Family is important. One shouldn’t downplay it. But the family you were born into certainly isn’t all there is. And as many in our society come to find out — some much earlier than others — “family” does not always equal “love.”
When faced with a tough life decision — like being honest with yourself and others about who you are or which major to pick or dating that guy you love, but you know your parents will hate — it’s tough not to let fears influence your decision, either a little or entirely. And I find that one of the biggest fears people talk about is discovering a lack of love from those you think love you unconditionally. It’s an excuse a lot of people give for not coming out: “My family won’t love me anymore.” Fortunately, I have GREAT news:
Love is out there, waiting for you. It’s just that, sometimes, you have to go find it. And this search can cause you to grow much faster and much more than had you grown up with all the unconditional love in the world.
People take different paths to adulthood. We can’t help it. Whether through our decisions, our parents’ decisions, or fate (substitute “luck” or “God” or whatever you prefer), we each travel a different way to get to sometimes similar places. Finding love is no different. They key is not to give up and to let your experiences — both negative and positive — shape you in some positive way. You won’t be able to do this every time, but you can try.
And the great thing about love is that there’s always more out there. People who limit themselves to just family or the friends they made in high school or their college buddies are silly. People who limit themselves at all are silly. The world — and the people living in it — are made to connect. We’re made to explore. We’re made to learn. We’re made to move. We’re made to be great. We’re made to dream. We’re made to turn dreams into reality and dream bigger. We’re made to be whatever it is that we want to be.
The next time you think someone else is limiting you or stifling your creativity or not letting you live the way you want to live, realize that you have to be letting them do these things to you. They may be applying the pressure to conform to their standards, but you’re the one actually doing it. We limit ourselves. We limit our love.
None of us are perfect. We have to agree to live in imperfection; to try to be better and to let love in. Imperfect, yet unconditional love. Imperfection can provide plenty of happiness. You just have to see it.