Is it familiar or comfortable?

As the holiday season is upon us, many of us are going back home or already live there. From Christmas to New Year, a reflective time, we’re around family. A time where we look back at memories we created around us and what we’d like to change, hence new year resolutions right? Can we really change things we’d like to change? If change is the only constant, what comforts us during that change? 


We’re often posed with questions that can be difficult for many to ask or answer. Family is where we’re born, brought up and where we learn what we know of the world. There’s no limit to where we carry things we learn at home. For many this experience isn’t entirely pleasant for numerous reasons, but many stem from lack of communication or misunderstanding. When we look at all the daunting changes that lie ahead of us, it is natural to want a place to call home. Home is a place of comfort and love. It’s hard to talk about it because of the sheer anxiety it can bring, which can make it a conversation many don’t want to have. 


Comfort is something tailor-made to what is familiar to us.  What is comfortable is very subjective, and there is no specific definition for it. But, the subjectivity of human experience often than not starts with who we consider family. It’s difficult to think about because no matter what people say about who is and isn’t family, conventionally our mind will go back to where and with who we grew up with. This can be especially challenging if you ever find yourself questioning who your family really is. 


When we try to understand life and ourselves, we can communicate with people and request them to understand our wants and needs. We can even give them room to adapt or change. But at the end of it, it’s not always going to be in our control. It’s not always going to be how we want it to be.


I have grown to feel that it is helpful to take some time to think, and try to understand whether what is familiar (in this case, family) is a  genuine place of comfort for myself. These are some questions that have helped me:


  • Do I feel safe?

  • Do I feel comforted?

  • Do I feel like I can experiment with growth?

  • Am I supported?


These aren’t easy questions. Some may be uncomfortable, and can be messy to think about. It may not be okay right now, but that doesn’t mean it never will be. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t scope for change, or for communication. We can still try to understand our environment better in a way such that we can adapt to it, until we’re in a position to make it better for ourselves. 


It’s going to get better for you. The holiday season can be hard - going back to people we are supposed to call family, but may not feel safe with or supported by. Remember that sometimes, we can choose our family. Our support system and loved ones are not confined to our bloodline. You are valued, appreciated and loved. I hope that this Holiday Season treats you well.