The main focus of my professional life and business of research, speaking, and writing the last few years, has been on teaching people how to navigate World War II records research. At the same time, I was also quietly and personally working through a lot of spiritual things, balancing karma, my life, and releasing things and people from my life that no longer served me. Last fall on my solo trip to Europe, the professional and personal worlds collided as I met in the present time with some of my past. You can read about it in my Traveling in their Footsteps articles.
That experience led to another world opening up, that of the trauma of war. In my personal journal writing and in a couple of articles, I was questioning as the granddaughter of family who went to war, ‘how did that affect my parents lives and my life? What am I carrying around that needs to be healed and released? What was passed down through the family, the DNA, and stories, that affects me today?
Since I started asking those questions, several children of veterans or soldiers who died in the war, have contacted me to share their stories of trauma passed down through the generations.
My business began in genealogy six years ago. There was no World War II research happening. It was strictly genealogy. I had a degree in history and wanted to not only learn who was in my family tree, but also what their lives were like. I wanted to know the stories and better understand why I was here and why I was the person I was. There was a deep unconscious need to understand what my family members experienced in their lives. This led to greater awareness of why my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, were the way they were. We all have family stories. We all, on some level, have a need to know who we are and where we came from.
Four years ago when I became a single mom, by choice, I began questioning the past, my life, my decisions, and the people in my life, more and more. I saw similarities between my paternal grandmother who essentially became a single mom after World War II and myself. Patterns emerged from stories I’d heard or things I’d observed about my immediate family and I struggled for a long time to have compassion and understanding for all of us, as we lived this life. A friend introduced me to Access Consciousness to help me shift the energy and release the past. When things became too intense by numerous triggers which my soul decided to heal this year, I was referred to ThetaHealing and an incredible woman named Kristen Tenpenny. Kristen has helped shift and heal so many things in my life and to really release the past. I’m still a work in progress, but life is so much better, more balanced, and peaceful since I began working with her early this year.
What’s interesting is the more aware we are, the more serendipity, or coincidences, show up to guide us on our path. I pay attention to the signs, because when I do not, the universe tends to repeat the sign in a stronger, unpleasant way. A few days ago I saw a post for an article on Facebook called, It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are. In that article, the book It Didn’t Start With You was highlighted. I felt drawn to this book after reading the article and ordered it immediately. Yesterday I sat down and read 100 pages and started working through some of the exercises.
The book discusses the constantly changing research of DNA, what we inherit from our parents, what we inherit from our grandparents and all those who came before, and even those connected to our family. In the genealogy community, there are groups who believe we carry trauma and other things through our DNA, from our ancestors, and those who do not. Personally, the science of DNA makes my brain hurt so I have avoided it so far. I’m a historian not a scientist. This book lays things out in terms I can understand and make sense in the bigger genealogical picture.
The author brings genealogy into the mix because to understand some of what we carry around:
- Those issues we can’t seem to get rid of
- Chronic diseases we are diagnosed with
- Those triggers that set us off on panic attacks that make life unbearable
- and the depression that sets in for no logical reason
Those are just a few things we carry. We need to understand the family stories. This includes those traumatic, shameful, ‘never spoken of’, stories. The author talks about Core Language, or the terms we says to ourselves about our situation, that aren’t necessarily ours. He cites a lot of experiences with clients from the Holocaust who, three generations later, want to be vaporized and die, or carry such guilt about living, even though there is no logical reason in this life to feel those things. The Core Language the clients use help determine where he needed to dig into the family stories and experiences.
Last night I continued reading and working through some of the exercises, to determine my Core Language and issues around one soul who still painfully triggers me. One soul who has forced me to think about whether or not to make certain choices this year. While I’ve done a tremendous amount of healing work around my past lives with this soul, it occurred to me that I might have healed all of my “stuff,” and what is still being triggered doesn’t even belong to me! With some stream of consciousness writing and thinking about family stories, I realized it didn’t. I have been carrying things around my whole life that were not mine, but affected me in countless ways. Through meditation I released these things back to their owners and felt a weight lift off me.
Is this soul issue healed? Have I done all the work I need to so I can move forward in life in peace and love? I hope so. Time will tell, although I plan to explore this, I hope for the final time, in my next ThetaHealing session.
Our family history, stories, DNA, experiences we have, and the lives we live, can cause strong emotions, we don’t always know how to deal with. Maybe it’s time to dig deeper into the family stories and bring to the light, all that which wasn’t or couldn’t be discussed. Sometimes we have to go deep into the darkness and pain of our history, to let our past and the negative go so we can come into the light.
Have you read this book? Have you experienced what the author discusses, in your family and life? What are your thoughts? I’ll update you on mine when I finish reading it.
© 2016 World War II Research and Writing Center
Jen, your stories amazing! I have tried to hook up with you many times and something always gets in the way… I even tried to make us in November last year to orkand park where you were speaking! Hope you are Blessed with more healing if need be!!!
Live and prayers,
Joyce Murabito Gustafson
Jennifer Holik says
Thank you Joyce!