CHOSEN FAMILY

I wrote the first three paragraphs in November just before the US election, but the sentiments are still with me, and I decided  rather than starting over I would continue where I left off.  Please read this with that in mind. 

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It is 4am and I cannot sleep. I am worried about the upcoming election and a host of other not so important things. I keep thinking this can’t be happening in the USA, and I am so sad and angry. There is still some sanity out there in the likes of Bernie Sanders, Jon Stewart, BIll Maher, Michael Moore – and that gives me hope. But right this moment, this country seems so full of hate, so fragmented, so lost, and here at 4am   I am feeling like I have been tossed into a tumbling avalanche of emotions and can’t get a grip.

So what am I doing at this ungodly hour?  I am resting in the love of my chosen family, which consists of my dear Kimm, my soul sister and partner in crime, 3 dogs and 1 cat. When I think of them I have to smile, and I wonder what I did to deserve all this joy. In the midst of so much uncertainty and even angst, I am  blessed with this unit of unconditional love – a love that grows each and every day.

Only last week Kimm and I were talking about how our birth families often turn a cold eye towards our pain. That was true for me when my parents were alive, but is not so  now. My brother and sister are as close and loving as they can be. And yet, there are still things about me and who I am that only my chosen family “gets”.

Often, when you have a long history with someone, but you go through major transformations, it is hard for the other person to not expect you to be a certain way. And difficult for them to accept the changes that have become a new part of you. So it can be with your birth family, and sometimes that will make you feel like you can’t be truly yourself when you are around them.

Kimm and I have known each other for about 4 years, and yet it feels that we have known each other forever – we have already been through so much together. And in that short time we have truly learned each other’s “ins and outs”. Our ups and downs. Kimmie says that I know her better than anyone, and she knows me in the same way. I know she really gets me. And when we talk to  each other we are our truest selves.

Our “family unit” consists of the two of us, 3 small dogs and one cat as I have said, and we function as a real family. The animals are our children. And we are the parents. It’s as simple as that. The animals chose us, and we all chose each other. Our little family is the biggest joy in my life. It makes me laugh, cry, and smile always just to think of them. We are bonded in a most profound way. And we all know it is for life. No matter what may change we have that security, that sense of safety.

Chosen family is as sacred and holy as birth family, and for some people even more so. My chosen family reflects back to me the best of myself. I couldn’t love them all more than I do. Every day I find out something new about one of them, and I am never bored. Living with each of them is a learning experience. I am a better person because of them, and my self awareness has grown so much.

Cherish your chosen family, even if you have a happy relationship with your birth family. Chosen family is something quite special and different. The love is unconditional for all the right reasons. There is no better feeling than that.

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