Connecting with our tribe

IMG_7633As our parents grow older, we take on the opportunity to bring our tribe together. This past weekend was the first biennial Lopez/Torres family reunion (my partner’s extended kin) generously organized by the second generation, my brother- and sister-in-law.

Thing is, when it comes to whom we are related by blood (or marriage), we may not always have a natural affinity towards certain people given the vast range of personalities that exist. But we do our best to be polite, yet authentic, while connecting with the folks who truly touch our hearts and support us to be the best individuals we can be.

Family members have pointed out, just because we’re family doesn’t mean we have to be friends. Indeed. But we are respectful of each other. And sometimes we have to make sure not to place ourselves in uncomfortable situations, so we give way to niceties to keep the peace or avoid the discomfort altogether.

It takes courage to assess and nurture any relationship, family included. That courage means understanding our boundaries, recognizing what we can handle emotionally, and taking actions that best feed our souls. No apologies necessary when it comes to being conscious of our personal limitations as well as those who truly support us.

Amidst a gaggle of almost 50 extended family members, the most meaningful moments were my one-on-one conversations, where we actually checked in on each other. That authentic level of connection is not easy to come by. But when we know it’s there, it inspires us to appreciate and value each other, as well as extend compassion towards each other.

How do you mindfully relate and (re)connect with your tribe?


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