Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Finding My Tribe...

Having spent last weekend surrounded and embraced by extended family, I am reminded of what a gift it is to have a reliable network of motley yet loving crew in one's life - to feel that you have this tribe who are truly invested in your well being and who choose to care about you and yours no matter your differences and challenges.

I grew up in a tiny nuclear tribe. We had other extended family around when I was younger, but those relationships were often strained and uncomfortable, and I never really felt like I belonged with or to them. That made me hunger for a bigger tribe for much of my young life, which led me to a few misguided and long lived attachments that ended up teaching me some harsh but extremely valuable lessons.

What I think I've learned is that time is the true test of tribe.

Well, time that includes triumph and tragedy.

Solely fair weather friends and solely rainy day friends are two sides of the same coin. They both need you to be in a certain way in order to feel that they gain something from your relationship. One rides on your coattails, the other on your downtrodden back.

It's the people who can see you through your most obnoxious highs, your most desperate lows, and all of the more tolerable bits in between - the people who will see the greatness and the awfulness in you and understand, accept, and embrace that truth over and over again, the people who have the capacity and desire to truly LOVE you, and the people for whom you would do the same - who prove to be your tribe.

My tribe is still tiny. But as I grow and learn, I think I am adding to it much more wisely. I am so grateful for the people in my life today, by kinship and friendship, who make me feel like I can celebrate and mourn with them, or just pass the time quietly with them like we all belong under the same roof, or lean on them when I am tired and overwhelmed.

I love you with all my being. You are precious to me beyond words.

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