On Family

This was a tough vlog for me. I hope you've had a chance to watch the whole video. The idea here is that we've all got a family. People we are bonded to for life and we get a limited amount of time with them while we're alive. Yet, most of us just let those opportunities slip through our fingers over the course of 60, 70, or 80 years.

We see each other at the big events of the years, but the days of opening presents and going to the beach together seem so few and far between. We live in nostalgia of the days when we ran around at Grandma's house laughing and not caring about much else. Now we're all burdened by the weight of life and being an adult.

We're all struggling with something and it drives me insane that we can't be vulnerable enough to share those burdens. Having two people carry a heavy object is always easier than trying to go it alone. Yet, we stick to the surface level conversations. The conversations about weather, jobs, and the general state of affairs. Rarely, if ever, does someone come out and just say what's weighing them down or even what's got their spirits soaring. We stick to the same old conversations because it's become comfortable and normal.

And that's a shame.

I've seen the power of vulnerability to set people free from their burdens. I've seen the power of honesty opening up relationships like you would never believe.

I'm so guilty of this. Of living a life going through the motions. Of not being intentional. But I have such a deep desire to see reconciliation among families and friends alike. For people who love each other and grew up together to forgive and forget. For those same people to open up and be okay with crying in front of people they've known their whole lives. For people to look each other in the eyes and say, I love you. I know what happened, and I love you.

One of my favorite authors says it perfectly:

"What if there was a place so safe that the worst of me could be known, and I would discover that I would not be loved less, but more In the telling of it?" -John Lynch

"What if it was less important that anything ever gets fixed than that nothing has to be hidden?" -John Lynch

Can you imagine if our lives were ruled by these kind of principles?

What if we stopped worrying about being fixed and having it all together? And confronted the things that ail us and have ripped us apart inside? And we found on the other side of that open truth we find freedom in no longer hiding? That the goal isn't to be fixed, but to be free?

What if our family gatherings were the places so safe that everyone can know the absolute worst, deep dark parts of us, and love us even more than before?

Life Goal: To build that kind of family dynamic for my immediate family and to extend that same grace and love to every extended family member I encounter. That they would know me, not for my bad jokes and harsh sense of humor, but for the grace I extend to every person. For the vulnerability I constantly provide. For the love I show even when things are hard.

My biggest wish is that we would all stop self-medicating.

We're all doing it. Fitness, alcohol, drugs, eating, tv watching, or whatever it is we use to escape. Excessively. What if we found freedom from our troubles and those medications were no longer needed? That we could work out and not compulsively feel the need to hit the gym to escape. Or to have multiple drinks to feel numb? Or to smoke a joint to mellow out? Or to eat and focus on anything but the sadness? 

These are all temporary solutions and they'll never fix the real problem. We have to face our problems and fight them head on to earn our freedom. 

I hope we all find freedom and that the crutches that hold us back would be thrown down as we confidently approach the future as the chains begin to fall off our ankles.