I have been thinking about the people I keep in my life, not just who are there by some spin of the DNA or employment wheel, but the people I choose to have in my life…let’s call it my tribe. Some are friends, there are co workers and former co workers, a few farmers and some family. I am proud to say that in my tribe everyone believes whatever they want. I have a catholic tribe member who based on her beliefs, feels I am essentially having an abortion everyday that I take birth control ( which is everyday that ends in a Y) and she still accepts me, even though I do not live my life based on her choices. I also know someone who had her tubes tied at 18 years old, she still accepts me for making the choice to bring a child into this world. How great is that?!? I have friends who believe, to their core, total opposite ideals and yet, we can be friends.
My mom’s group in Spokane who helped me through the rough first few years of parenting. This is a tough, loyal group of woman. Strongly opinionated, and still we are connected through a mutual respect of our children and parenting. I have mama friends who are committed to extended breast feeding and they accepted me even though I was a mom who fed my child with a bottle. Some spank, others don’t. Some co sleep others don’t, cloth diapers, disposable, heck, I even know a few that did the potty training with no diapers. The core and the power of this group is supportive acceptance. The thing is we all understand that we are doing the very best we can for our family, where we are, at that moment.
Members of my group run the gamut bringing a rich quality to my life. I enjoy my left and right wingers, both bring good conversations and interesting perspectives. Believers and non believers who love and accept people where they are in life for who they are. Friends who have lived in the largest cities in the country and others who live in the smallest towns out in the country. Some start their day on facebook with a beautiful picture of a sunrise thanking god for another day, and others with snarky ecards with curse words. And I have to tell you, I find both perfectly acceptable.
I feel respected in our differences, no one is hell bent on making people feel or think differently, cause really who only wants to hang around people who all think and feel exactly the way you do? How can you learn about different ideas, culture, ways of life, or food by only hanging out with a carbon copy of yourself? Dinner parties…they are tough, some members are vegan, and never want to eat anything with a face. I have others who love junk food. Some enjoy a nice glass of wine, others beer in a can, or in my case, shots of Jagermeister. Our biggest problem is what food to serve or drinks at a party, so we make it a BYOB potluck. I will man the bar and bring a powerstrip for the crockpots.
The thing is everyone brings something to the table, this “table” of interaction, the “table” of life…no matter who you are or what you do every interaction with someone in person, on line, in a store on a line, you bring something to it. Do you bring love, kindness and acceptance, calm, patience, peace? Or do you bring the hate,the judgement, lack of acceptance or a plain old bad vibe? My husband, who has been in my tribe since he quoted a Bill Hicks line to me like 14 years ago, is a bit of a negative nelly, but he is really funny. That’s what he brings. (and PS and BTW-his is mostly negative about himself and you know I love self deprecating humor) I am not saying you can’t be negative, or disagree, but if that’s all you are, if that’s all you bring, no one is going to want to sit next to you at the table and you will miss the party.
Thank you, my family, my friends, my tribe, for loving and accepting me for who I am, where I am. And I hope I do the same for you!