Family is a word packed with very strong meaning for most people. However, people have many different ways of defining what a family is and what being a part of a family means. Families also differ in terms of economic, cultural and social factors. What most definitions of family have in common is that it is a group of people who have come together, due to bloodlines, affinities or values.
The standard definition of a family is: a group consisting of parents and their children, or a group of people who are descendants of a common ancestor. However, through the years, families have become many different things, including childless couples or other variations on the family unit, including friends who have become so close in their relationships with one another that they consider themselves a family. Feelings about family can vary extensively. Some people feel that their family is a welcome support, whereas others experience their family as a burden.
Sadhguru provides us with welcomed insight into the many aspects of what it means to be a family.
Sadhguru: “A family does not mean dependence; it is a certain partnership that you formed. Partnerships are relevant only when both the people are willing and they are going in a certain direction together. If both the partners are constantly concerned about each other’s well-being, then partnership is meaningful. If it is all about you, either in terms of family or in terms of profession or in terms of spirituality—whichever way—then partnership is irrelevant for such a person. If you stay together you will create a big mess for both the people. You do not stay in a family because of duty; you stay in a family because there is a bond of love that you have formed. If there is a bond of love nobody needs to tell you what to do and what not to do: you will do what is needed.
Just because you formed a bond of love with somebody or a group of people does not mean you should not aspire for big things in your life. The best thing that you can do to people around you is to make yourself in the greatest possible way a human being can be. You must pursue that. The more you evolve, the more you contribute to people around. If people do not understand this, they think the only way they can have you is when you are stuck on the same level as they are stuck on, with the same limitations and the same problems, and they think you should not seek freedom beyond that. If this is the case, then that is not a family; that is a mafia. If you are running a mafia of how to extract the best from each other, that is not a family. How to give the best to each other—that is a family. If that is not there, there is no family, so there is no question of breaking it.
Every human being should naturally aspire for the highest possible potential that he can reach in his life because that is the greatest contribution he can make to life around him. If you keep yourself limited, that is not a contribution, not just for your life, for everybody. If you are in a certain state of well-being, wisdom, and blissfulness, if you are in the highest possible way that you could be, that is the best thing you can do to all the people around you. That will not happen without striving and without some sacrifice; and sacrifice is not a sacrifice. Only when you have no love for each other, it is a sacrifice. If there is love for each other, to forgo something for another person’s well-being is a privilege.”