I was watching the TV show Modern Family. I love this show. Have you seen it? The thing that I love about the show the most, and the thing that always brings me back, is how the family stays connected. No matter what, they love and accept each other—no judgment, no accusations, no limits.
Now I know this is not real life, but I do believe unconditional acceptance and love is what needs to be the foundation of every family. I am not at all saying I agree with everything the show does, but I love the principle of love and acceptance the characters promote.
On this day, I cried as I watched this particular episode.
The family was attending a wedding. Not just any wedding, the wedding of Phil’s (the dad in the series) father. Phil who would be performing the wedding, had his family dress “in theme.” The theme was 1920s. As the family arrived they were all complaining about how Phil was a little too over-the-top all the time with his fun and lighthearted demeanor. His wife and kids laid into him pretty hard. Phil had shenanigans planned for the wedding, along with his dad, but they decided to put all fun aside and do “a boring” wedding.
During the wedding ceremony, Phil’s family—the ones who’d been complaining—each interrupted the ceremony one by one, as they played out a “mob hit” with fake guns and fake characters and fake deaths. Phil, his dad, and the new bride were thrilled beyond measure. This to me symbolized the family all jumping in. They embraced Phil, and who he was, and with all of his idiosyncrasies.
Isn’t this what we all long for? Love and acceptance for just being us? All the annoying tendencies, all the paranoid behavior, all the melodramatic reactions, and all the attempts at showing love that bombed.
The kind of acceptance that leaps and gets excited when you walk into a room. The love that stops what they are doing because you have arrived. The love that says, I’m with you, I’m all in, I’m on your side, I’m cheering for you.
I wept as I watched the family act in a way that said they all fully accepted Phil. I wept because it’s the love I want to feel, and it’s the love I want to show.
This is me in all my neurotic glory. Will you accept me? Will you love me just as I am? And love me enough to route for me as I strive to be a better version of myself, and love me enough to help point me in the right direction?
Isn’t this what we long for from our spouse? From our children? From our parents? Our siblings?
Let’s start with us. Let’s extend this kind of unconditional love.
It all starts with me.
It all starts with you.
This is me in all my neurotic glory…will you love me?