Something I don’t really talk about is that I don’t talk to a lot of my family. I stopped speaking to my father and my father’s side of the family when I was asked to ignore my pain and my trauma to make them comfortable. I would have been 19/20 years old when I made this decision. I stopped speaking to my mother’s side of the family when I felt like the responsibility of being from a Christian family was taking up too much space for me to find my own way. I was 16 years old when I made this choice, and 19 years old when I started adjusting my boundaries for certain family members.
Now, this is a very concise and generalized description of several life-changing years of my life. Really what I’m getting at is that we all choose different ways to discover ourselves, our own sense of agency. I’ve noticed that my tendency is to flee. To remove myself from any and all things that hinder my growth, that ask me to be small, that require me to be a fragment of my soul’s reflection.
Since the passing of Taime, family has been a reoccurring theme for me. At the Celebration of Life, I was reunited and reconnected with family members, who I haven’t seen in over 7 years. I wondered what I would do if we reconnected. But honestly, I never really thought it would happen. I couldn’t have imagined that the reason for all of us to be together, under one roof would be to celebrate Taime’s 22 years of life.
We exchange numbers and got reacquainted. However, what I wasn’t expecting were the follow-up messages that came in the weeks to follow. Accountability and follow-through haven’t really been a strong suit for my family tree. So, when I was invited for a girl’s night with my aunts and cousins. I decided to take a leap of faith and go.
I enjoyed myself until – I didn’t. To be honest, it was no fault of their own. My family is loud and robust. It’s a lot of energy for me to filter in a small space and with so many of us. I’ve always felt being in large group settings overwhelming, but it’s definitely harder when it’s my family. Now, thanks to my knowledge through my spiritual journey, I understand why. There is an added sense of responsibility because of social identities I couldn’t care for. It’s all the expectations and the need to belong, while knowing in my Soul that I never truly will.
I have more agency than I ever have. In the past, when I was emotionally overwhelmed or taking on all of the various energies of my family, I would have to stay. To do what I was told because I was a child. This time around, I had the agency to leave, and I left. I ordered myself an Uber and thanked them for a nice time. Then, I informed them that I was heading home. The important part of that sentence is informed. I told them what I was doing, instead of having to ask for permission.
In the past, I would have thrown on a smile because people-pleasing would be easier than explaining the discomfort. This time around, I openly went outside to smoke a joint because I needed to decompress and cry about the loss of my sister in peace. This time around, I left when it was all becoming too much because I remembered I had the power to do so. Feeling powerful in a situation that would have rendered me powerless before was different. It reminded me how much things really DO and HAVE changed.
As I enter this new phase of life, as I mentally prepare to leave Ontario in September, the province that has been my home for over 27 years. I’m starting to see how my guides are bringing me back to similar moments and feelings I’ve experienced in the past. Only to show me how different things really are, how much I have and will always be fully me.

My family is who they always were. Now, I am who I was always meant to be.

It means we have a choice, we either accept each other for who we are, we tolerate each other with feelings of resentment and anger, or we simply let go of the relationship we thought we needed to have. Our life experiences have shown us that 7 years apart didn’t waver our unconditional love for each other. However, now, I have unconditional love for myself. So I can accept their love openly knowing it no longer defines me. Knowing I no longer NEED it to feel seen, validated or loved. The real change is me.

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