Isn’t it ironic the “happiest time of the year” is one that brings us the most distress?
October is usually when the anticipation starts; you’re officially in the countdown to holiday giving and back-to-back family gatherings. I know for a lot of people all the family bonding time can cause a wee bit of stress. With that being said, here’s my reminder that it’s okay.
Realistically, family isn’t always what it is made out to be. Some families are more functional than others. Whereas some families aren’t very functional at all. Whether yours is one or the other, it is okay and you will find your functional family. Whether it be blood or not.
It is hard to let yourself say f*ck it to those who aren’t bringing you any positivity, especially if those people may be “family.” While we’re on the topic of family, let’s identify the word. Personally, family to me are the people who stick by your side through thick and thin, continuously bringing you joy and positivity. The people in your life who accept you for who you are and always fill you up with love. Blood doesn’t always matter because what really matters is the love they bring.
I once heard a quote from a caller in an incredibly relatable podcast — “Don’t Blame Me” by Meghan Rienks and Melisa Monts — that put exactly how I’ve always battled with feeling into words:
No matter who you are, you’re going to find someone who’s toxic to you. It’s your responsibility to put yourself first, no matter what label that toxic person has. Regardless if they are you father, your mother, your sibling, your best friend. That label should not protect them from the action you need to take because that label did not protect them from what they did to you.”
I feel like the battle of whether or not to take the action that may be needed for yourself is blurred by the fact that the person may be considered “family.” It is often shamed upon to be the one who does take that action. When it comes down to it, it is your life and you choose how you want to live it.
That is why I challenge you this holiday season to spend your time with those who bring your life the most purest joy.