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What is family?

Often, I hear people say that family is "everything." I am one of those people and one of the questions I ask myself, and others, is so what? What does "everything" actually mean?

My first thought (and truth) is that family is not only the people to whom we are blood related. I have friend's that I whole-heartedly consider to be my family. How do I know? Because of how I feel about them AND how I exhibit those feelings. And a simple truth---they that they are a part of my life over the long-term. I CHOOSE to have them in my life and they choose me.

But, what about the people with whom we share DNA? Yes, they are considered family by definition, but the truth is we don't always feel that familial feeling toward them. That can create a feeling of incongruence within us...because there is a belief that we are SUPPOSED to, almost obligated to, feel a certain way toward blood relatives.

The truth is that it takes an awful lot of awareness and courage to behave how we truly feel about those in our lives, whether through blood relation or not. So my question is, how much energy are you wasting on and in relationships that are not what they are defined as?

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