A couple of weeks ago, I was watching an episode of Lovecraft Country. I heard a quote that sent a shock through my body about family. It resonated with me because it identified the key differences between the obligation and acceptance of the concept of the idea of families and how we view them. It was something that was so real that a lot of people; even myself, tend to forget.
Loosely quoted, Leti stated to her sister that family can either be an obligation or an acceptance.
Most times, we tend to confuse the two. We tend to think that we are obligated to treat our family a certain way, because family is just that. We find ourselves being blindly loyal to people that have caused great pain and damage. Society has told us that we have to like our family members because they are our family; and that bond is supposed to override any transgressions and wrongdoings. We are raised to love these people in our lives because they are our family and although we didn’t choose them; that is who we have.
Family is not just biological; it is also people you share bonds with through any life circumstance. I have people in my life I consider family who are not blood relatives. Some of those people I consider closer than some of my own blood relatives. It is solely because of the fact that my bond with them is much stronger; our connection is greater and we have chosen to nurture that bond and accept one another as family, and not just coddle a relationship out of obligation and title.
It is important to me to accept someone into my family instead of feeling obligated to do so. Too often, we are forcing people to say you have to love someone or you have to like someone. You don’t have to do anything with anyone; no matter what blood ties you have. And you don’t have to accept them either. What you do have to do, is honor what bonds you have created with others; blood or not, because that is truly where your family is. It is with the people who you know care for you the same way you care for them. If that is not the case, then those people do not deserve the title family, right?
We as a society need to stop allowing traditional norms run our lives. It is time to break generations of tradition if they no longer serve their purpose. There is no reason to go through life continuing to try and oblige people who do not deserve what you are willing to give up so freely.