Family, families, and the family of friends you choose

Family. What does that word mean to you?
The free dictionary states; 1- ‘a fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children’, or ‘two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place’ and 3 -‘a group of persons sharing common ancestry’. Could it also mean community, neighbours, brethren?

So it would seem whatever that word means to you, family can touch our lives in one or more ways (as the dictionary would have it) So it got us thinking – where are we in relation to our family right now? This blog came out of a very interesting time for LBC…
Some of us were at the NLP Conference – a part of a bigger chosen family, sharing the ‘unconditional positive regard’ so common between those who have been touched by the principles of NLP – and felt as ‘mutual respect’ by those who haven’t, and at the same time another of our ‘learning family’ was soaking up the last of the sun in Spain with definition number 1, while the whole of us felt connected we were quite far apart and certainly not where we are usually.

Fans of William Gibson, the science fiction writer, will be familiar with his belief that when we travel far and through time by plane, we can be separated very slightly from a piece of ourselves – a kind of ‘spiritual jet lag’. We can play with this a little and if we accept this to be fact (as NLP often encourages us to do – in order for the learnings to come later from wherever) it is possible that we may feel this when others are far away from our ‘fixed point’. Could this be the notion of missing someone and of feeling cut off? Is this what we feel when family emigrates, when our friends (our chosen family) get new jobs and move to a new town? Perhaps when someone is suddenly taken ill?

This year’s NLP conference had the theme of “energy” running through it, and one of the things we took from this was the rather beautiful idea that when we are somewhere you aren’t always – on holiday, on a work trip – that we should send a thought to those we care about most, that come into our thoughts, to say that we have arrived and are safe and are well. This connection (explained by any of the 3 definitions above) will restore the balance needed to stay as connected as we wish. We have all had a play and one of our number had a call out of the blue from their sister.

So allow us to add our own definition (NLP is generative after all) and say “family is what or who we feel connected to, at heart level, and whether consciously or not, are nurtured and enriched by it’s existence”. Enjoy thinking about family whatever you conceive it to be. 

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