What are our ancestors? Not who, although this is a question many can ask. I have a tough time admittedly, perhaps because I am a feeler, a griever, and for much of my life these gifts were squashed in the wake of a consumeristic and competitive pursuit. More, more, more, an abuse of power some may say, take others down I was taught by virtually all institutions.
If feeling is not encouraged and allowed for, it bottles. Think of some sort of pressure valve that allows for steam to come out. If this valve is not functioning, the pressure builds, it gets hotter, it screams literally from the inside, and then one day, we can no longer hold it in. Pop. And then what?
What have we learned to do with this emotional onslaught? If we have been ill equipped to deal with our own emotions, we become equally ill equipped to deal with others.
In many codependent relationships it was usually the woman in the relationship who would shield others in the family from feeling the pain, it was too unbearable, because it was unthinkable, never seen, unknown, way too uncomfortable.
This became a learned trait regardless of gender, we didn't learn how to feel and therefore can't bare the thought of another letting the valve open to release the steam.
In the old story, the woman was expected to be the rock, the one who held down the fort, took care of the home, took care of the kids, cleaned, cooked, all of it, what a job!! Now a learned trait that we all struggle with.
Being a parent now and seeing the amount of work and stress involved in taking care of kids and a household in the non-village-like society we live in, how can we ignore the complacency that has set in and allow it to fester? It is not going anywhere regardless of how far we separate from it. All people, regardless of gender-identity or family-dynamic have a role. It is imperative, or else future generations build unprocessed emotional steam.
If we ignore the garden, weeds grow. Things cannot connect, people cannot connect if we ignore the relationship and thus we have no idea what is going on and when it is going on, essentially separated from the cyclicality of Nature, separated from our own True Nature.
Like a deer that knows not to eat a poisonous mushroom, we at one time also knew innately what our role was and what our Ancestors knew and wanted from us because the information they had and the experiences they obtained resulted in life and death for the village.
On my path, I strived for more and more methodologies to help me subdue the pain of my very existence, the separation and avoidance of feeling and true connection that results when one does embark into the emotional realm.
The things I was being 'paid' to do, the more I learned of my true self, had nothing to do with my gifts, they were in fact shunning the very reason I came to this Earth. The grief was building, the pressure valve was opening.
I began to feel immense grief, anxiety, depression, anger and rage, my addictions started to escalate and seemingly self-destruct an already destroyed young man, although the title man could barely be validated based on my weakened self-persona and the masks I needed to wear in order to hide what was really going on.
But in it, I took upon myself to feel, to feel more, to feel more and through the process of self-understanding, I opened the flood gates of emotion that had been suppressed, like a malfunctioning pressure-valve, however it was I that was required to navigate this on behalf of the Ancestors and future generations to come, but mostly in the beginning for my own selfish ways because if i didn't, I would probably end up as a suicide statistic.
When women in the past took the emotional stress from men, they essentially took their power away. What looked like a selfless act of protection and motherhood, was a power-struggle that left the woman battered, susceptible to abuse, and holding bucket upon bucket load of stuck grief and other less than comfortable emotions. To top it off, there was no solid foundation as to how to deal with it.
So in a sense, the ancestral pain was put upon these individuals (women in my family's case), and with the pressure valve set on lock, they began to take on the emotions unable to fully process what they were subconsciously doing. And oh the pain this brings. In their hearts they felt it was the right thing to do, and perhaps it was the best thing they could do, the only thing they knew how to do.
Like tectonic plates, eventually, and inevitably the friction builds too much and the quake emerges.
The pain that we perceive in this world is a bottle neck that has not been yet widened enough to allow the unprocessed grief and stuck emotions that are required to be felt in order for us to come back to the balanced and harmonious state, many of us know is possible within our hearts.
The more I venture into this work, the more I see that people cannot leave the valve on lock, there is too much external and internal combustion going on that creates too much pressure to hold in, the valve indeed is opening, the great awakening you may call it.
This is where the Ancestors arrive. But what are the ancestors? We know they are from the lineage of our family, the people who have died, and crossed over into the other world now represented as pictures on the wall.
For many families, we validate the Ancestors with mementos, ceremonies where we recognize their lives lived when they have passed on, we even take annual trips to the graveyard so that we can pay homage, and shed grief in our own able way.
Although we may feel this to be an invisible act of kindness, compassion, and love, is fully felt and seen from the other side of this earthly veil, but what is their reaction? What is being felt? What is being celebrated? What is being reciprocated in communication and how do we learn how to listen to the invisible requests, and what is it that actually makes these requests? Who are our ancestors when they move on?
I cannot define Ancestors as a concrete, definable, tangible object that the logical mind would be satisfied with. So I will utilize the concept of Spirits. The Spirit world for many, like the emotional world for many, has been ignored, gone unseen, and therefore gone unvalidated.
