Relatives Versus Family
“There is no such thing as a “broken family.” Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.” C. JoyBell C.
Whether you agree with her or have some other opinion about the make-up of family, what stands out for me in C. Joybell C’s words is that “families are made in the heart.”
This week that is coming to a close has been a trying one for many families around the world. The events in France, Lebanon, and now this morning as I write in Mali, have many thinking about family and what it would be to them should they be touched by the violence we are witnessing.
Family Ties That Bind
Family has been a problematic area of my life and not due to terrorist activities, granted one might describe the impact and damage of the emotional attacks as similar in their effects.
For almost three years, my interaction with television newscasts and even with newspapers was almost none. A break was needed to allow me the space to centre my thoughts and limit the barrage of negativity that these news reports are notorious for delivering. This deliberate disconnection really helped my grounding in what for me is the truth of life – that Love is the only power in the world, the one that can transform any form of evil into good.
My small and growing family also helped me comfortably return to some amount of news watching. With the arrival of my granddaughter and her regular visits and sometimes sleepover at my place, it became necessary to have various forms of entertainment. Late last year, things escalated as my family members were coming to stay a couple of weeks with me. So I purchased a big screen television and had cable installed. Ever since, gradually I started watching news programmes again but not to the same degree and certainly not getting involved as I once did with any given story.
However, when news broke of the attacks in Paris, it was hard for me not to follow closely the unfolding. My family was the first thought to mind as I viewed the havoc other people’s family members had created. Even so, the difference now with my viewing of the news is that no longer do I allow the news establishment to force feed me with a particular perspective. As they saying goes, I go beyond the news to find what makes sense to me, seeking the heart of the issue playing out on the screen.
Best of The Week
Family, love, compassion and purpose were my conclusions and as always it translated in the posts of this week. Our most read, “My Daughter’s Journey With Prematurity,” tells the story of two mothers’ love for an unborn child and their unity of purpose as they ‘fought’ to make sure that child would come into this world and hopefully make a difference. If you missed that post you can read it here and share your thoughts on the hidden theme of healing family ties and how some medical professionals are supporting that every day on neo-natal intensive care units around the world.
The second most read post of our concluding week was “Emptiness: Sign of Emotional Trauma,” and it too tells the story of family and the impact they have on the children within their folds. It is my contribution to our series on Emptiness that will wrap up with an article from Katelyn Roth in the coming week or so. Many of us, including those who are now perpetuating violence across the world, are suffering from unhealed emotional issues, a lack of love and misguided understanding of purpose. Cloaked in religious, ideological, political rhetoric or even having superficial ideals borrowed from celebrities and reality shows, they are causing harm to others. The greater harm, however, is to themselves granted as they tout their weapons be that guns, words or debauchery they do not see it that way.
In my experience of emptiness that lasted for many years, unless you had expert eyes and a compassionate heart you would have written off my behaviour simply as meanness and aggression (that of ‘the angry black woman’). Read that post and as with the other, check between the lines for the story about family and how the absence of loving ones in a person’s life can negatively affect their experience of the world. [tweetthis]Check out these great blog post on family, emptiness and Pakistan![/tweetthis]
The most perplexing, for some, post of this week was the one directly about family and how children are raised within them. Some readers missed the point, but thankfully most did not, which was – this world is a multicultural one, varied in its forms of expression, including the family and how they choose to love and raise their children.
The unfolding of terror now, a cowardly one let me quickly add, is partly a result of our inability to allow people to live their lives as they see best. We have successfully divided the world into “Us” and “Everybody Else” or “those people.” The “Us” of the world have pitted “those people” who are in fact fully part of the human family against each other and in turn the rest of the world. This is something that we have grown better at doing having had centuries of practice. In her piece on “Raising Children In Pakistan Today,” Neelma Tashfeen shed some light on the historical context and development of family in her homeland. Some visitors chose to see that as an opportunity to label those lived experiences and chosen way of life in unpleasant ways. Have a read of Neelma’s post and see whether you can look beyond the differences in one culture’s way of being family and identify what makes us One.
Robert Turner returns to us next week and along with Alexis Ali, will share their thoughts on Thanksgiving as our family in the United States set to celebrate the occasion. Check out Robert’s most recent post here and be sure to join us next week for his latest.
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We look forward to sharing more conversations with you next week. Until such time, do follow me on Twitter as well as like my Facebook Page. You can also stay in touch through Claudette P. Esterine Weekly, which is my online newspaper that is published every Sunday. Check it out here.
Be blessed and be a blessing this weekend to your family, friends and the strangers/angels you meet along the way.