“Family is a breath of fresh air. Family is peaceful when it’s honest. Family is irreplaceable. Family is the strength of communities.”
Loving, supportive, competitive, and complicated are commons words I read and hear across social media when people talk about their families. These days, families are communicating using screens and keys. I love the idea of instantly sharing milestones, accomplishments, and fun pictures. We are witnessing more about our families than ever before.
Whether it is a biological or adopted family, we should embrace people who love us for who we are. At the end of the day, family is everything simply because we need them. We need them because everyone should experience a sense of belonging. It’s healthy. It’s necessary to survive. A good family equals strong mental health.
Having a family isn’t about portraying a perfect life. What’s important is understanding that families are a great way to balance life after work, school, and anything we do as individuals. Our identity is an extension of our family. It’s important to recognize that our public image will be our legacy.
“At every stage of life, our relationships and families present us with both joys and challenges. Learning to manage stress, to understand our own emotions and behaviors, and to communicate effectively can help strengthen emotional health, as well as our connections to the important people in our lives.” American Psychological Association (www.apa.org)
Growing up, our family gathered around the dinner table, ate good food, and discussed accomplishments, talked about issues, and just simply got updates on every day happenings. We shared everything from track and field scores, funny stories to disputes with classmates. Most importantly we listened intently and responded respectfully.
Today, drama plays out on social media. Families are learning more about one another on Facebook feeds, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media apps. It’s not all bad. But when it goes bad, it’s really bad. And it’s witnessed by EVERYbody. Family is everything when it’s strengthened beyond the keys of laptops and smart devices.
Family is a breath of fresh air. Family is peaceful when it’s honest. Family is irreplaceable. Family is the strength of communities.
Maya Angelou said, “I sustain myself with the love of family.”
Let’s embrace our families and recognize that without our super cool, complicated and sometimes dysfunctional family is all we have when best friends change courses, coworkers are fighting their own battles, and social media losing power for a couple of hours.