“Everyone knows that feeling isolated is neither useful nor pleasant. Each one of us has to struggle against it. But as it arises from a great number of causes and conditions, it is important to tackle it in the early stages. The family, that fundamental unit of society, should become a place where one feels happy and where one can develop in an atmosphere of love and affection.”

Day 227 from “365 Dalai Lama, Daily Advice from the Heart”

I make no secret of my affinity for Eastern beliefs. Buddhism is about stripping away everything that is unnecessary and discovering the infinite power of just being while being of service to others. What I love most about this quote from His Holiness about the family is that it doesn’t presume who comprises our family.

If your family is not a place where you feel happy and where one can develop in an atmosphere of love and affection, there are two possible reasons: it’s either your family or you that is responsible for the lack of balance, or maybe (likely) it’s some of both. Either way, direct and purposeful action is needed to make a course correction. For people like me who grew up in abusive and toxic environments, we sometimes have to make the difficult choice to walk away from biological family in the interest of our own health and wellness.

The beauty in this action is that we are freed to seek out the family that does make us happy, allowing us to develop in an atmosphere of love and affection. It means prioritizing yourself and putting your needs and your happiness first, but don’t let people convince you that this is selfish. It is never selfish to make your own well being your priority. If you don’t, who will?

Never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.


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About Sentimental Dom

Michael Nolan is The Sentimental Dom. He wants you to keep your chin up, treat everyone with dignity, compassion, and respect, and drink more water.

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