A family affair!

I just listened to a voice message from my eldest brother Michael and was immediately transported back to a week ago being with them all in London. When you live away from  those you love, distance can seem so surreal. You know that they are out there somewhere but until social media and Skype, you couldn’t really see them. You knew they were living their lives daily as you were, doing the mundane things,  going through lifes challenges and tests, receiving maybe weekly or monthly highlights of the bits they remember to share or  think you should know. Then suddenly for a short period of time, in my case 3 weeks, you are magically transported into the same time and space as them and you get to witness their lives first-hand for that brief period, then you’re gone again. they don’t experience your world, just the bits you can pack into a suitcase or live in your psyche.

 with my eldest brother Michael

with my baby brother Magnus, all 6ft 7 inches of him

One of the things I love about going back to visit my family, is the perspective it gives me. They say its easier to see another’s growth than your own and this is amplified in a visit like this. Years only add to its intensity.

The last time I was in England was 3 years ago and in that trip I could really see that I had grown. Not sure how you would describe it but I would say I had become less defensive, I still had a lot to prove, but less so. The left behind child who had to prove that she was worthy and that they made a huge mistake leaving her all those years ago, had began the process of letting her guard down.

with my baby sister Destiny                    

Destiny and my niece Genevieve, there is 9 years between us and the 3 of us were inseparable growing up.

While discussing a friends issues and how well some of the processes and methods I had been using had worked for me, my sister said, ” look at you, look how much it has changed your life”. For a nano second I felt offended my her comment, thinking I wasn’t that bad until I realised that her perspective of me and my life back then was probably a lot more accurate than mine, I relaxed.

 

I had planned this trip to London over a year ago and due to my business, I had cancelled it 3 times so this visit was long over due. I set 3 intentions for my trip as  I did not want to waste a single moment while I was there.

Firstly, I was going to be present. I would not spend my time there comparing my London life to that of my |Sydney life. I would be with each member of my family fully and be as authentic as I knew how to be.

Secondly, I would be of service to each one of them, going with an attitude of what  I could bring to the situation rather than what I could get from it.

Lastly that I would be fully self sufficient without denying their love or generosity. They did not owe me anything and it was not their responsibility to meet my needs or fill me up in anyway. At the same time I would be open and as vulnerable as possible.

my siblings, I look like the midget of the group! 

taken in Twickenham at the home my niece shares with her fiancé. 

So was my trip a success? How do you measure the success of such elusive and ephemeral objectives?

I believe I left London with more Love in my heart for my family than I arrived, I hope I added more to them than I took and that for the 3 weeks, they had as much of me as I could give them.

I left feeling the deep love you can only experience from family, from belonging and knowing that I matter and that somewhere out there on this beautiful planet, there was a tribe of people, that not only looked like me but always had me close to their heart no matter where I was or what I was going through!

 My mum and brother in law.. his wife and my sister passed away over 15 years ago but he is still a very close member of our clan         

I love and miss my mother so much. Our relationship continues to grow each visit

   Truly a family affair !