Treating Family like Friends.
If you know me, if we have ever met, you know that I love my family above everything. I am a fierce champion of my mom, my brothers, sister and dearest friends.
I have learned that at a certain point in one’s adult life, one gets to choose whether or not family will be close, in the way we are with select friends. One cannot choose whether or not to share certain sequences of DNA, but one can choose whether or not to spend deep and connected time together. I feel that those I consider “family,” chosen and blood related, support the pieces of me that need to be lifted. I count on the love they provide as fulfilling a basic need of my existence.
When one feels that way about someone or something, there is a charge and an impetus to support them right back when they need a lift. Therefore, when a member of the family is acting outside of their norm, needs help, love or encouragement, there is a huge spur to act.
Recently, I saw a member of my family, my brother, not acting in accordance to who I knew him to be.
I called my sister.
She was seeing the same symptoms. It needed to be addressed.
We called him, asked him to come visit us.
He walked in and was visibly nervous. He had no idea what we were going to call him on, challenge him with, or hold him accountable for in the impending conversation.
With serious faces, we began from the seat of sensitivity and loving sisterly devotion,
Ryan, we have noticed some “stuff” about you recently. You are acting in a certain way. You are doing certain things that have truly prompted us to bring you here and sit you down and talk to you face to face. Please, know that this comes from the deepest place and out of sincere love and concern.”
“We think, no, no, we feel, that you are being…awesome!”
“Ryan, you are being just plain awesome. Frankly, your renewed vigor, focus, and level of inspiration in yourself and your art is making the rest of us look a little ‘mediocre’. So, we wanted to know that we have had to step it up in our own lives. Your sheer ‘awesomeness’ is shifting the scale of our family and we need to acknowledge it.”
His eyes became huge, tears welled up, and a laugh grew up from his belly that I can only describe as, instantly, one of my favorite memories. He hugged us both and we spent the next hour talking and laughing about his excitement, his art, his future, his gifts, and his brilliance. We sat there enjoying his motivation.
He sat there enjoying our support.
It is may be needed to sit down someone beloved when they need a kick in the pants, but when is the last time you just sat down someone you love deeply to simply tell him or her how awesome, amazing, inspiring, incredible, powerful, wise, remarkable, creative, and bright he or she is?
It is the best intervention ever.