Every time I think I have myself figured out, life reveals something to me that I was completely oblivious to. In a recent seminar, I created the possibility of living a life filled with love, acceptance, and inspiration. In creating that possibility, I realized that I was dropping the ball in my relationship with my family.

For years this has been an area of my life where I’ve been completely out of touch. I come from a large family with over 30 first cousins and countless second and third cousins. My mom is one of thirteen and my dad is of one of eleven.

Growing up was always fun and entertaining. When I would visit my grandparents there were never a shortage of kids my age to play with. My cousins and I made a lot of great memories, but life happened and we grew up. It was in adulthood that we began to drift apart.

I’ve gone through life with this “Act” I like to play called “don’t judge me”. It manifests itself with me cutting people out of my life.

What this solves for me is I get to be right. I get to cut people out of my life who make me feel uncomfortable. I tell myself that life is better this way. I’ve done this with friends and I’ve done this with family.

In reality it hasn’t really solved anything. Sure I’ve received some temporary validation, but it results in me missing out on people who were once integral to my life.

When I was younger I used to get my feelings hurt really easily. I was really insecure and would take personally everything people said to me.

I created this story about many of my family members. I told myself that they were judging me for being me. I would usually tell myself this right after something was said that I didn’t agree with. I was often oblivious to whatever I my have said or didn’t say, or did or didn’t do. I would tell myself, they don’t understand me. In reality, they weren’t judging me at all. Whatever was said was likely said out of love and concern.

After a few years of living in this story and believing it to be true, I started pulling away from them. I pulled away from the people who loved me unconditionally. After a few years they had been completely cut out of my life.

Years of living this way cost me precious years with my family that I can never get back. My little cousins don’t even know me. And the geographical distance between us has only made this worse — especially now that I live on the other side of the country.

I can’t say how many times my mom has mentioned to me that I act as if I don’t have a family. When she would say that to me I would always ignore it. Her saying it never really resonated with me. I was in complete denial.

After a couple of months of attending seminars and intentionally working on myself, I get it now. I was living in a story that wasn’t true and living in a way that wasn’t fully expressed and authentic.

I recently connected with a few family members whom I spent a lot of time with growing up. It was so good to speak with them and learn about what’s happening in their lives.

My family is huge and has a lot of love to give. I look forward to rebuilding the relationships I’ve lost and to allow them into my world.

I now stand for the possibility of creating a thriving and exciting relationship with my family. I want them to know that they have a family member in me who loves them and cares about who they are and their interests. I want to give them my heart and create an amazing future. With them I want to be my most authentic self and fully expressed.

Originally published at medium.com