Is your family perfect?
Mine is, but not in an annoying way, not in a “we’re better than you” kind of way.
We are people who love ourselves and each other, and that’s enough.
We let each other be who we are, and that’s a gift some families don’t enjoy.
I spent many, many years wishing my family was different.
I wish the father figure would do this or that. Same with the mother unit.
I lived in perennial disappointment that my family wasn’t “normal.”
By association, I didn’t feel normal, either.
I used to joke that we put the “fun” in dysfunctional.
Then I let go of that story.
It wasn’t serving me, to use coach-y language.
Instead I decided to forgive the bygones.
The person I needed to forgive the most was me.
So, I did.
And when I got over the habit of ruminating on my grievances, I discovered something.
I was fine.
They were fine, too.
I could see how each individual simply made choices back there in “The Past.”
I didn’t even need to justify any of our actions with the phrase “we did the best we could.”
Because sometimes we didn’t.
And that’s okay, too.
It’s gone, the past, except the fragmented and unreliable memories I exhume when I lose my north star.
Sometimes I have the thought that today’s drama prompts exploration into who did what to whom and when.
As if digging up old stories from the past would help today. (Psst. It won’t.)
You know what else?
Letting go of the past means that I can let go of the future, too.
I stopped making choices wondering how someone else would unpack the memory in future years.
I stopped deciding today to say “yes” or “no” to an action or behavior because “I might regret it someday.”
But regret is optional, not guaranteed.
And not real, anyway.
What is regret but a thought or a feeling? It’s not a real thing.
The minutes with my family are limited.
Because the clock is counting down for each of us.
When I don’t wish for people to be different…
Well…we all seem perfect.
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