Migratory birds fly in formations called echelons. This is done to conserve energy; much like the way cars draft in races. It keeps them in the same direction and assists in communication.
Most families have their own way of flying in formation. We implement systems among us to support one another. While each of my family members has individual goals, we are rooted in a like value system. We offer comfort and assistance to one another. We each have our place in the line, but we understand the need to shift positions at times.
I’m fortunate to be from a family that functions from a place of love. There is no doubt we’ve at times overstepped our boundaries in the name of love. (When you take a family of two parents and six kids and then add their own families to the mix, there is going to be a lot of drama!) We say what we think and not always in the best manner, but we do communicate. Though we’ve had our share of disagreements, none of us would ever throw another under the bus for our own personal gain. It has been a lifelong process of accepting one another as we are not as we’d like them to be, but there has never been a question of loving one another. While that has been difficult at times, it has been freeing. It has allowed us to love without expectation.
My family lost several loved ones this past year. We were most profoundly affected by my brother’s death. If you have ever lost a member of your immediate family, you know it can shake you to your core. It can test the fabric of the entire family unit. We each dealt with it in our own ways, and hopefully have become more devoted to one another because of it.
The past eight months since my brother’s passing have been a time of examination of relationships and opportunities of bonding. We’ve learned relationships can’t be one-sided. We’ve dropped our insecurities and fears to open ourselves to one another. We’ve grown to know we can’t take the past back and must work to live each day in relationship. When we love each other first, there is no room for jealousy. When we each choose our actions based in love, there is no one to blame for any shortcomings.
The special thing about love is that when we feel loved, we feel free to love others. May we each forge our way into the future with love. May none of us be self-serving. May we have peace of mind within our connections. If we are all compassionate to the needs of one another, peace will reside in each of us.
My advice to you is to live this day in love. Tell someone how much they mean to you. Tell them how they make your life special. Show your love in action. Don’t keep love a noun, make it a verb in your life.
Living in the Gap
January 19. 2012 – Letting my light shine
I am sitting in a chair in front of the window and notice a line of light running across the sofa. It softly extends across the room to illuminate a picture of a lighthouse. As I move in the chair to my right the back hits against the curtains widening the path of light, and as I move to the left it lessens and even diminishes. As I get up and move to the sofa, I see my hair shadow across the brightened trail. I stick my head over and completely block the light…the glow disappears. I think about how we block our own light at times. Maybe we lack confidence or perhaps are even unaware of our own capabilities. I am reminded we each have a light inside and owe it to ourselves to let it shine.