Last night was the Royal wedding 2018, where Harry and Megan tied the knot in an intimate ceremony televised to a few hundred million.
Watching an intimate family affair and the granular details from close up camera footage, caught live, was very revealing - every sideways look, every foot shuffle, every awkward introduction, every polite remark and every lowered gaze, exposed for the world to observe.
Imagine that world where your private life was shared so extensively – getting married is nerve racking enough, never mind having it telecast to the world. No one’s family is perfect, yet we seem to uphold the Royal Family as exemplary. But is it even a true representation of family?
In exploring the idea of family recently I have felt there are a few myths that need some serious debunking, before we can tell if the Royals are actually an example of family.
Myth 1 – Family is related by blood.
Myth 2 – A family ‘unit’ is made up of particular roles
Myth 3 – Family is a group that supports one another
Is our current definition of family toxic? How about we call out the abuse that gets swept under the rug under the guise of private ‘family matters’. Or those perpetrators that never see justice because their irresponsible behaviors are disguised under the pretense of ‘family first’.
What if family were something quite different? What if it was a word that defined a process – of evolution, learning, feedback, growing and developing ourselves.
The Return to Love NZ team have put together a fantastic collection of articles about true family. I quote:
Family relationships are the practice ground from which we learn about relating with others, to then expand the concept and experience of family into community and beyond.
What if family was about love. What if family, like all relationships, required a base of decency which could develop into respect (if it were earned), which could lead to connection from which purpose could arise. When we connect for a common purpose true love arises and we all have a responsibility to live this love. How great would families be if they were founded on these principles?
Over the past 10 years my own family have changed so much – previously governed by those myths about ‘family’, we would have looked the perfect picture from the outside.
After seeing the irresponsibility, lovelessness and lack of purpose we were living in, and taking the responsibility to begin to change this, we now enjoy an incredible equality in each of our relationships. Where your parents feel like your friends, or sometimes my sister feels like a parent. What we are living is an example of 4 people (now 6 with respective partners), who are showing love, based on purpose, lived daily, through a traditional family unit.
My sister is 5 months pregnant, and soon we will welcome our first family member from the next generation. How amazing for them to receive this foundation of equality from day one. No matter the age or role of the person, each one of us brings equally the knowing of love from our own heart. Each one has the ability to call out what is not love, and each one has the ability to step up the level of love, and invite others by reflecting this deepening. This is what family means to me, and it stretches far beyond blood or marriage.
So was true family on show at the Royal Wedding 2018? Surely monarchy by its definition is the antithesis of true family, for in true family, and the equality that defines it, there could never be a head of the family. Don’t get me wrong, I dream of a prince and a horse drawn carriage as much as the next child who grew up on Disney movies, but it begs the question, with $32 million pounds spent on the wedding, what are we actually celebrating?