The month of June, I believe, is National Family Month. Hence this post.
I have heard people saying “you can’t choose your family, you are born into them.” I don’t really agree with this. Yes, the ones linked through blood – primary, secondary and tertiary – we can’t choose (but can ignore!). But there are those who, despite not being linked through blood or genes, become family in the journey called life.
Who is family after all? The ‘baggage’ that we lug around just because they are associated with us due to our birth? The ones who are oblivious of our existence till they hear that there’s some gossip surrounding us or there’s a party where they can get free booze or the ones who stand by us during our darkest hours even though they have the choice to go and have a good time with their lives? And at what point does someone who is not officially a family become one?
Here’s my take.
You Will Feel Unconditional Love Coming From Them
They love us because they love us – the inner person. It’s not because we are affluent, they can get favours from us, their societal rank will increase if they are associated with us etc. etc. etc. They are with us because they want to. They are with us because they feel happy to.
They Will Be Non Judgemental
They don’t judge us, our lives or our actions. They hear our anxieties and cry with us and celebrate the happiness with madness. They don’t point a finger and us and say ‘I told you so’ even if they did. Rather, they pull us out of the mess that might have landed ourselves in.
You Will Feel Secure In Their Presence
We feel confident because we know that they are behind us – standing rock solid. They give us a sense of well being and safety. We know that if we need help they will be there for us. We can count on them without thinking whether we should or not. We just turn to them and they are there for us.
You Will Blindly Trust Them
You can tell them your darkest secrets, wildest desires, fearful worries and they will not certify you as insane. They will not laugh it off. They will actually hear what you are saying and join in the mirth or give you advice to help you overcome your anxieties. And what you tell them will never be revealed to the world or be turned into a gossip.
You Will Feel Comfortable With Them Around You
You don’t have to make small talk with them. You can sit in complete silence and yet feel absolutely comfortable. There’s no farce, no mask that you need to fear. No show of formality that you need. You can be yourself.
You Will Fight But Never Break
You will fight like humans possessed and yet each time make up because both know that they don’t want to stay without each other. And after the ‘make up’ happens, all will be forgotten. No cracks will form in the relationship.
You Will Be Making Time For Them
No matter how busy we are, we carve out time from the choked schedule of ours to be with them. It is not because they ever ask us to do so, but we feel that something from our routine existence is missing if we can’t spend time with them. Even if that is a an hour of conversation on the phone.
The Real Family Will Love Them Too
We all have a small group from our ‘official family’ who is very dear to us. These ‘non relatives’ who turn into family, sooner or later, will merge into the former group and will be accepted by them to be one of them.
In life we always want a relationships that’s based on affection and connection. If we are unable to find it via the blood, then why not through friendship? In fact, James Fowler, a professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego has said that the “olfactory genes have a straightforward explanation: people who like the same smells tend to be drawn to similar environments, where they meet others with the same tendencies.” he went on to add that we have more DNA in common with those we choose as friends than we do with strangers. Why then, would such friends not turn into a mutually nourishing and a growth enhancing ‘family out of choice’.