Positive…Negative…or Nothing

That is what I have realized that people bring to my life lately, they bring positive, negative or nothing.

I was commisserating with family and friends about the strained relationships I now have with people that used to be important to my life. Eventually I came to accept the fact that there comes a time when you just have to let people go no matter who they are, despite the fact that they may be family or once-close friends.

I read an article about strained family relationships on a blog the other day and a portion of it said, “…I haven’t had a particularly close-knit relationship with any of them for many years. There was no major falling out or anything like that — it’s just that my personal values and lifestyle have moved so far from theirs that there isn’t enough basic compatibility to form a strong common bond anymore. My parents and siblings are all of the employee mindset with a very low tolerance for risk, but as an entrepreneur, risk is my favorite breakfast. My wife and kids and I are all vegan, while my parents and siblings celebrate the holidays with the traditional consumption of animals. I don’t recall anyone in my family ever saying, “I love you,” while I grew up, but with my own kids I’m very affectionate and strive to tell them I love them every day. My parents and siblings are all practicing Catholics, but I left that behind 17 years ago in order to explore other belief systems. (Technically within their belief system, I’m doomed to hell, so that sorta puts a damper on things.) Even though this is the family I grew up with and shared many memories, our core values are so different now that it just doesn’t feel like a meaningful family relationship anymore…”

I found myself nodding my head in agreement. I truly feel like I have nothing in common with my family anymore, I have grown and developed in to someone that shares nothing (not religious views, not political views, not morals or ethics or values, not hobbies or interests, not anything) in common with the people in my family. It does not matter that I have known them since the day I was born or that they were critical to my upbringing, what matters is that now, as an adult, I do not enjoy being around them and have nothing in common with them. Why would I (or anyone) continually spend time with and attempt to force relationships with people with whom I share nothing at all in common? It’s ridiculous.

I find myself spending time with family members because I am supposed to but dreading every moment  because “for the sake of peace and harmony” I hold my tongue and don’t say what I truly think or feel. I find myself lying simply to avoid conflict and I feel myself shrinking away from the person that I am in order to try not to offend anyone else and I’m simply finished with living that way. I have simply decided that I will continue to foster relationships with those people (family members and/or friends) whose company I enjoy and who share values with me and those that bring negative feelings, or no feelings at all, are more than welcome to leave my life and they won’t be missed.


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