We had a wonderful weekend of gratitude and thanks here in Canada as we celebrated thanksgiving with our loved ones.

For me, thanksgiving weekend has always been a transformational weekend. It is a weekend where I deepen the relationship with myself and with others. This weekend was no different.

As we celebrated two engagements this weekend of a family friend and my cousin, I am in deep gratitude as I saw the love that was present and that I am personally surrounded with.

Growing up we were taught that love comes from blood family and friends will come and go. This was a philosophy that my brother didn’t follow well as he had created deep connections with many people and invited him to be his family. I was more reserved with my connections and kept them to only those close to me in terms of relationships. I had great friendships but now I realize how much I held back from fully connecting with them. There was always a wall that I wouldn’t let them in past.

With these belief systems around friends that I grew up, it impacted my friendships as subconsciously I felt that they would never stay. I realized I viewed relationships as a way that I can give but decided that they couldn’t give to me what I needed, therefore I never learnt to ask for what I wanted or needed. I felt like I was burdening them or asking for too much if I needed them in any way.

Time and time again, I have been shown this isn’t true but I had these unconscious beliefs that were running the show so I kept proving to myself that my needs aren’t meant to be met. This belief system leads to a life where I am disappointed, don’t feel filled up and feel lonely.

As I observed this weekend while still being fully present to the fun experiences we were having, I realized I have some areas that feel very strong about when it comes to family.

1. Family is those people we have a heart connection with. We have two types of family – tribal family and soul family (there are many resources where you can look up what these two terms mean). Tribal family is the family that we are born into and show us our deepest strengths and weaknesses. They will allow us to feel at home in a comfortable way and anger us beyond words. They are the family we chose to be born into for our growth. Soul family is the family that we truly connect with. We feel at home with in a deep level where we feel fully accepted and unconditional love regardless of what is going on. I used to always wonder why my mom and my brother loved me so much but could push my buttons the most as well. When I realized they showed me the darkest sides of my personality, I was able to have more compassion and overcome their button pushing which sometimes they do for fun;)

2. Siblings are a connection that we must treasure. Growing up I always wanted a sister. It was great having a brother but we couldn’t do the girly things together and I think he felt the same about me not doing the boys things with him. Now having only memories and treasured moments, I watch other siblings interact and notice how fortunate they are to have each other. Sometimes I wish they would see that. I have seen families have misunderstandings and hold onto grudges or minimize interactions with each other and I think to myself I wish I could hit them with a wand to wake up to see what they are missing out on. I am not sure if it happened in every Indian family but there were times where someone in the family wasn’t talking to someone else. That is the one thing that has always irked me. Why don’t people see life is too short for these type of missed opportunities? Yes, we won’t get along with everyone in our life and we won’t see eye to eye but isn’t there a way where we can just see the positive in each other. Change the way you spend time together or the conversations you have but at least treasure each other as much as you can even if that means it is only once in a while. Siblings are the first friends we have. They understand us at a level that no one else ever can. I would do anything for a sibling and wish others would do the same.

3. We have a lot of love around us. We are surrounded by love and how much we feel it depends on how much we open up ourselves to receive that love.

Self-love comes from accepting others as they are, being love and being grateful for those who we are surrounded with.

This weekend of gratitude is another way of showing ourselves how much self love we already have within us and how much more we can grow into it.

Join me on November 15th as we delve in deeper to self love and how that is reflected within our lives. Register here for the Into Essence: Self Love Day.