Many like to imagine the ideal when we think about familyYou know, the picket fence, the two beautiful children, the two dogs, and the happily married couple whose marriage is invincible. The Leave it to Beaver variety. The truth is that these types of families don’t exist. Sure, we may daydream about things. Everyone desires to taste a little bit of perfection, no matter where it may land in their lives.
Family is for bonding and unconditional love. Unconditional meaning that even when you feel no one is there for you in the shadow of your worst mistakes, your family will always be there for you. No matter the slip-up, they will accept you warmly into one of their endless hugs. Family is supposed to be there, even when you feel you have no hope left. When you are hanging on the edge and you feel not even the finest thread will hold your head above the deepest waters. Family is always supposed to pick up the broken pieces of your puzzle and make them fit again, even the wonky edge pieces.
No doubt your family will disappoint. Maybe they were busy when you needed them most. Maybe they came up short when you thought their hug would be bigger and tighter. Maybe they failed to understand exactly what was going on when you were going through a hard time. While we might feel disappointed in what we thought was “a lack” of family support, we must remember that our family is human first. They are marked with imperfections too, which make them slip up sometimes.
Your family will not be perfect. Maybe you do not have any family left. What is important to remember as well is that family does not always mean blood-related. Close relationships with friends can eventually feel as though they are family rather than just a friend. Just remember that your friends will make mistakes, too. No matter the type of family, imperfections are guaranteed. At the time that the mistakes are made, and the marks of mistakes are revealed, you may begin to doubt their loyalty and ability to love you with their original fullness.
That is just the devil on your shoulder antagonizing you and making you forget that your family needs the time, and more importantly, the space to be human. Once they are over their hump, they will be there to remind you how much you mean to them and what a valuable person you are because that is what being a part of a family is all about.