Just today morning, I saw a post on Facebook that says, “Life is short. Cut out the negativity, forget gossip, say goodbye to people who hurt you. Spend your days with people who are always there.”
That statement is very simple, if it refers only to friends, acquaintances, colleagues, neighbors, enemies or just anybody. In others words, saying goodbye to non-members of your family is easier, yes it hurts, but easier. Easier to burn friendly bridges turned bridges of sigh although yeah, bridges of sigh can be relevant and attractive.
From the way my Mama raised me and the values I’ve learned from her, goodbye should’t be apart of the family’s dictionary. “So long” yes, but not goodbye. Family is family is family is family.
A description of family not being always about blood, is gaining popularity. The employees of a company is considered belonging to a family. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) for example, become parts of a family not really their own blood. A group living together under one roof, regardless of blood relations become a family. But the definition being so popular does not really erase the fact that you have a real family connected to you by blood.
And this is where the painful story starts.
Some friends can cover your back as selflessly as your real family should. Real friends, true friends, selfless friends, friends like family. These friends cover your back whenever your family fails you. But being honest to ourselves, every time that happens, we cannot help but ask, “where’s my family?” The question is asked not only by ourselves but by all the people around us. “Where’s the family?” And while our gratitude measures up to the highest level because of what these friends do and did, we still long for the “oneness” that a family should have.
It is human nature “to want” to belong to a family. That’s how we are created, right? To be part of a family. So it doesn’t really surprise us when we get really hurt when a member of our family turns his/her back on us over a friend, a story, a rumor, a feeling of jealousy, of insecurity.
It is human nature to want to be accepted, to be loved, to be appreciated. It is human nature to want our family to be proud of us, to be supportive of us, to defend us and to be identified as “one of us.”
“Life is short. Cut out the negativity, forget gossip, say goodbye to people who hurt you. Spend your days with people who are always there.” – How do you say goodbye “to people who hurt you” when these people happen to be family? You forgive once, twice, seventy seven times. And you keep the hurt deep down inside because you were taught to forgive, taught to pray for healing, taught to ask God to carry you and be with you as you experience the pain.
Despite the pain, I have told myself to shrug off. I have told myself, again and again, to continue to pray for the grace to be happy still, for the grace to love despite the rejection, for the grace to be considerate and for the grace to be understanding, to be patient and to be humble.
Just like the black bird in the picture, I can be pulled down by the pain, temporarily pulled down by the unexpected, but with the favorable wind and the vast expanse of the universe where I can possibly go, I will go back up and soar.
I may get wounded and hurt but I can decide to define that path that I will continue to take and that will enable me to continue to soar. In closing, let me share with you this song I learned from my childhood, “With God in my vessel I can smile at the storm.”