I have never felt I fit in to the culture I was born into. This feeling started in my mother's womb who conceived me out of ignorance of her fertility at 17. Upon finding out about her pregnancy, she felt rejected and shamed by everyone in her community. Especially her Catholic family, the reason for her ignorance in the first place.
I know now after many long years of studying psychology, childbirth mentoring, and shamanic womb healing, that I was bathed in her feelings of rejection and shame for being who she was all throughout my early development in her womb, as well as throughout my upbringing. Her lack of self-worth led her to make choices like marrying a violently abusive man and staying with him for 15 years, even though he treated her so poorly.
I have learned that we absorb the feelings of our parents while we are growing up. And how difficult it is to create a different feeling for our lives. Difficult, but not impossible. I have devoted my entire life to discovering and learning healing approaches to liberate myself from the pain of my childhood. I will never forget the meditation that one of my teachers led me through where I discovered my soul purpose of bridging the painful gap between the masculine and the feminine. All of my painful experiences were simply preparing me for this purpose.
Given this understanding of how my suffering originated so early in my life, from the experiences of my mother, it was clear to me that my grandmothers experiences were also important. And her mother's experiences. And back through the generations, each mother infusing her children with the feelings she was having during her pregnancy.
On each spiral of my healing process I have learned more and more about my ancestors. Most recently, I learned that my great-great-grandmother grew up on a farm in Brazil. Her family had been slave owners there since they were given the land by the Portuguese colonizing government. It was either her or her mother that had a slave nanny.
In a recent shamanic meditation with my mother, we accessed the ancestral memory of that ancestor who had a slave nanny and was abandoned by the nanny in the jungle at 3 years old, not to be found until the next morning by her family. We discovered this information through the process of tracing a chronic fear and panic pattern back through the ancestry. We were able to bring healing to the situation which has done a lot to release the chronic emotional pattern that my mother and I have suffered from. We were also able to investigate in more detail from an adult perspective the circumstances of this original incident.
According to our shamanic insights, the slave nanny was an indigenous woman from the jungle who was being mistreated by our ancestor's father. She had abandoned our ancestor, the 3 year old, in her process of escaping slavery. We also discovered that she had planted powerful seeds of awareness of the power of the jungle and her earth based spirituality in the heart and soul of the child. Of course, as this girl grew up, she was told that the jungle was dangerous and her nanny was a bad person, so she buried that seed very deeply inside of her.
Upon tracing this seed forward through my ancestry, I realized that each of my ancestors carried that seed of wisdom within her and felt dissatisfied with the culture of domination of women and Earth that they were living in. Just like I inherited this seed of fear and panic from that original incident, I also inherited that seed of indigenous jungle wisdom. The beauty of this inheritance is that it is finally starting to blossom.
As I grow into my purpose to bridge the rift between masculine and feminine through my healing work, this deep connection to Earth and all her gifts is central. This longing to reclaim a way of life that nurtures and gives back to our precious planet, that allows us to receive her gifts so generously given, without taking so much that we disrupt her natural cycles, that affirms life regeneration as a central priority for us as humans, this grief about the collective disaster of patriarchy, all of this is blossoming from the seed planted by that slave nanny.
Just as my mother's feelings influenced me so strongly, all of our mothers feelings influence us as we grow, so do the feelings of any of our caretakers in those early years. And that nanny was likely having very strong feelings. Grief of the destruction of her homeland and lifestyle, anger at the brutality she was experiencing towards herself, her community, and her precious jungle, and deep agonizing longing for the sweetness of her sacred relationship with Earth to be restored. She was willing to risk her very life to find a way back to her sacred community and escape the brutality of slavery. This is the seed of feeling she planted in my ancestor.
It is blossoming in me now.
This post was submitted in response to Share Your Story On Any Topic.