True Family

True family is a phrase often used fraudulently and not applied in its fullest sense. However, in the core of what true family stands for, lies the key to returning society to its joyous and harmonious state.

My first sense of true family was sitting down to eat dinner with Serge Benhayon, his wife Miranda, his three out of four children present at the time – Curtis, Michael and Natalie – and his ex-wife Deborah. YES – Ex-wife.

Myself (Michael Brown) and Miranda Benhayon, Vietnam 2010
Myself (Michael Brown) and Miranda Benhayon, Vietnam 2010

For me, at the tender age of 12, to watch a family sit at a meal table with what society would deem the most unorthodox of melanges, plus observing every Benhayon family member to be as loving with each other as the next, with no tension, no discrimination and certainly with no sliver of comparison or jealousy anywhere in sight, was absolutely ground breaking.

Not only was the love shared within what we’d call their immediate family circle, for as I sat at that table I was wholeheartedly welcomed into the family meal along with the subsequent ones, never even remotely prejudiced by the fact I had only met Serge a few times in the two years I had known him and the rest of his family even less – some members not at all – OR by the fact Serge’s children and I had grown up on opposite ends of the planet OR the fact that at the time I myself did not see them as my family. On their behalf, there was NO holding back in LOVE. I was truly welcomed and embraced as an equal member of the family.

Fast-forward six years to my first parent-free trip out of Europe heading to Australia. I settled into Sydney’s North Shore in my new household with a family I had never met prior to my trip except for one brief conversation over Skype – The Walls Family – a family that made one generally awesome trip a LIFE ALTERING journey.

During my time staying with the Walls’ I was never treated as a guest, an ‘outsider’, a person who might come and go, be that in times when something was celebrated, or when Katie would bring home slices of banana bread for the family and never forget to include me, or when it was time for me to be pulled up and told that my behaviour was unacceptable, just as my biological mother back in London would do.

The Walls’ family and I (Back row – far left), 2016
The Walls’ family and I (Back row – far left), 2016

To be treated as an absolute equal and to the same extent a vital part of the family, allowed me growth beyond growth and learning that no training course or higher education facility could provide.

The Walls family gave me the space to grow from a boy to a man, all whilst gently and super lovingly supporting me to be able to make my own choices and to take care of all that needed to be felt, read, appreciated, respected, understood and lived. The Love, Appreciation, Gratitude, Adoration and Respect I hold for every member of the Walls and Benhayon families is not an atom less than what I hold for my own mother, who has raised me from birth.

And so when I reflect on what true family is, in my bones I know it is not blood bound or placenta promised, as the experiences I have had with the Benhayon family and the Walls family have shown me. I have been truly blessed to have had these exposures in my life.

It is now my absolute responsibility to hold others in the same quality of love, integrity and respect shown and shared with me by the Benhayons and the Walls’, to allow those I meet their own growth and learning.

Published with Permission of the Benhayon family and the Walls family.

By Michael Brown, 20 yr old student and retail supervisor, London UK

Further Reading:
Relationships
Family Love
My Brother – Not an In-Law

573 thoughts on “True Family

  1. “And so when I reflect on what true family is, in my bones I know it is not blood bound or placenta promised, as the experiences I have had with the Benhayon family and the Walls family have shown me. ” So true Michael. We are all one family – the human race – as we all come from the same source – and will all return there.

  2. It is beautiful to feel and experience this, ‘there was NO holding back in LOVE. I was truly welcomed and embraced as an equal member of the family.’

  3. “It is now my absolute responsibility to hold others in the same quality of love, integrity and respect shown and shared with me by the Benhayons and the Walls’, to allow those I meet their own growth and learning.” Yes Michael. Once we feel the truth of true family it is not ours to hold back. It is for all equally.

  4. I have come to see, rather late in life, that when we restrict who is our family to just our biological family we are missing out on inviting many, many others into our lives. I am loving having people in my life who I may share a lot of time or very little time with, but people who I consider to be a natural member of my true family. These people bring so much joy and wisdom into my life and I certainly do not love them any less than my biological family; hard for most to understand but something that feels totally natural to me. And the door is never closed to new members of this family, in fact it is always wide open with a big ‘welcome’ sign hanging on it

  5. Absolutely, ‘It is now my absolute responsibility to hold others in the same quality of love, integrity and respect shown and shared with me’, as it is for all of us.

  6. This is definitely the future of what families will be like. In fact we are all one family and until that is known and lived we simply will not live together in the collective unity that is possible, for underneath the same blood runs and so too are we all made of the same and equal love.

    1. Indeed Joshua, while we can have different blood groups in essence, which is bodily, we are all one and the same in love.

  7. So gorgeous what you have shared Michael, so deeply blessed you have been to love and be loved with absolutely equality.

  8. Same for me Michael, when I reflect on what true family means, there is no doubt that everyone on this planet is my family. This breaks down the lies that I have fallen for that family is blood related only.

  9. So beautiful to read of how held you were as an absolute equal within these families. It makes me ponder on how much I can let things slide and not be loving with my family and understanding where they are at.

  10. When we read carefully we can learn that living together is about a responsibility, the responsibility to love and to not allow anything else than love to be in that constellation of people who have made the choice to make life about evolution and not about function, a quality of life that families normally think to be.

  11. This is indeed what true family is, being treated as an equal member in love and being held to the responsibility of that love. What a gorgeous sharing Michael, thank you.

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