Remembering Those Who Hve Gone Before Us
Greetings on this dark, damp autumnal day! A bit of a change from the wonderful weather we were having a couple of days ago, as in the picture below taken on a Sunday walk with my husband and the dogs.
Here in the mountain reaches of north west Wales the seasons are moving quickly now as we head towards the traditional start of the Celtic Winter. Now is the time to wind the year down and draw everything to a close. All the busy-ness of spring and summer and the frenetic activity of autumn and harvest are almost at an end. The days are rapidly growing shorter. We have already had our first storm of gales and torrential rain. Time to withdraw indoors, light the fire, switch on the glowing lights of home and relax… take stock of the year we have so far experienced and withdraw into ourselves to rest and re-nurture ourselves, both in body and spirit.
This is also the time when we can think about all those who have gone before us… our family members no longer with us… our ancestors, way back into the dim and distant mists of our historical and genetic past. In Celtic belief this was the time of year to remember one’s forebears; those who have shaped our land, our culture and society, and contributed to who and what we are today. As the year draws to a close there is a pause at the end of this month – a few days of ‘space’ when the realms of those gone before us are able to draw closer to us once more as the veils between their world and ours thins. The natural world is dying back into herself on the intake of a long, indrawn breath only to be released in a icy sigh which brings frosts to our mornings and chills to our days. We are stilled, we are freed to think and reflect… and remember.
It is believed that one of the most healing and loving actions you can perform for your family who have passed on into the Summer Lands is simply to remember them… to keep their memories fresh and relevant to your life today. Another great gift that you can give to those who are no longer with us is to forgive them. None of us are perfect. Everyone has had their struggles and challenges and made their mistakes… we are all in this experience of life here on Earth together… we know what it is like. Give your predecessors a break! They know only too well what their short-comings were in this life – cut them a bit of slack and offer some encouragement.
But there are times when we are caught up in our ancestors problems, inherited through our genetic connection but not actually to do with our physical genetic coding. Problems our dear ones might have had with all manner of difficulties such as poverty, prejudice, addiction and violence which have nothing to do with us personally but which are still colouring our lives generations later. This is typically found in repetitive behaviour and life scenarios which do not appear to have any real relevance to us now or things which occur across the generations and to many individuals within that family, for instance abandonment, premature death or addiction. We have all heard people make comments like “Oh, that family has never had any luck” or “That family have always liked a bit too much to drink”. There is also such a thing as family karma, which is a broader issue and has to be dealt with differently, but more often than not, it is simply the ‘memory’ or the unresolved difficulties of our ancestors which are still resonating down the generations.
How can this be prevented from continuing? Quite simply. As I began by saying, ‘remembering’ your ancestors, even if you don’t know anything about them, simply acknowledging that they once existed (and we know that they did or else we wouldn’t be here!), then extending love and forgiveness to them. There are other quite simple specific exercises and activities one can engage in to bring unresolved trauma and problems to the surface and heal and let them go. Yes, it can take a little concentration and effort, and it might not be achieved immediately – so often this type of process is just that… a process which takes time and thought and unfolds gradually but the potential benefits are huge, both for yourself and the rest of your family members, and even those future descendants who have yet to be born.
If anyone is interested in following this idea up, please do get in touch with me for further information – there are some excellent books on the market which can guide you through this process and I also lead workshops on this topic – there is one coming up on the 21st of October for anyone in my area.
But whatever you do – or don’t do – please spare a kind thought this month for all those who have lived, loved, struggled, laughed, wept and gone before you – they had their hopes and dreams, their fears and failings just like you. Be kind in your remembering of them.
Now it is time to temporarily close this Simply Seasonal blog and revert to my Merry Midwinter postings – this is my most favourite time of the year… deepest autumn running out into early winter. Enjoy this opportunity to retrench, recuperate and recover your energies and allow yourself the time and space to discover where you might wish to go next.
To follow me through the winter months, please go to www.merrymidwinter.com
Blessings to all!