Today is All Souls Day for Catholics, which falls on the calendar very near to Dia de los Muertos and Samhain, all holy days that give us ways to soulfully remember the reality of death and feel that our dead are still close to us. As a spiritual practice, regardless of what you believe about an afterlife or what happens after death, there is still great value in rituals that bring us reminders of death and opportunities to remember those we have lost. I also feel that there is great value to us in this life to remember and sometimes to atone for or heal the stories of our ancestors. We inherit many things from our ancestors, sometimes including generational trauma. Recent children’s movies like Encanto have illustrated this so beautifully. When we confront and heal patterns of generational trauma, we heal our whole families: present, future, maybe even past.
Can stopping the flow of generational trauma heal our ancestors? Maybe, maybe not, I honestly cannot say what I truly believe about the reality of my ancestors hanging around. But what I can say is that there is a part of all of my ancestors living on in me, and I can extend healing and love to those parts of myself. I can change how I relate to them. And in that process I am healed.
How do you remember your ancestors? What legacy have they left you? Is there generational trauma? Is there generational resiliency and strength? What gratitude, what healing, what atonement can bring you greater wholeness and wellbeing now?