Reclaiming Family

This weekend, I was supposed to attend the Southern Women's Show. I won front line passes to see Miss Kay (oh, how I love her!) and was looking forward to the shopping. I was also supposed to attend a theater event. Instead, I am traveling four hours to spend the weekend throwing a bridal shower for my cousin that has caused me more stress that I've ever had planning an event. And not stress in a good this-is-so-much-fun kind of way.

I spent many days grumbling about how much I just wanted to get this over and how much I resented that I couldn't do what *I* wanted to do.

My family has been the source of many frustrations, tears, and angry words. They’ve also been the source of much laughter, great happiness, and many memories.

For the past several years, I’ve been struggling when it comes to my family.

Struggling to move beyond the past.

Struggling with patience.

Struggling with feelings of disappointment.

Struggling with feeling like a bad wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, cousin.

Struggling to understand.

And it’s been hard. The thing is, family is vitally important to life. Whether it’s the family you were born into, or the family you chose, family does matter. Family is forever.

In a statement of pure transparency: Family is the area of my life that I struggle with the most. There are deep wounds from the past, there are fresh wounds from recent years, there are things I’ve never told anyone, there are things and people I wish were different.

But I can’t change any of those things. I can’t go back and recreate the past. I can’t change anyone.

In what will perhaps be one of the things I find most difficult, I’m getting intentional about family.

Why is it so difficult for me?

Because accepting them for who they are means accepting the flaws in myself. Instead of saying “I wish they would do/say this differently,” I have to take a look at myself and figure out why I wish that. Finding fault and complaining about family helped to deflect my real feelings so I wouldn’t have to deal with them, and that has to stop.

Because I’m embarrassed for allowing myself to become so distant from them. It’s not easy to have to say “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”

Because it makes me uncomfortable to be vulnerable when I’ve become so cynical over the years.

But I can’t use excuses anymore.

I am reclaiming family.

I am fighting for family.

I am creating new traditions and getting back to old ones.

I am making time for family, being engaged and fully present.

This is one of the most important decisions I will ever make.

This is needed.

This is intentional.

This is life changing.

Family is forever. And I’m putting my family first.

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This post is part of the 31 Days of Intention series. You can see other posts in this series here.