Family?

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones that would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

Source: Shutterfly

What Is Family?

Merriam Webster Dictionary –

1b also; any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family

What Does Family Mean to You

One Answer Given From: Be Strong Families:

“I feel family goes beyond bloodlines, last names or obligations. To me, the word ‘family’ includes all the people in our lives who commit to love and support us unconditionally. It is not a passive birthright but a choice, a discipline of kindness that helps us thrive both as individuals and as a society.” – Fernando Barcelona, President / Creative Director, Barcelona and Friends


I am writing this post on Boxing Day 2020.

Some Background: I first came to the western province of Canada around 1981 because the Pastor I was working for was asked to Shepherd a congregation in Regina, SK. I stayed for a couple of years, becoming married in April 1983. Later on in the late part of 1985 we moved back to my home area to help my home church. Things started to fall apart with my wife taking the baby and herself back to the west. It wasn’t long that the divorce became final. I found myself once again moving back to the west hoping I could bring the family back together. My efforts were not successful.

In the late eighties I moved out of the capital city of Regina and moved to the city where I now have been living here going on twenty-five plus years. After moving here I became acquainted with the person I now call my best friend. One day I had a knock on the door of the apartment I was living in. The apartment was the only thing I could afford because of the limit on my support. My friend asked if I would be interested in buying a trailer on a rent to own basis. I went with him to meet the guy who owned the trailer to take a walk through. I like it the place even though it needed some critical upgrades.

Our friendship grew and we began to share some things that we both liked. We had our differences, but, no relationship is completely void of differences. Some time later I was introduced to his mother. We hit it off almost from the beginning. Then one Christmas I had her and my best friend over for a New Year’s Eve dinner. I bought some simple Christmas presents for her. This friendship also grew to where she would tell people, even her own family, that I was her son from another mother. Up to the last time we saw each other I called her mom.

By the way, my best friend is seventy-six years old. The friendship grew and I thought of him as an older brother, one thing I never had.

Christmas Day 2020 we shared a simple Christmas meal together. It was very peaceful. As we were eating I began to think about this friendship. It really feels like family.

I have lots of family in the east, but only one who I keep in touch with. My family here in the west consists of my daughter and three grandchildren. The is the extent of blood relatives.

Today families have a different face than what would be considered family back in the fifties unto the early part of the twenty-first century. There is what is called a “blended” family. Such as the Mayor of New York Bill DeBlasio.

I may find myself in trouble with this next few statements. I find I believe that a family is more than the red liquid that runs through our veins. We have heterosexual, gay, blended, and mixed. All those are families which love, support, comfort, share, and nurture each other.

This Christmas forced everyone to change how people celebrated these holidays. Restrictions that were put in place to try and stop the surge of covid-19 was different from the east all the way to the west.

So dear reader I spent Christmas with a family member, a member whose blood line was far removed from me. I hope you will see that the meaning of family is how you define it!

A Re-Blog: Does Sexuality Matter? — My Mindfulness Living

This is one of the questions that we ask from ourself and yet hesitate to share our opinion with others. The bitter side is asking this question not because of the curiosity about the answer, but because of the discomfort judgements of the society. Actually, does sexuality matter? Here I’m not going to give you […]

Does Sexuality Matter? — My Mindfulness Living

Pride, Prejudice, Psychology!

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“Understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea. Understand that your morality is not law. Understand that we are you. Understand that if we decide to have sex whether safe, safer, or unsafe, it is our decision and you have no rights in our lovemaking.”
― Derek Jarman

Pierre Elliot Trudeau: {1967} ‘There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation’

prej·u·dice
/ˈprejədəs/
noun
      1. 1.
        preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
        “English prejudice against foreigners”

 

I have been giving this post a lot of thought over the past several days.  I wanted the best quotes I could find about the subject. The first one is new to me, but, the second one is from the Senior Prime Minister Trudeau, which I learned about in high school.

I feel safe in saying that many of us have preconceived ideas about one thing or another.  Where did we learn these things, from our parents, peers, school, reading, or television.

Imagine if our preconceived idea of seeing a man and woman holding hands was repulsive.  Maybe denied insurance coverage for being a heterosexual being, or portrayed on tv shows as some type of freak.  Now, how would you feel? Some would hide the fact of their sexuality, pretend to be gay, or just outright be proud of being heterosexual.

Now how would your mental health be doing?  Over time not so good, thoughts of depression, inferiority feelings, to the point to where there is contemplation of suicide.

I believe I have described the life of a LGBTQ person over the past forty years. Here are some facts from Homewood Health

LGBTQ+ Mental Health Facts1:

  • Members of LGBTQ+ communities face higher rates of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and phobic disorders, suicidality, self-harm and substance use
  • Members of LGBTQ are twice as likely to experience childhood maltreatment, interpersonal; violence, and personal loss
  • The risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the LGBTQ+ community is double that of those that identify as heterosexual
  • Sexual minority individuals are two and a half times more likely to attempt suicide and are one and a half times more likely to have depression and anxiety than heterosexual peers
  • LGBTQ+ youth face approximately 14 times the risk of suicide and substance abuse as heterosexual peers
  • Some research suggests that abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other substances may be two to four times higher among those that identify as LGBTQ

So dear reader, when you are thinking some preconceived idea about a person, persons, gender, think about this post!