Writing about loneliness led me to consider family — what it means, what it looks like, what it gives to each member. Interestingly, members of close families who continued to gather despite Covid seem to be experiencing less of the devastating effects of loneliness. They simply never self-isolated and never encountered the emptiness that those of us who did self-isolate experienced. That could mean that family is an incredible antidote to the feeling that I don’t matter, therefore I am alone.
So, how do those of us who do not have large families living near us overcome the toxic effects of feeling alone? I think redefining family would be an excellent first step. Rather than saying family are those with whom we share DNA, let’s try saying that family are those individuals that, because of love and shared experience, we have “adopted” into our family of the heart and soul. As I type this, I can feel lightness beginning to fill my being, and I am aware that I now have a smile on my face.
Amazing! A simple change to the definition of family has set me free to be me…to have the family I choose and to continue to “adopt” family members during each and every step of my journey in this world. Love has always saved me; and it has saved me again. God continues to lift me up to be more than I can be…and I am thankful.