be invisible under your blankets.
Family is the warm heart you run to
when everyone else at the rink skates too fast
and you’ve cut your knees on the ice.
Family are given to you at birth
with your eyes and lips and nose.
They will stick to you wherever you go
and shape how you see
and what you say
and how you are seen
Family are found new each day
wherever you put your heart last.
Family are the people you share bread with,
and whoever you share the lack of bread with.
Sometimes your family aren’t people.
Family is whoever lives under the tent of your soul.
Your family can be as big as you are,
and from birth to death, your real, real family
are the ones who make you grow bigger
poem by Anitra L. Freeman from “Families of Poems“
So, during this holiday, I intend to examine my connections to those around me and those who are my DNA family. I want to learn even more where I fit in, what I need to change to make those connections better … and how I can help in bringing those around to their full potential of who they are and what they can be. A wise man once said: There are only two kinds of people in the world – those that want to lower you to their level and keep you there and those that want you to soar higher than you or they thought possible. I only want to be in the latter group.
And a man said, “Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.”
And he answered, saying:
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet“