Who Is in Your Tribe?
Families are the most important part of life. They provide us with the best things in life – love, warmth, protection, understanding, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, friendship, fun, laughter, and togetherness.
Families help us through tough times and laugh at our un-funny jokes (some times!) and make us laugh when we take life a little too seriously. They complete our sentences, and are good reality checkers. They get annoyed when we repeat old patterns that have led us down unfortunate paths, and most often they tell us so.
Most of all family are there for us when we need them, and (mostly) know what we need.
Who Is In Your Family?
Families used to be a biological mum and dad with 2.5 children. Previously, when one didn’t have a “functional” family you had no family at all.
Times have changed. Today’s families are colourful rainbows of individuals that have come together through circumstance, sometimes through painful life stories that are heart breaking at times. Other families have come together through fortuitous meetings that appear to be destiny.
We now have families that include some biological and non-biological siblings and parents, same sex parents, children and parents from remote countries and cultures.
Some families don’t even have children or adults. They are a mix of only adults or only children that have formed a tribe outside of a conventional or traditional family. Instead they find what may have previously been “family” support in their newly formed tribe.
A Sense of Belonging
The benefits of a tribe are aplenty. I will leave you to discover them this Christmas! (And please let me know some!)
One thing that does stand out for me when it comes to a tribe is the sense of shared belonging.
A shared sense of belonging to something greater than one’s self is one of the most important aspects of being part of a tribe.
A sense of belonging is a deep human need, one of the most fundamental, as we are all social creatures. When we do not feel we belong, we feel isolated, and lost, and it is hard to find our way through the pain of our perceived sense of separation. We can become self-focused and disconnected to what is important to us.
Life is more meaningful with a tribe
When we are with our tribe we feel we belong. Life seems more important, more purposeful. It has more meaning.
This Christmas, I wish you all the warmth, love, and fun that a tribe brings.
The meaning of family has expanded to include many different kinds of tribe. Look around you tomorrow and in the next few days, or look at the phone calls you make or receive, the SMS’s you send and receive, who is in your tribe? Is it your family by blood, or family by choice?
Celebrate with delight that you are part of your tribe/s!