Sometimes, we get so caught up in our lives that we
forget to show love to those that have always been there
I have to admit, I can be hard to love.
I’m passive aggressive, snarky in the mornings and I avoid confrontations. Basically, I suck at being around my family.
Family are the friends you didn’t choose. They share your blood and love you with primal fierceness.
But somehow, I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one who ends up treating them less than they ought to be treated.
When I was a surly teen, not too long ago actually, I remember my mom continually chiding me for treating my friends better than my immediate family.
She would complain, as I internally rolled my eyes, about the times I’ve avoided family to go out with them or have stilted their feelings in selfish ignorance.
Obviously I didn’t believe her, but nowadays those words echo a truth I didn’t see before.
We love our families, care about them and appreciate them beyond words — right?
I know more than once that I have screened a call, e-mail or simply forgot to let them know I’m alive and not in a ditch somewhere.
However there is never a platonic text, snap or email I don’t respond to instantly.
If love is, as my mom often quotes, about how you act, not about what you say, my actions speak something very problematic.
I don’t act like I truly appreciate my family — at least not in the meaningful, purposeful and intentional ways.
It’s hurtful to admit, but if I can examine my habits of loving they do not match up to the ideal of love I have often thought I express.
What is it about the people closest to us that we think they deserve less than all of our respect, attention and ultimately our love?
Perhaps after years of being coddled, sheltered and suffocated with love, we have taken for granted the sacrifices our family, especially our parents, have made for us.
Perhaps love has become so banal that we have forgotten it is intrinsically special for the sole reason that this parental affection is unconditional.
Some of us know that regardless of what we do, our parents will never cease to love us.
And it is the knowledge of this fact that invokes a sense that we can neglect acts of love toward them, knowing their love will flow regardless.
This is the wrong way to love. We must never let love, especially the love for our own blood and those who raised us, to run cold.
Familial love is the most underrated yet absolutely essential affection.
The right way to love is not just to know it and feel it, but also to act with intentional affections and purposeful action that express the fierce love we have for our kin. This is the only way to show them how appreciative we truly are.
Interestingly, my parents never knew that I’ve had the same New Year’s resolution for a while, to be a better daughter.
Needless to say, as I write this I feel as though I have failed this resolution more profoundly than any I could have made.
I pen this knowing in the process I have received a sort of atonement for my habitual neglect of the love of my family.
Yet, these words alone will not suffice.
This won’t stop me from striving to live up to their love for me with a fierce expression of my own. I will love with intention, with purpose, with how I act and not just what I say.