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

601 thoughts on “True Family

  1. Any experience the body registers as true, remains forever as a treasure and as a marker of what is possible and normal. So, it has the possibility of turning into our new standard.

  2. I can feel what true family is and when I read this I wonder if I would have let the love in. I am feeling this connection with others more so and daring to feel vulnerable. I could say my fear of it disappearing gets in the way from me fully letting it all in but really what I can feel is that there’s a responsibility being asked of me. I’m being asked to be the love that I am. There is all the love and understanding in the world and it will never ignore or give up on me – like I had done. This is worth coming back to even.

  3. Reading this blog made me to ponder what true family is. Is it our blood family or is there more to family we do not fully understand yet because we have been fed the concepts of how family should be like, the concepts that are held by many people and therefore ’the’ truth, but maybe not the real truth.

  4. What if family has nothing to do with blood lines and genealogy but more so with an inner connection and above all a responsibility to live with one another such that we make love our guide and with that fully support each other to become more and more of ourselves, every day we live together?

  5. This article really shows the true power of family and how it can be a support for the development of all of society, because now, as you take this experience out in to the world, what you contribute to life is different or changed from what it was before as now you are more responsible, and you are more willing to just be you.

    1. That to me is the power we are offered from living in families, we do learn in the small society of the family and from that you will bring it to the outer society and to the world.

  6. Beautifully shared Michael, to be treated with deep love, respect and equality is what true family is all about. We are so blessed to have this understanding about family and be able to live and share this love equally with all.

  7. I’ve often heard the concept that there are no strangers just people I don’t know yet but this sharing takes it to another level – if we’re willing to be open and treat each person as our family with expectation we in fact live that we are all one family and there are no strangers.

  8. I love what you have shared here Michael, true family is not limited by blood, when we drop pictures of what family is we discover the deeper connections we all share universally with each other.

  9. Gorgeous to read this expression of family – and that it is not about blood. There are so many relationships we can develop with those around us, that can be full of love and that can support us in full. Family is about a shared responsibility indeed.

  10. And so it ripples further, I love how you’ve now got in you the lived experiences of true family and are now offering that to all you meet. Very inspiring Michael.

  11. We miss out on life and what it has to offer when we treat our ‘own’ differently to another for our responsibility is not just to our blood family but to everyone that we meet and come into contact with.

  12. It is the quality of love integrity and respect that we hold others in that makes a family what it is. We often let this drop especially in blood families where we can take each other for granted or display emotions that we would rarely show outside family confines. Our first relationship is to ourselves so developing that in such a way that we hold ourselves in love integrity and respect will support us in all relationships. How awesome though to experience first hand this way of being with each other in a family situation. Thank you for sharing and knocking the ideal of blood family out of the water.

  13. “It is now my absolute responsibility to hold others in the same quality of love, integrity and respect” beautiful for you to have experienced Michael, true love integrity and respect from those you have lived with, so that you can now reflect those qualities to all people you come across knowing that all humanity are our family.

  14. Michael what you share here with True family is something that is sorely missing in the world, yet is something that Serge Benhayon has more than inspired is possible through his family.

  15. What I love about this great experience of true family you had Michael, is that it feels obvious that the way the Benhayon and Walls family embraced you as total equals will now be carried on to how you hold other people as true family even if they are not biologically related. The funny thing is that it is so easy to simply act the same and love everyone equally, yet we tend to use so much energy to hold onto some ideal or belief that says we should protect and serve our own family first and above everyone else.

  16. Michael, this is gorgeous to re-visit and be reminded of how true family is possible for all to live, with different choices and holding all equally. It is deeply inspiring to read of the ‘knock on effect’ this has had on your life and living with it with true responsibility.
    “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”.

  17. Michael what really jumps out at me as you shared about the responsibility of holding others in that same quality, having had these very clear experiences of true family, is the joy that it is in being this way. The joy that is responsibility.

  18. To have experiences as such is a reflection within you know what true family and brotherhood is. Having a similar experience at 12 years of age and travelling overseas to live with many different families, this felt the most natural to me. That family is much larger than just blood, and my parents also have more children than just us by blood, it is amazing.

  19. Love this Michael as it totally deconstructs the paradigm we currently hold about families. Your lived wisdom is evidence of just how natural it is for us to embrace, support and love each other to learn, grow and evolve regardless if we are born into the same blood family or not. For if we open ourselves up to consider more deeply who we are we will see the we are all kin of Soul, as such all connected by love.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

    1. Indeed Eduardo, while we can try to deny this feeling from our ideals or beliefs, but that cannot take away the fact that we all do feel this oneness when meeting a reflection that is from our true nature.

  23. 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.

    1. It sure does Chan – our fixation on our physicality being the only aspect of life that defines who we are is restricting and limiting our true potential to the point that we don’t actually have a real sense of who we are. As such we focus even more narrowly to our immediate families only, to gain some sense of belonging. And when this doesn’t work we are lost. There is so much more to us and it’s time to begin exploring what this means in order for us to embrace a life lived in true harmony, in true family.

    1. Beautifully said Carolien, with every expansion of our love, our family grows. I love it and I know it is true and is such a liberation compared to the reduced image of family I held in the past in which only a relationship in blood was to be recognised as such.

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. “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.

  29. 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.’

  30. “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.

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