Love and Relationships, Personal Growth

How to Grow Strong with Familial Love

This week I want to talk about the love from family and friends. I want to share how this love can help you grow stronger. I’m going to be more focused on the family aspect, because if you have at least one great friend they can be like family, at least in my experience. First, a couple of interpreted definitions. Philia is brotherly love or friendship. It is affection based on mutual benefit. Think Philadelphia. Storge is family love. It is often unconditional, born from some aspect of yourself that is living on via shared blood. In essence, I love my friends because of what we can do for each other. I love my family because of who they are in relation to me. And now that I’ve basically said love is inherently selfish, let’s move on, shall we?

Familial love can be the thing that glues you together. When things start to fall apart, or you start to fall apart the love from your family can soothe you. This can allow you to hold on until you figure things out or things get better. And I’m not saying the family will get you every time. They won’t because family is made up of individuals who are also using the unit to hold themselves up. The family is there to remind you who you are when you’ve forgotten. Sometimes the reminder is gentle. Most times you’ll be bludgeoned over the head with it. That’s how families work.

Families and the love they provide are built in communities. When I have an idea, I go to my sons, my cousins or my brother to discuss. I will share it with those friends who are like family. They will offer support or inform me it sounds like lunacy. Even if it sounds like lunacy they’ll support me anyway until I figure out for myself how insane the idea is. They will research or add to the idea. Family love will create cheerleaders and confidence boosters. Love from family pushes you to take risks you may have otherwise avoided. The love from the family will help you build.

There are times in this journey to be our best selves where we may fumble. We start to doubt ourselves. Sometimes we are the tiniest bit dramatic about it. (OK, I am.) When you have familial love, it teaches you that it is okay to fail. It’s a stumble, not a leap off of a cliff. You feel more grounded and ready to face those obstacles that caused your fall. Familial love won’t abandon you during these less than stellar times.

I know all families aren’t like this. Some aren’t remotely close. If you find yourself with a family that is more toxic than nurturing, turn to friends. There is a saying that friends are the family you pick. When blood lets you down, find strength in the bonds of friendship.

That’s all I have for this week. Let me know how your family, blood or otherwise, makes you strong. Love and light my dears!

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