So often, I read the news or listen to all the events of the day and walk away feeling sad and depressed, like everything is a lost cause. Do you feel this way? Does the world seem to be filled with hate and anger?
On those days where living in this world weights heavy on my spirit, I try to take a step back and see the bigger picture. Most days, inspiration to hold onto the good comes in the form of my two little boys.
Just the other day, my four-year-old told me he had made up a new song. I anticipated it to go something like: “This is my song, this is my song,…” and end with a “la, la, la.” I was put in my place when he uttered one profound line, over and over, to a simple harmony. His innocent, sweet little voice sang to me, “The family is love. Oh, the family is love.”
Of course, it sounds confusing. Wouldn’t it make more sense to say that love is family? I thought about this little guy’s perspective for quite a while. The more I thought, the more I determined that he is right.
Family is the group of people who think like you, believe like you, and share your genes. But it is more than that. I could say that family is the group of friends who surround you, encouraging and supporting you. I don’t believe that reaches far enough, either.
We have many different families. I was born into a family that argues, disagrees, and irritates one another; we love each other more than all those differences, though. I chose to join a family that has different roots and different experiences, but he loves me and I love him. We choose to love. I have a framily-friends who are family-friends who are “aunties” and “uncles,” but who are truly no relation at all. I have friends who are family because we share values and goals. We are choosing the same things for our kids and their futures. I have a spiritual family, a family I share with people around the globe. This family is an adopted family made possible because One chose to love.
You see, family is love-the choosing to hold others in higher esteem than yourself, the sacrifice of self to a bigger purpose and higher power, the decision to set aside differences and want the best for the other. What is family? It is love. When you are not just willing but eager to set aside past hurts and present tensions to love another, that person becomes a part of your family.
Where love is action, not simply emotion, there resides a true family. When the world is pulling you under, you only need to remember that you are surrounded by family every time you choose to act in love.