“The bonds that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each others life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” - Richard Bach
I recently have been devoting a lot of time to thinking about who I would include in my family of choice, and it’s true (at least for me) that so many of the people who are the primary source of respect and joy in one’s life are not genetically linked.
They’ve simply grown to know and love you, and in the process of developing that love, have grown to respect you, have earned your respect, and have subsequently contributed to the joy in both of your lives.
I wonder if this is not an even more meaningful and honest love than the love of genetic obligation. I wonder if the love that occurs within a functional, healthy family is not actually due to genetics, but rather due to the added factor of love sprung from earned respect and subsequent joy along the way.
I know that the family I create with Jim will include both. I’m grateful for the love I still receive, regardless of the genetic obligations I’ve no longer chosen to accept.
Life right now feels like growth begetting growth begetting growth. For the first time in my life, I’m not sure what the picture of my future looks like, and that wide open window of opportunity brings hope for something healthier, something less broken, something built from respect and joy.
Losing almost 80 pounds in order to fit through the window is only the beginning.