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November 10, 2021: Family Relationships


Time is an illusion. Everything in your past is only held as a memory. The future doesn’t exist yet and can enter many different paths. We can use our experiences of the past to determine the paths of our future. But in the end, all that is really real is what is happening right now. In this moment.

Photographs are snapshots of moments in time that have already occurred and can often trigger many of the same emotions that we experienced in those moments, but also evoke feelings of nostalgia for times gone by. It is in this that we are able to center, ground, and remember that even though those times have passed, we can still use the knowledge gained in those moments to build a future reality for ourselves by implementing the wisdom added to our reservoirs through those experiences.


As I prepare for entering the next direction on the medicine wheel, I have been delving into many memories of the past to uncover the knowledge and wisdom buried in those past moments and experiences. The West direction is all about understanding the shadows of the past and ancestral behaviors that are passed on from one generation to the next. I watch the pictures in my mind flutter by and acknowledge the choices I have made and how those past behaviors were influenced by the circumstances I grew up in. I see how my relationship with my parents impacted my life path and those of my siblings, as well as how the dynamics within my core family have influenced each other and myself. I contemplate the circumstances in which my parents were raised, and of their parents, and the parents before them. And I observe how my learned behaviors have influenced my son and impact his life on a daily basis.

In order to break the chains of ancestral relationships, it is critical to see and understand the history of our families. Many of our behaviors are learned behaviors that are passed on to us, and often no longer even serve a purpose. When we recognize the conditions in which these passed on behaviors are generated, we give ourselves power to adjust our reactions and thought processes to reflect a healthy and positive outlook that we, ourselves, create, rather than those born of trauma and self-protection from the experiences of our ancestors.


The photo depicts my parents soon after they were married back in the late 1940s. They were so young and filled with hope for the future that was yet to come. And both came from widely diverse backgrounds with experiences that impacted them deeply in how they were yet to raise eight children, 16 grandchildren, great grandchildren, and yet more to come. In that photo, how could they have guessed just how many souls would be impacted by their life choices and the wisdom, knowledge, experience they would choose to pass along?

This photo is a reminder of just how much we impact the Earthly realm around us. It is a reminder to increase awareness of the conditions of those who have lived in the past, and the influence we have on future generations to come. We have the power to break negative chains of behavior and create new and healthy ones that will be passed forward and carried for many years to come. We have the power to change our lives by changing our perspectives right now.


For the last 2 years, I’ve been contemplating the direction I want my future life to take. Two years ago, everything changed for me. Because of generational relationships passed on to my son, he experienced an existential crisis and carried the pain of the choices of his parents and the parents before that. Trauma has lasting effects that cascade on to all those around them. I take ownership and responsibility in contributing to its impact from my lack of awareness in understanding the depth of emotion that these parental relationships can have on our children.

Two years ago I ended a successful career to be more present and reevaluate my life path. And now, the pieces are being put together. While the scars remain, the fibers and tendons that are being formed are so much stronger than they ever were. Life is a journey, and the only moments of regret stem from not awakening to the present sooner. But its never too late. Because, again, the only thing that is real is what is happening right now. So now, I am choosing to make a difference.

I just enrolled in college to create a new future for myself and the people around me through what I am able to offer back. On November 18, I will be starting a program to become a licensed mental health counselor through coursework toward earning a Masters degree of Science in clinical mental health therapy. I aspire to opening a private practice in shamanic energy healing and mental health counseling. And I can’t wait to see how this life decision plays out when the future becomes the present.

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