Unloved and unquestioned for generations

 

I suspect that some things in me has been unloved and unquestioned for generations, in some cases perhaps even back to the beginning of civilization or earlier.

For generations, we have learned to not love certain experiences and parts of ourselves, and not question – or even notice – certain stories. And the pain has been passed on from one generation to the next.

Here and now, some of that pain is surfacing with an invitation for me to love it, questions the stories behind it, and release it from the pain of being unloved and unquestioned.

Sometimes, I imagine generations of ancestors here, approving of me engaging in this process of love and questioning, encouraging me, quietly supporting me. I even dialogue with them, to remind me, to hear what they have to say, and to feel their support.

This is, of course, all a story. It’s made up in my own mind. I cannot find any actual ancestors, or generations, or passing on. What’s here is here, and I cannot find it in the past. I cannot even find a past.

At the same time, this is sometimes an helpful story. It’s a reminder that my ancestors would support me in this if they were here and came from their more wise and kind sides. It’s also a reminder that I am may do this for myself, or think I am doing it for myself, and yet this is something far more universal and shared, and I cannot know the ripple effects of the work I am doing now.

It may not seem much. It may not always be enjoyable. I may not feel I am doing it as sincerely or diligently as I imagine I could. And yet, I really don’t know the ripple effects of this work – for myself and others, or perhaps even for Earth as a whole.

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My genetic journey

 

I have given my parents a kit each from The Genographic Project so they can map the journey of their ancestors on the female side. It’s fun, and it does give a more immediate sense of connection with our ancestors going back a few tens of thousands of years. And the results become part of a mapping of human migration paths, which makes it more than worthwhile.

At the same time, the maps we will receive is just two strands of thousands and thousands. The full picture of the journeys of of ancestors is far richer and more dense. And beyond the human, there is an even richer picture. We are are closely related. We are all parts of the living evolving Earth.

So it is fun. It becomes part of an important research projects which helps us recognize ourselves as part of an intimate human family. And yet, the results will be a couple of random strands from an infinitely more rich tapestry, and we are all – all Earth life – closely related anyway. This is just another reminder.

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The gifts of ancestors

 

Our relationships to our ancestors has come up for me in several different ways lately, partly through shamanic sources and partly through Process Work (which has a strong shamanic influence).

The wider world is a mirror for our human self, and the way we relate to different aspects of the wider world reflects how we relate to similar parts of ourselves. The wider world is the world “out there”, in space and time, and our ancestors is an important part of this world. Our relationships, or lack thereof, to our ancestors says a great deal about how we relate to ourselves and the world in general.

When I explore it for myself, I find two main aspects in a more conscious relationship to my ancestors: healing and gifts. A healing of relationships, and a receptivity to and harvesting of their gifts.

There are many ways to do this.

We can use journeying, as in shamanic practices. I can meet some of my ancestors, hear what they have to say, work on my relationship with them, see what I can do for them, and also be receptive to the gifts they may have for me. What insights do they have? What qualities do they express, which I may find and pick up in my own life? 

We can use voice dialog, or the Big Mind process, and do something very similar. I can shift into the voice of particular ancestors, hear what they have to say, see how their relationship to the other voices and this human self is and how these relate to this ancestors, explore their insights and gifts, see what I can do for them, and so on.

We can use group practices, such as Joanna Macy’s Harvesting the Gifts of our Ancestors, where we walk back in time through the generations, tasting how it could have been to live their lives, and then walk forward harvesting their gifts.

We can deepen into gratitude for specific ancestors, and our ancestors in general, for their existence, their lives, their work and efforts, their insights… without which none of us would be alive today.

We can work specifically on healing through any of the above practices, and also healing and for instance tong len.

We can work specifically on harvesting their gifts through any of the practices, and maybe specifically through the journeying, voice dialog, the group practices, and through invoking specific ancestors and their qualities in our daily life, finding it in our selves.

And of course, all of this includes daily life work on our relationship with our own ancestors (including parents) and those we are ancestors to (children, grandchildren), and an awareness of deep time and the passage of generations.