I know when you read the title, you were probably thinking of marriage, sex, and giving birth to a baby. Now, there’s a couple ways I could go with this, and none of them would be helpful to a rabbit in spring. (If you get what I mean.) The direction I want to take this though, is practical ways to start creating family around you, with you, and for you.
Let’s start with treating people like family.
Friends, associates, neighbors, children’s friends, in-laws, you name it. How we treat people will be a deciding factor in how we create family.
Let me tell you about my friend John.
John knew how to connect to multiple people and make them feel like they were more than just people or friends meeting to hangout. He would have them feeling like they were family meeting together to be a part of a bigger picture, while talking about life and how they could reach their daily goals. He wouldn’t mind discussing the big “family issues” that mattered to anyone around him. John even helped them see that family is able to give some of the biggest sacrifices from love toward one another for them.
You just have to read John’s letters to really see the sense of family he carried with him everywhere he went. His want for family is still written in emails every once and a while, but his heart will always be to connect with people of different cultures, of different minds, of different ethnicity, and of different lands.
See, when we choose to connect, we open up different entry ways to people’s hearts and start building the bridge to family.
The “family bridge” as I’ll call it, can take a long time to build. When we were born into a family, we didn’t have to put effort into creating a family dynamic. But when it comes to creating that atmosphere around us when we’re not connected to our blood family, we’ve got to put in effort to get that same dynamic. Everything that is worth building takes time. The Golden Gate bridges took 4 years to build. That’s 1,460 days, 48 months, and 208 weeks. And yes, I did the math.
At the end of the day, family takes effort. No matter who is trying to create a family environment; it takes time, sweat, pain, energy, and commitment. Some people are great at joining a family connection with you or other people, but some aren’t as great; and that’s ok, those people are just as valuable as the others. You just have to find the people that want to create family and put in the time with you.
So now, let’s go after practical ways to actually create family.
First Step – Pursue relationships with people.
This is probably the most important step honestly. See, we can’t just waltz our way into creating family and say “here I am. Come to me!”. We have to really go after it. Inviting people into your life, having game nights, having breakfast, lunch, or dinner with them, maybe going out for a coffee every once and a while, I don’t know! But always stay in constant pursuit of the people you want to have as family.
Step Two – Be vulnerable.
I have a lot I could say about this point, but I’ll save most of it for another post.
What I will say though, is that vulnerability isn’t about being honest. It’s about being open. When we open up to our actual family, as well as our extended family that we start to create, we bring them into a new dimension of the relationship we have with them. I’m pretty sure that if people would be more open with each other, we wouldn’t have a lot of room to be misunderstood. We see the opposite of this in celebrities lives.
They are some of the most misunderstood people in the world. This is mainly on our part though, as people we look in from the other side of the one way glass window.
One of the ways we can keep from that happening in our lives though is through vulnerability. Being willing to be open when people ask. The whole point of vulnerability is to bring forth connection. Vulnerability means that you have courage – The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” – This is vulnerability at it’s finest. This brings families closer.
Step Three – Do everything with love towards each other.
There can’t be family without love.
One of the best ways to change a sphere of influence is through a loving family and community. One of the many ways they can experience something like this is by how you treat people in your everyday life. Let’s be real, most people haven’t felt legitimately loved before. Either by family or friends. That’s not a good thing, and we need to change that. Imagine, once we start treating everyone with love like family would, the things that can come out of that. We would have healthier communities, better workers, honesty, crime would go down, and there would be peace for everyone to enjoy.
There’s so much that can be solved when we just use love on a daily basis. I firmly believe that there is nothing love can’t fix in our daily lives. And when Family meets Love, there is nothing that can come against the power that they hold when they are together. Bottom line is, as family, you want to thrive with connection and love, not just make ends meet with a Facebook-type connection where you only see small amounts of a life you’re not even connected too. My last point of the Step Three is this – A family will thrive with love inside of it. But without love, it will not stand the test of time.
Ending with this, whoever wants to create a family environment must realize that you hold a lot of power. And as Stan Lee famously says in his Spider-Man comics, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
We hold many responsibilities when we start building family. We make sure that we have an environment that makes people feel safe enough to speak their mind by telling you their heart. We have to make sure that love is always in our “house”, and that we pursue the relationships that we want in our lives; while also encouraging that they pursue us as well.
I encourage you to talk to people about what this would actually look like for you, as well as them, and to start building a family under the roof you’re starting to build.