In this life we have two families: the one we have when we are born in and the one we choose. Blood ties can be very powerful, they can guide your life, your perception of the world, and even your decisions. However, the ties you make with people who are not otherwise not connected to you can have much more value in your life.
Erich Fromm says in «The Art of Loving» that a mother’s love is unconditional, that whatever you do, a mother has a special and unconditional connection with her children, just because they are her children. The father, on the other hand, has a conditional love, which we earn according to our achievements in the course of our life, be they academic, work related or personal. Normally, we know that we have the love and support of our parents. We count on it to feel safe and protected in this world, although we can show it in not so pleasant ways.
The bond with our siblings is another matter. Some of us love each other, some of us have a harder time. It depends a lot on the relationship you have with these people who share our chromosomes. In some cases they are the people closest to our hearts, they are our best friends and we tell them everything; in others, they are the most dangerous of our enemies, since by knowing our vulnerabilities, they can exploit them at will and hurt us in a much deeper way than the rest of the world.
And this is when we begin to look for our second family: those people who, despite not having the official family title, have all the characteristics; It is your support when you are feeling weak, it is your therapist when you need to talk, it is the one who scolds you and reminds you how eternally stupid you can be, it is the one who wants to hit the one who hurts you, etcetera.
Those of us who have been lucky enough to meet such wonderful people consider ourselves lucky. They are our brothers from another mother, as they say in the United States. They are human beings with whom we connect at such a deep level that sometimes words are unnecessary, a look is enough to know what the other person is thinking, good or bad. We may have common enemies or we just hate the person who messes with our siblings, just like in a real family.
These individuals are the ones who make life worthwhile, the ones who manage to dry your tears when despair overwhelms you, the ones who when the people who must protect you leave you out in the open, arrive with a jacket to cover you from the cold, the ones who When you’re hungry, they take you to eat even if it’s at the cheapest food because they don’t have any money either. They look for us when we feel abandoned and tend to contact you in the most critical moment of loneliness. They have patience with you when you’re being the most stubborn person and laugh at you when you finally come to your senses and remind you what an idiot you’ve been.
The power of these characters is incredibly great. They manage to bare your soul and make you feel safe to be vulnerable. They don’t always agree with you and have no reservations about telling you when something doesn’t seem right to them. They are the ones who can hurt you the most in the whole world, however, they do not, on the contrary, they give you power over their lives and they trust that you will not misuse that information either.
In my life, I have been fortunate enough to meet those people’s eyes on several occasions and it never fails to impress me. Some are still by my side, while others, like Ángel, have already left this world. But the deep mark they have left on my heart is indelible. My friends have planted the seeds of hope in my heart and they have blossomed into a great forest full of life and possibilities. That is why they are my second family, because they were not the ones nature gave me, they are the people I chose to enrich my existence.
I remember those heavy and dark moments where my mind let me into a despair that seems almost unbelievable to me today. Apparently the drama was what I used to color my perception of the world and at that time everything seemed lost and hopeless. Nothing made sense. But Sara’s voice was so beautiful and direct that she told me more than once that I didn’t need to be afraid, that I was loved and that I really needed to see my own value is something my heart will not forget. And less because I still have the fortune to hear her voice calling me names and giggling after.
That is a friend to me, that person who tells you things to your face, who fearlessly confronts you with your own mistakes and who drops a bucket of cold water when necessary. They are not always sweet words because sometimes you need a dose of reality. That’s why my chosen family members are always direct, unfaltering and brave people who tell me directly how much they love me and how stupid I am being at that moment.
That’s why I consider myself so lucky, because I always asked for friends like that in my life. Those who hug me without fear of being misunderstood and what if the world judges them as sweet or ridiculous. That’s the family that gives me strength when I feel my batteries running low. He is who I turn to when I feel lost.
And you brothers, sisters, what do you think? Share… if you dare…