Thursday, December 9, 2010

Judgmental Much?

Recent events in my life and the lives of others very close to me have made me really think about what family truly means to me.  Here goes...

FAMILY is: (Below are several dictionary definitions...)
  • All the members of household under one roof.  So, related or not, if you live together, you would be family.
  • A group of people sharing common ancestry.  This is the most typical and accepted definition of family.
  • Two or more people that share goals and values, have long-term commitment to one another, and usually reside in the same dwelling place.  This is a less common definition of family but makes a lot of sense to me.
I suggest yet another definition, a definition that is more personal to me.  I suggest that family is a network of people, whether related or not, that supports your life endeavors, are non-judgmental (as much as humanly possible), will be there for you in good times and bad times, and will love you unconditionally, whether they disagree with your life decisions or not.  In my opinion, THAT is what family is truly about.  We ALL make mistakes, we are all imperfect.  It's how we rebound from those mistakes that really makes or breaks us.  And a strong family will support us, even through our failures.  A strong family will be there for you and at least make an attempt to not judge your mistakes as- let's face it- we're all human and we will judge others, no matter how hard we try not to.  A strong family will lift you up when you're down and celebrate with you when you have triumphed. 

Family should NOT constantly focus on your failures, make you feel like less of a person, put you down to make themselves feel better, downplay your successes, or force their views upon you.  To me, these are things our worst enemies would wish upon us...not family. 

Therefore, I would say that FAMILY, is not necessarily just those that share common ancestry.  Family are those around you, whether through ancestry or not, who share common values and beliefs, and who provide a network of support in which you can rely upon, whether times are good or you've hit rock bottom.  Family is there when you need them, a network in which you can depend on when you're down.  I know who my family is...they're the people who know me best.  The people who know my fears, who have shared in my failures, and who have celebrated in my successes.  Family are the people I know I could call at 3AM when I'm worried about something or the people with whom I could share my deepest thoughts without fear of being judged.  For those of you who I consider family, thank you for being there for me.  Thank you for loving me as I am, for knowing that I have my weaknesses but that together, as family, we can overcome these weaknesses and that our relationship makes us better people.  Thank you...

A few people I consider family, although not related by ancestry...

Susan - What I've gained from our relationship... a sense of hope.  You have shown me that no matter how difficult things seem to appear, nothing is impossible.  You grab life by the reins and you MANHANDLE it girl!  You are wonderful mom, a fantastic wife, and a true friend.  I hope you realize how much you mean to me, even though I don't always express it.
Kate - What I've gained from our relationship... confidence.  You've shown me that I have to be confident in myself to be able to exude that confidence to others.  You are a prime example of today's modern woman and you should be proud of that.  You are a great mom and a wonderful friend and I'm so glad we met.
Mary - What I've gained from our relationship...inspiration.  You put the WOW factor in everything you do.  You busted your butt to change your lifestyle and become healthy, fit, and happy.  You completely left your old life behind to make changes that you knew were necessary to grow as a person.  I'm so proud to know you and so glad to benefit from your inspiration.
Autumn - What I've gained from our relationship...strength.  You are, out and out, one of the strongest women I know.  You have made a life for yourself, without depending on others.  You have been a beautiful role model to your boys.  You have been there for me when I needed you and you always have an ear and a shoulder to lean on.  I hope you know that our friendship means a lot to me and that I am always here for you, however I can be.

And to my sister Samantha....
Life will throw you lemons...and you have been thrown too many of them to count.  You have made your mistakes but you have miraculously rebounded.   Even when things look horribly depressing, you have a sense of optimism that always shines through.  As a first-time mother, you have made your mistakes, as have I.  But you have shown your daughter the most important thing of all...the power of love.  You've shown her that for love, we will do anything and you've shown her this by working to improve yourself - as a person and as a mom.  You are creating a life of love that will surround her when she needs it most.  My life would not be the same without you.  You are piece of my heart and when you hurt, I hurt.  I love you...


  1. I agree 100% ty for being there. If you pick up the rock bottom and look under it thats where i am. I appreciate you listening.

  2. I love you too and the words you have written in this post will always be in my heart! You are the best friend I could ever ask for and I am just so lucky that you were chosen by God to be my sister as well as my best friend!