How often in the course of your family history and military research and ancestral healing have you encountered information or beliefs or written words that offended you? Shocked or triggered you in some way? Made you react strongly which led to an immense amount of judgment on who your family member was? Invited negative energies like shame, guilt, and fear into your reality? Perhaps this judgment even made you question who you are as a result of being part of this family?
What did you do with all of these emotions, triggers, and new knowledge about your ancestors? Did you hide the information away, shoving it back into the darkness? Did you bring it to the light and share with family to better understand a belief or experience you discovered?
When we shove things back into the darkness and pretend they didn’t happen or no one else knows, those things fester. The beliefs, behaviors, patterns, and perhaps traumas rise in a new way later. When they do rise, it will be more dramatic because until we process, integrate and release the past, it will continue to show up to teach us something.
Use Historical Context to Understand the Past
In the world of historical, military, and genealogical research, we talk a lot about looking at our family or events through the historical lens. Learning what life, beliefs, behaviors, expectations, and experiences were like at the time they lived.
Each time period had varying beliefs, taboos, norms, religious ideas, political ideas, and other things that shaped who each person became and how they lived. It’s vital we know and understand this rather than judge our ancestors based on the beliefs, behaviors, ideologies, religious and political norms of today. So where do we begin to understand? Let’s look at an example from the late 1940s after World War II had ended.
The following clips of a letter came from a woman whose husband was a high ranking Army Officer during WWII. He served in the Philippines and became a Japanese Prisoner of War. He died during his military service. This letter was one of many from his wife in his Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF). Pay attention to the second image in particular. How does it make you feel reading this?
Roadmap for Research
The first questions I had after reading this was, what was this woman’s upbringing like? What were her religious beliefs? What were the beliefs about other ethnicities at this time? What propaganda had been spread about those living in the Philippine Islands?
I also wondered, although I will never know, What was her experience of the people of the Philippine Islands when she visited her husband?
A brief bit of research on this woman showed me where she was born, Oklahoma, which may have influenced some of her religious beliefs in that her religion and beliefs were the “right and best” and any others were not.
I also learned she married her husband when she was only 16. He was at least 5-10 years older than she depending on his true birthdate. Allegedly he lied about his age to enlist in WWI. He was born and raised on the East Coast and had a different upbringing. How much did his beliefs affect and shape hers at such a young age?
She grew into womanhood as the wife of a military man who quickly became an officer and lived his life in the Army. How did the Army and the propaganda shape who they became and what they believed?
Rather than pass judgment immediately on her or your ancestors – do some research to understand the WHY.
Ask yourself why you react strongly to what you learn.
If you reacted strongly to this woman’s words – why? If you react strongly to something you learned about your ancestor – why?
As each of us raises our consciousness and rises above the programming of beliefs, behaviors, values, religion, politics, education, sex and marriage, roles of men and women, and all the other programs we have had drilled into us, we have to keep asking WHY. We will know to ask that question because we are triggered in some way or have a strong emotional reaction to what we hear or learn. This means there is something within us and our lineage to explore and release.
When we can even slightly understand the why, we can integrate and release the programming, the emotions, the beliefs and behaviors, and sometimes traumas like this woman endured, and heal. We heal ourselves and our ancestral lineage. We even heal our descendants. We change the world.
Are you ready to change the world?
What Will You Discover Through Research?
Are you curious about what you might find out about your WWI or WWII service members? What you might discover about your family through the genealogy and military records? If so, let’s start a project today.
Book a private session or free research consult, many options available based on your needs, and let me help you explore what’s hidden in your family tree, start a military research project, create your family tree or write your story.
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