ancestry & the present implications
I don't know everything about my ancestry but I know enough to be proud of the grandmothers and grandfathers that brought me into this life who spoke words of love, balance, resilience and equity. I send them my gratitude and open my heart and listen to their words when I am in silent prayer and meditation as I move forward in my own life story.
As much I as wish focus on my Black and Mexican ancestors to bring healing to myself and their memory, I also acknowledge certain white ancestors who assumed an oppressive role in life. I recognize the hatred they carried in their heart and the harm they did in their communities and,
in many instances, to my Black and Mexican ancestors who came into the families of my white ancestors.
As a woman of Mexican, Black and white ancestry, I have come to see how I am a physical embodiment of the light and shadow of the spirit that has been passed through blood for generations. On one hand I carry the energy of those Black and Mexican ancestors who had been subjugated to ignorant harm but persevered and brought life to my father and to my mother with love, hope and respect. Yet, the shadow of this light is also a part of my makeup. There are the white family members who are no longer alive who hurt my grandmother and her Black heritage as well as current living members who, although are Mexican American, continue to say hateful words when referring to our own Mexican heritage.
As I grow older, I recognize the importance of turning a critical eye to not only my present actions but also to my background and stories that shaped me to carry out my work in the way I do. Without taking time to reevaluate these lessons that have been passed down each generation, I run the risk of mindlessly repeating actions or inactions that caused or continue to cause damage to not only my own ancestry but to my community.
Sometimes, this critical eye helps me to avoid exploding with rage, spewing words of hate when pushed by situations in which I feel misunderstood, undermined or disrespected. Other times, it helps me to recall wisdom passed down to continue building a community in which creativity becomes our own spiritual expression.
By being curious with the light and shadow of my own life story, I am able to uncover the emotions that feed off of spiritual disconnect and begin to root them away, freeing my spirit to experience a liberation of love. It is of utmost importance to me to look at the shadow side of my ancestry. To see where patterns of ignorance show up and to break the cycle in my own time. The more I chip away at the parts that take away the energy of love, the more I open myself up to the lessons of my ancestors who support me everyday to work in this community of creativity, love, respect and connection.
I work with the spirit of my ancestors who carry love in their hearts. I work with my ancestors through prayer, research, story telling. I am always discovering more as the messages are sometimes subtle and other times like a slap in the face. I learn through practices of introspection, awareness and critical curiosity. As I move through this exploration and growth, I always remind myself that the power of connection through respect and love comes first and when I find areas that do not uphold these truths, I work harder to be better for myself, for you and for my ancestors. Our power to heal comes from the heart where our spirit, the spirits of ancestors, the divine and our own community's soul resides.
I write all of this because it is necessary to acknowledge where you come from to know who you are. I have a lot of complications and dead ends in my family's genealogy but I learn more each time I open up with the family members who are alive. The stories are there and you will hear them if you ask. This is not to say you will hear all facts, but you will get the idea. I also must stress the importance of knowledge of your roots through prayer and meditation. There are certain things that may never be said within family, but our hearts have such a strong ability to know. Our hearts are wise and if you learn to listen using your intuition and heart, you will learn lessons. At least thats how my experience has been and continues to be.
Thank you for reading. I hope this helps you know a little bit more about me, my beliefs and what I find important. I hope this helps you understand that your own family history is waiting for you to become a part of it.
P.S. I consider my ancestors to be those who share my blood and also those who came into my life through choice. I am forever grateful to all of them.