In my work, in my experience, the Ancestors are those that have come before, deceased and entered into other worldly states of existence, but are very much connected into the stories playing out in our physical existence.
You may say that the Ancestors are us, we are them. We carry the stories, we carry the trauma, we carry the glory, we carry the gifts (if they have been unwrapped.)
But what about process? The logical mind loves process, it adores connecting the dots and understanding things from an A-Z detailed format.
Where do our Ancestors go when they leave the physical body, has anyone had the courage in your family to ask these questions?
What becomes the role of the Ancestral world and what do they want for us, from us, and how can we best serve these requirements?
Well to start, we must first understand that the Ancestors recognize their insufficiencies in this world. They have had to make a compassionate amend to the pain they may have left behind in this world, and that pain, the wake which ripples out to all corners of your family lineage, and thus all of the relationships that stem from there, can be seen by them.
This brings the Ancestral world much restlessness, rolling in their grave so to speak, that they cannot sleep or as we wish for them to 'rest in peace' as there literally is no peace. They see the depiction of a hell that was promised on the otherside to those who did not obey the law of God (this is a whole other chapter....) and that this hell actually exists right here in our Earth.
The Ancestors see the bottled emotion, unprocessed, and yearn for it to be seen, yearn for the stories and assumptions to be released, ready and willing to do what it takes to make that happen for the good of the lineage and all of our connections, which is EVERYTHING.
So for some, centuries, millenias go by without the voice being heard. In many cultures around the world, ignoring the Ancestoral voice is unthinkable. It would result in an inevitable destruction. For the voice is that which can see, that which can remedy, and that which knows in its bones, and ours, how we can learn to mend our relationships, as Everything is one.
The Ancestors are here for us. But in my work, I will ask the question, are they prepared and equipped, and cared for, and cleansed to do the work necessary to fulfill the destiny that many of us have now come here to do.
In my work within the field of Dementia, the Ancestors play a very significant part, if not the most significant of parts. Their unprocessed healing on this planet, their mistakes and shortcomings are held within our own bones, our own stories, they are not separate, although in victim-lead mentalities it is very easy to enchant oneself to feel like others are to blame for our misery.
The very first dementia patient that I worked with was embodying the Ancestors, speaking their stories. How do I know this? She told us, with the primal Nature in her eyes, coherent for once, allowed to be a purposeful conduit of Spirit communication, to connect, to heal, to clarify the journey for the betterment of all involved.
The Ancestors are here to remind us that we have the keys, they are the key, we are the key, and by listening to the stories that we have been playing out, and now our loved ones with Dementia, or other family members are now playing out.
Dementia is one example, a final cry so-to-speak, so it is very easy to see and relate this to our own human suffering, it is the emanation of the suppressed suffering that can no longer be filtered. Thank god, but why does it take catastrophe to engage the human into feeling?
It is crucial for us to see this connection in order for us to transcend these traumatic stories and for us to allow our future generations the gift of not having to carry the burden which in my opinion has been carried to long. Dementia is a sign that things were carried far too long.
The Ancestors know the ways, they know the healing, they know the process of this earthly plane. It is not easy to heal with the Ancestors, after all have we ever learned it? It is unknown which scares a lot of people, but as we embark, this sense of unknown becomes so clear, it becomes so connected, so meaningful, that we develop comfort in this unknown that was once uncomfortable.
For many, regardless of whether you feel you have a sense of culture, you have the healing, the lineage of mystery, the Indigenaity in your bones. The system of oppression which is a mirror emanation of our own internal oppression would not have us believe we have indigenous roots. Even the white people who get blamed for the appropriation and destruction of native cultures around the world. We have in our bones, the culture that can never be fully lost, but can be masqueraded in suppression and ignored in the face of having to feel what has not been felt for many generations.
We know it can never be lost because we have reached the point where it can no longer be ignored. Like climate change, we are in human change, and the two are not separate, completely connected in the most intricate of ways.
Yes, you, torch bearer, sacred one, one who has come to remember the ways, remember the connection, honour and validate, with nourishment, safety, discipline, the ways of connecting to the Ancestors, the spirit realm, and all the invisible our 5-sense were taught to ignore.
When we can see the connection of these stories, rippling through our lineage, our current relationships and all that is co-created from there, we bring healing in ways that is incomprehensible to our logical minds, but after all, hasn't the logical mind been given too much responsibility? Can we give it a break and allow for our objective soul to connect with realms that bring so much fulfillment and meaning in what has appeared to be a rather unfulfilled and meaningless existence.
Even in the meaningless, we can find great meaning. Nothing is a waste when we know that wec an turn lead to gold.
Rise up Ancestors and help us find our connection back home.