It is obvious to society that we as humans hold memories in our mind. As true, and even deeper, is the often-overlooked fact that we also hold memories in our physical bodies. Some of those memories that we hold deep in our bodies are the memories of our ancestors.
I was always aware that trauma can alter DNA and I knew it well enough to know that it was true, yet not enough to know the specifics of how exactly the alterations occur. Still, I used the briefness of information that I had attained as acceptance as to why I walked through life with so many physical ailments. When my mental health started to deteriorate, I put it down to the same thing. My mother was stressed when she was pregnant with me and my father carried a lot of trauma, and I believed that I was a manifestation of that.
Recently, I have been practicing being in my body – instead of in my head. I have been practising embodiment practises as taught by one of my divine mothers, Aja Solé Shah, and by being more intentional with the way that I treat my body from the inside out. The more I embody these practises and start to honour my vessel the more that I shift trauma out of my body physically. Now I realise just how many secrets I had held within. Secrets of my ancestors and secrets of my own. And they were keeping me sick.
A simple example of how secrets kept me unwell is the sore throats I used to always get for what seemed like no reason. I hadn’t caught a cold, or the flu, and medicine didn’t take away the pain I was experiencing. As it progressed, I noticed places in my life where I had been holding back things that I needed to express. This was my throat chakra’s way of showing me how blocked it was and how easily unseen blockages could manifest physically.
I needed to speak and live my truth. For freedom; and to clear space in my body to nurture my purpose, my ideas, my essence, and my gifts.
For those who do not experience the direct physical manifestation of the trauma that we carry it may not seem as important to try to shift it – although it is. In my experience, however, it manifested physically and pushed me to shift it. Because I deserve to live a comfortable life at the bare minimum. Of course, as I shifted trauma out of my body I was visited with remembrances. Not all the things that I remembered were my own.
I started to receive clear visions and feelings of past lives that were affected before me. I was connecting more with my spiritual gifts and I was feeling the strong presence of those in other realms. Understandings of generational curses that had been passed down were becoming evident to me. I was finding out secrets that I would’ve never heard through block chakras. God had sent angels and ancestors – with a lot of guidance and support – to lead me to the changes I need to make to enjoy my present, and heal my future.
Whilst I have been on this journey, I decided to read My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem. I have had the book for quite a while, but it was only upon seeing Yaris Sanchez speak with the author about it that I decided to pick it off my shelf and dive in. I would highly recommend reading it. The book helps you identify where you are holding secrets, or trauma, and teaches you how to address it. It also helps you take the steps to separate yourself from generational pain in a healthy way, whilst still honouring connection to your ancestors.
My Grandmother’s Hands unearthed a lot for me in terms of allowing me to remember who I am in relation to who I’ve come from. It has allowed me to see the beauty in the fact that I have been making graceful movements forward for my whole entire lineage. The women in my family who came before me in terms of my mother, my grandmother, and my great grandmothers are (and were) all very strong women. Each of whom held the weights of the world in the womb and continued to push forward – but also passed those weights onto their children. On the other hand, my father carried a lot of trauma deep within his body and his father kept many secrets himself that there’s no doubt he also carried trauma in his body. Through reading the book I was able to truly understand just how a father’s trauma alters DNA and results in illness for their children.
So… if you take a womb that has inherited damning weights of the world and fill it with trauma-altered DNA, is it any surprise that a child with illnesses would be manifest?
Many of us today are those manifestations.
Taking things further than the ancestors I know, I investigated the secrets behind my roots deeply. Directly I am Caribbean, however after searching through my DNA I have found how heavy and vast my African ancestry is. I traced back part of my lineage enough to find out exactly where some of my ancestors were stolen from. My lineage had a very deeply rich and spiritual beginning, and I believe that people of a community with such devotion to the Highest Power – and embracing of divine gifts – would have been as highly sensitive as myself. For such sacred souls to be stolen and brutalised – with their brutalisation deemed legal – would be a trauma too much to bear. Yet somehow, they bore it long enough to allow the line of their legacy to reach me.
Knowing this made me see that I was an embodiment of my ancestors hopes and dreams, but also their fears and trauma. I also carried things that were too much to bear and bore it anyway. But I don’t want this pattern to reach my children and this reflection highlighted the importance of my responsibility as a human.
When we are born into this world it feels like it’s our world and that everyone else is an extension of us. We look around and see our family, our siblings, our parents, our friends, our partners, and our future offspring – all things revolving around Self. But we are all just pieces of a puzzle, extremely small pieces. And life does not revolve all around us – not individually anyway. Yet still as small as we are, we are significant. Our individual gifts are needed to paint the bigger picture. A picture bigger than this human experience, bigger than earth, bigger than this realm.
Everybody has their own role and whether we fulfil that role affects those who follow. Tupac Shakur once said that the adults had left the world in bad shape for the youth, and decades later I’ve shared the same thought. But not just worldly. Spiritually and genetically, we have been left with a workload.
This is not to say that our ancestors did anything wrong. Our ancestors did their best with what they had. And things weren’t stagnant either. Take my grandmothers for example, they made brave choices and decisions that would have been so far removed from those that came before them for many years. My mother continued by stepping outside of the reigns to carve out her piece of the puzzle and seek newness forward. Now it is my job to further the development by shifting my place in the world and my beliefs to receive the full freedom we have always deserved.
I know that I am a natural healer and nurturer. It is my divine nature. I also know that to be cared for and considered and respected is also in my divine nature. Whether through good customer service in the supermarket or whether it shows up as someone asking for my heart being faithful, fair, and true. It is also my divine nature to be supported as I spread the wings of my free spirit. All of which without conditions.
The women in my ancestry were just like me in divine nature. But they weren’t free in themselves. They weren’t free from secrets.
I’m freeing us.
My pride of being a descendant of the women that came before me is great. As well as their secrets, I carry the divinity of those women within me and it contributes to the amazing woman I am today. I want to be that to my descendants, too, minus the trauma and with freedom on top. I want to pass down the independence of choice, the deservingness of being accepted and cared for openly without worry or need to change. I want to pass down so much self-love and faith that fear is afraid to even approach the children of my womb, and their womb, and their womb.
I want to intentionally shift trauma for myself and for my whole entire bloodline.
Future, present and past.
I want my ancestors to know that I am grateful that they kept running the race long enough to pass the baton to me. I want them to know that I honour the gifts that they have passed down to me enough to fully utilise them. I want them to know that my respect for them, and understanding of their wishes for me, is why I have the courage to be the woman in the lineage that puts all of the past weights down.
The healing of remembering who you are is not just personal, it is curse breaking. So, when you remember, understand that part of the journey includes going out into the world and shifting until you find where your piece fits. Not forcing it to fit in a space that isn’t your own.
I am asking you to choose to put down the weight of your ancestors and to find space for your piece. To understand that isn’t going to be easy, as it has been embedded in you for so long, but to still make the conscious choice to put it down.
Actions need choice to follow.
If you’re anything like me, you will be tempted to go back and pick it up. But think of trauma like cancer. If you had cancer removed, would you ask the surgeon to put it back in? So, why would you do it with trauma? Trauma kills too.
I love you and I honour the divine in you. Always.
Love and light, Liss x