Family and Tribe

Kaytln Matt wedding 368Recent activities with both my family and my tribe have been tons of fun and kept me very busy. This is evident in my home and office as there are piles everywhere. It’s as if my personal space reflects the messages of chaos that keep popping up in global news regarding weather, politics, finances, and disasters surrounding relationships within countries or private homes.

But things are not always what they seem. Like this picture of our family at the wedding on 6/21/2011. It looks like feminine overload and those must be some pretty brave men to be in the mix. Yet the ratio is 11 females to 7 males (even though 3 are under the age of 8) and 5 of those women do not live in Oregon.

That bride and groom just moved into their first home this weekend and it is fun for me when a daughter allows me to unleash my cleaning and organizing energy in their life. It’s rare, but weddings and home purchases are those times. Now that stage of my life is complete. They are all grown, own homes, have dynamic lives with their own families.

During this recent chaos, I paused when an email newsletter arrived earlier this month and the words “Family” and “Tribe” caught my attention and kept niggling at me even though it was a week before I read Sara Wiseman’s post about the spring equinox being a time for self realization beyond our family or tribe. I’ve met Sara a few times though have not read her books but that applies to many I’ve met within my “writer tribe.”

Sara’s distinction of “family” being a karmic connection and “tribe” being the chosen family we want to create is not true for me. I do agree that “us” energy is a great way to avoid the internal work of becoming a “self.” Everyone from Oprah to Abraham-Hicks and a lot of religions have a core message of self awareness and soul improvement. But my family is more than karmic connections, they are my choice and part of the “self” I have created.

My tribe is writers and storytellers. The core group are romance novelists which is feminine energy on steroids, representing every hormonal and menopausal phase, gathered in one room for a few hours every month. I do not consider them “the family I want to create” for myself. My tribe is a great distraction and network of support during times of personal and family stress.

Members of my tribe represent “karmic connections” for my self improvement and soul awareness. I understand that words need to be defined to represent concepts that are current for the message to reach an audience. I accept that my perception of family and tribe relates to past years when family was my sisters and our daughters were the tribe.

Even defining “family” as the personal relationships and “tribe” as the public ones has little to do with karmic connections, or inner self work, as all of the above apply.

So while Sara’s message of inner work and separation of the self from the tribe and family is valid, I propose the reverse is true as well.  A healthy relationship with the self is good but then it is a time for self realization within our connections to family and tribe, however they are defined.

Of course, I am a mom of four individual women, and I am part of generations of opinionated women, so I’m never offended if my advice is ignored. And there is a full moon tonight.

About Terri Patrick
Writer of Romance and Memoir. Life is an adventure, take that journey.

4 Responses to Family and Tribe

  1. Rose L. says:

    Sounds like wonderful bonds have blessed your life.


  2. I’m not sure that I have a tribe, but certainly have a family – who are very important to me. Other parts and interests of my life I don’t consider to be of any one group or tribe – that sounds a little too limiting. Like you infer in the comment above – it’s now my time. As for karma I think that fits into every aspect of life. Interesting post – thanks!


  3. Trish says:

    Caroline Myss in one of her books talks about the importance of a “tribe.” Your post reminded me of that. Brave men, for sure, even the ones under 10!


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