“Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.” – Jonas Salk
We get so much from those in our family tree that came before us. In 12 generations over 400 years, we have around 4000 ancestors. When we think about what these folks have lived through–the loves, losses, joys, pain, misfortunes, and lowercase and uppercase T traumas, there’s a lot in the epigenetic lineage there as well. It has an effect on our attachment styles, the way in which we receive nourishment and love, and our deeply held beliefs about our worth, our health–all which affect our ability to thrive in this lifetime that is ours. As humans alive in this current generation, part of our work is to heal what trailed behind us that our relatives couldn’t, so as to leave a new trail for those that come after us.
How often do you connect with those who came before you? What do you know about them? What was life like for them? What did they live through? What were their unfulfilled dreams? What stories are still alive in your family to this day? What is unknown?
When doing the work of learning about our past, we can forget that we are here because of many generations of love expressing itself. If our family stories are wrought with plot twists and other storylines, it can take a curious lens to see love as a throughline. Yet, if you connect in to any one of your past relatives, and ask what they want most for you, even your mind’s eye or heart via the creative imagination, I’d wager you’d hear a generative response.
This episode of the podcast recorded by my colleague Jamie Kim is a meditation to connect with those who came before you and to feel the magnitude of that love and support.
As Linda Hogan wrote: “Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”