The Family Unit

As a young child, you really do hold a lot of expectations. You believe in love. You believe in the family unit. You believe in growth. You believe in friendship. And you see a lot of potential in your own future; nothing can dare dim your shine.

But the more you grow, the more the reality of life and people begins to sink in. And, I think, the most disappointing of them all is the realization that your idea of the family unit and the reality of things are two parallel situations, and there is nothing you can do about it.

You quickly realise that, while there could be people in the “outside world” that do not have your best interests at heart, there are people in your inner circle with the evil eye: “jicho la hasidi” as the Swahili would say. There are people, relatives, who simply do not want you to win! They do not want to see you succeed. They would love it if you failed in life; and sometimes would work over time to ensure that this is the case.

And a lot of people go through this. In silence.

A lot of people are constantly wondering how and why their own people would be the antagonists in their story.

A lot of people feel like they are in the wrong. For no reason.

A lot of people have to constantly question themselves because they have heard so much negavity around them from people they “trusted” that they begin to believe it.

And you wonder why children develop self esteem issues. You will wonder why they have anxiety and depression.

They say that charity begins at home. And when we say home, we are not limiting this to the nuclear family. Your relatives play a vital role in your life as well, and if you are not careful, they can make or break you.

A lot of us choose to distance ourselves from such relatives because we understand the levels of toxicity that can come from being pitched against your cousins and siblings; from being pulled into unhealthy competitions that you did not sign up for.

I have noticed, time and again, the similarities amongst families when it comes to relations, love and support; and it is taunting to realise that it’s always the same script with a different cast.

Families are meant to be a safe haven; let’s make them so.

There are people out there really having a hard time coming to terms with certain realizations, and I want to assure them that their relatives’ opinions are not a true reflection of their own character. You are an individual person. You have your own thoughts and personality. Run with that. And learn to take everything with a pinch of salt.

Understand that there are situations that are beyond your control and whose existence should not affect yours.

Be who you are meant to be.

Ignore the nay-sayers.

Run your own race.

Clap for yourself, especially when no one else is.

And always remember that God has your back. Forget all the disappointments, the set backs, the challenges. At the end of the day, it’s about you and God and the team that you are. And that’s always the winning team.

Do have a great new week!

Make it count.

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