Though wisdom is not measured in Earth years, great insight is received when we connect with our ancestors. Today, many of our elders are cast aside and put into nursing homes to waste the rest of their days away. During ancient times, as well as in indigenous communities and some families today, elders are a vital part of society. We can learn much from the many years they have lived. We can also learn more about ourselves.
I just spent three weeks with my grandparents in Colombia. This time with them was so awakening, inspiring and enlightening. Taking the time to listen to their life stories while visiting the hometowns was healing, revealing and enhancing.
Most importantly for me I discovered more about my ancestors. The indigenous tribe from which my ancestors came is still unclear. Though I am curious about this information as I continue to discover more about my innate healing gifts. My grandmother’s grandmother arrived to a small town alone. Her children and my grandmother never asked from where she came. Had they asked questions, we would have more information about who we are.
This trip really allowed me to understand why it is so important to connect with our ancestors.
1. When we connect with our ancestors we learn more about ourselves.
So many of us may have asked, “Who am I?” We greater understand and discover even more about who we are when we learn about our ancestors. From talents and abilities to quirky qualities, as well as likes and dislikes, all is revealed when we connect with our ancestors. We came from somewhere and the clues of who we are reside with our ancestors.
For example, healing capacities and psychic abilities are generally passed down from our ancestors. I came into my journey as a healer before I learned that the women of my grandmother’s lineage were too. My curiosity about these abilities caused me to ask questions revealing many forgotten memories.
The awakening of this information has affected all of our lives including my grandmother, mother, aunts and cousins. The courage to walk this path, ask questions and dig into the past of my ancestors, has given all the women of my family permission, and the awareness, to tap into their natural healing gifts.
2. We greater understand family and life dynamics when we learn about those who walked before us.
Ancestral karma is passed down for seven generations. So when we learn about the lives of our ancestors, dynamics and cycles that keep happening in our lives begin to make sense. For example, traumas continue to occur in families because the vibration that predisposes a person to such an experience lives within DNA, which is passed down through generations. Until healed, the same atrocities continue to occur in each generation.
Interestingly as my grandmother shared many of her traumatic stories, it was interesting to see how some of my aunts as well as myself and my cousins have suffered from the same traumas but in our own unique ways. Thankfully, I have come into this awareness and much of my journey has been healing these traumas from our family line so that we do not pass these sufferings on to the next generation.
3. We feel greater compassion.
Listening to the hardships of my ancestors allowed me to come into greater compassion. My grandparents lived really tough lives, and their parents lived even tougher lives. They all suffered and sacrificed so much. They experienced hunger, poverty, trauma and more. They did the best they could with what they had despite the challenges they faced.
I listened to their stories with love and compassion. It was amazing to observe myself in this capacity as they shared the mistakes they made with me. I smiled and cried tears of love. It was sad, but also healing. Connecting with my ancestors was a reminder that everyone is trying their best. I felt pure love for their journeys because in reality all of their decisions made possible the life I live today. It was all perfect and something to learn from.
4. We feel appreciation and gratitude for our families and our lives
What a luxurious life we all live compared to our ancestors. So many lessons in appreciation and gratitude were had on this trip. Though we all experience tragedy and trauma, listening to the sufferings of my ancestors was really humbling. It was also inspiring and really shifted my perception about some things. What they sacrificed to create a better life for our family was unbelievable. Even today how much they give of themselves for their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren is admirable.
Seeing life through their lens made me realize (quite frankly) that everyone in America is spoiled compared to the lives of ancestors, especially those who came from third world countries. Having time without a shower or a bed when I was in the Amazon with my grandmother really opened me up to more gratitude and appreciation for everything about my life, especially the simple things.
5. Observing the culture of our ancestors can inspire our living choices.
Generally speaking, modern day culture tends to be about the “me,” not so much the we. Yes, some of us are moving back to more community based living, which was the way of all of our ancestors.
Experiencing the family dynamics of Colombian culture was so beautiful. We have close family friends there and their family is so close. They all speak to each other everyday, help each other with whatever the others need. I thought we were a close and affectionate family but they are even more so in Colombia. It’s amazing to see grandparents, parents and children living within the same household. Co-creating a life together. They are mini-communities within the household helping each other with daily tasks and there is tons of love to go around.
6. We come into more self-love.
In the reflection of our ancestors, we see ourselves. While spending this extended time with my grandparents I saw myself in each one of them. Both the good and the bad. When seeing things I didn’t like, I was able to come into greater self-awareness and deeper self-love.
For example, my grandmother has a tendency to cut my grandfather off when he speaks. When I’m excited about a topic of conversation I do the same thing! Seeing myself in my grandmother in that moment brought light to something I’d like to improve about myself, revealing a part of me that needs more love. This precious moment allowed me to see and love myself even more, while having even more compassion for my grandmother because I saw myself in her.
7. Learning about our ancestors creates a sense of connection and belonging.
When we see the similarities we share with our ancestors we can’t help but feel a sense of belonging. As humans, we are here to love and be loved. We desire nothing more than to belong to the tribe. We feel the most sense of belonging when we find others who are like us. Most interestingly, those who are most like us are often our ancestors.
I know that I am the children of my grandparents. I share the same love for writing as my grandfather. As well as the inspiration that comes to us through nature and sorrow. We can talk for hours about the beauty of Nature and all that is divine. With my grandmother we share innate gifts for healing and cooking. And as I mentioned we tend to cut people off when they are talking. ;)
My journey in life and who I am makes much more sense after taking this extended time with my grandparents. I feel more connected to my family and the history of all that made me who I am. Though humbled, I feel more confident. As they say, knowledge is power. Just having this time with them in their native country learning about their lives has enhanced my life and being.
I invite you to take time with your ancestors. Ask them to share about their lives and what they know about the lives of those who have passed on. You may be pleasantly surprised about what you discover. You may be horrified. Nonetheless, there is gold in every story, even the tragic ones. Listen with an open, compassionate heart and receive the lessons waiting for you. Share your story with us below!