It was a lovely fall day for a hike with my partner and my teen son. We walked down the trail crunching the crisp leaves and talking about life — stories of love, fear, humor, risk… and even soil creep!
Then my partner pointed ahead down the trail to show us that two horses and their riders were headed our direction. We weren’t sure about the etiquette for sharing a trail with horses so we just stepped to the side and waited while they approached. Then we talked with the riders and I moved in for a horse cuddle. Lucky me!
Later, we crossed paths with two people and their two dogs. Another opportunity to talk, pet, and connect.
Just a little further down the trail, I was thinking about how I could remember details about the animals we’d just met, but could not tell you what the humans looked like. Then I wondered what other people thought when they saw us — a woman with hippy-leaning style, a man with a salt of the earth look, and a young man in a tweed suit jacket and dress shoes. Do we look like a family? What does a family look like?
When I mused out loud to my beloved men about this question, my son said something that made my heart leap. Paraphrasing him, he said, I imagine this is like an anime story where we were intentionally assembled for a purpose. Each of us very different, but masters in our own rights in our own ways, and in ways that complement each other. We have been assembled as a team to save the world.
Wow — I totally dig that vision of our family!
Suddenly I felt like our differences were intentional, necessary, and powerful. (Yes, just like I teach people every day – each of us are needed in our own way in our own perfect imperfection to shift the world for the better.) Our different beliefs, goals, and paths create a beautiful weaving…a family portrait with a purpose.
When my partner and I first got together, multiple intuitive friends did different readings for me… all saying that Love at its highest expression was possible, Unity at divine levels. When he moved in, I was nervous about that big step, so I asked for more guidance from someone who barely knew me but was offering Angel Card readings… and he said the angels were celebrating the change in our relationship. When I looked at a book with my birthday and his, it said that there would be a Surprising Result from our union… that we would both be better together than we were before… and in a surprising way (fun!). To me it sounded like, together we will create something new and different and better than what was here before us. Throughout our three years together, we’ve had significant ups and downs, each time coming out on the other side as better humans, better partners, a stronger family. But even with all that, I still felt like I had chosen him and he had chosen me and together we’d do our best to be loving role models for my son. I did not feel divinely (or anime-ly) assembled to all three be a team.
So when my son gave us that perspective, I was elated. My head burst with the possibilities… I was happy and laughing. Then he continued with the anime perspective… we all had dramatic secret backstories! Who were we, really, to be drawn together? And yes, we’d save the world, but at least one of us would die a tragic death in the process. Buzz killer. Geez.
I debated him saying we are part of the world, and if we are saving the world, we are also saving ourselves. See what I did there? Alas, he would not relent from his story line so I dropped it.
I can choose not to follow his version of the story to the end. That’s the cool thing about beliefs… I can pick and choose which ones I like and keep those. So I’m keeping our wild individuality… all of our strengths… founded in love, connection, and adventure… and I’ll choose to accept the idea that we were assembled in this small group for a purpose greater than we can see now. That a master writer and story teller is weaving us into an epic reality.
That’s the family portrait I choose.
What are you choosing to believe about your family (whatever you define as your family)? About your partner (or about not having a partner)? About your child/ren (human, furbaby, etc.)? About yourself? Is it hopeful and uplifting? If not, what can you do to shift it?
I wish you joy on your adventure of creating and experiencing the family portrait you most want.
And I thank all those friends and family that support us and keep me focused and trusting that we can have a beautiful adventure with a surprising result!