announcing your place in the family of things

I know I’m usually a night owl but good morning! I’m having deep thoughts and there is not enough coffee here. It’s been a rough few weeks of family tension so I’m reflecting on that a bit this morning.

I present to you, morning thoughts that happen before the coffee kicks in. Slightly streams of consciousness so…sorry if it’s a bit rambly. (also this is a reflection on Wild Geese which you should totally read:

I don’t know how to do this life thing. I’ve only ever known how to survive, and I don’t know what it’s like to be ok.

I used to think that was living. It turns out there’s more to living than just existing.

Also, what is home anyway? We’ve explored this a little bit in other blog posts. But I guess I’ve always connected the concept of home with a physical location and with my biological family.

But the concept of home is much broader and better than that. And so is family. I’ve been searching for both of these things for a long time.

Maybe to be home is to be loved. But then, what is love? I’ve mostly understood more about what love isn’t. I’ve fleshed this out a little bit before but my understanding is that love is to be safe and cared for. To be seen. To be listened to and valued.

And love is to be home. It’s not so tied to a place or a person. It’s so much more than warm fuzzy feelings or romantic attraction.

I strive to be home for the people in my life. To love in such a way that people feel like they’re at home with me. Because no one should have to feel unloved or unwanted. No one should be without a home.

I’ve learned more about love by experiencing it. You’ve probably been told, you’ll never find love or know love until you can learn to love yourself. I don’t think that’s completely accurate. My experience has been the opposite. If you don’t know what love is, how can you learn to love yourself?

I have learned how to love myself by experiencing how others love me. Not in the sense of someone saying “I love you,” but in the sense of proving that by seeing me and letting me be who I am. By the care I’ve been shown that I do not have to be good. I already am. And I’m deserving of love just like anyone else is.

When you first experience love as it’s to be experienced, it’s hard to settle for less. Or to be told “this is love,” and know there’s a disconnect. Learning to outright reject these types of love is a big step.

Once you have found your place in the world…once you find your home, you discover that a love that manipulates and controls you is not love.

A love that seeks another’s version of good for you to “keep you safe” is not love. Safety is not found in compliance. Neither is love. To be truly loved is to be truly safe.

Compliance is about yielding control just to survive. If someone is only concerned with letting you simply exist and survive in the world, they do not love you. If they’re only willing to let you exist on conditional love and not in your own space, they do not love you.

You have a place. You have a home.

Love is not only to have others’ best interests at heart but also your own. If someone is willing to hurt you before they’ll challenge the status quo–I’m pretty sure they do not love you. At least, not as they should.

You should not have to “be good,” to be loved. You do not have to be good. You already are everything you need to be. Accept nothing less than a love that lets you have “your place in the family of things.”



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