We share the shapes of those who come before us, our ancestors. Our form mimics their form: our heads, hearts and limbs. Made new, in our generation, we present the world and ourselves with a unique opportunity to heal.
Tall, strong, soft or thin, our shapes hold much more than meets eye. Tucked in the crannies of our flesh, the recorded tales of our history and our heritage play on loop, espousing the wisdom and strength of triumph over adversity.
The tales of suffering also play – a solo song of despair, or the chorus of an entire generation who were disrespected, humiliated, or made to suffer to an end that their souls could not bear. Collective trauma resulting from genocide and war has many human hearts at the center of the story. Tribes die, but often individuals survive, leaving their descendants to a land that would have been inconceivable in their own time.
Remnants of our ancestors can be traced in our ability to sew, a family tree or a perhaps a sacred object or two. Remnants also appear as secrets fortified by denial, bouts of personal anxiety, a pattern of abandonment or addiction, or even habitual violence. Transgenerational trauma is a name for this phenomenon, a phrase to describe the ripple effect of wounds throughout generations, found in families and cultures everywhere.
Your wound is yours and not yours. What you own is your choice, your decision to make the investigation, and through the process, heal the past, present and future, that exists dynamically in and around you.
First published on Lindsey’s blog, Waking The Image, on March 21, 2013.