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  • Mj Pettengill

Becoming Undaughtered: Part 1


Mother, Child, Fantasy     CC0
Mother, Child, Fantasy CC0

ANCESTRAL HEALING

In my world, crying has always been considered a sign of weakness. Many years ago, I had somehow adopted the belief that when I was sick or injured, that it was okay. It’s just me. Now, where were we?

This self-sabotaging neglect is more than limiting. It is harmful to oneself and others. Parents of baby-boomers are of a generation that does not complain. They suffer in silence, never or rarely indicating that they may have been wounded, traumatized, or unwell in any capacity. I observed many veterans who returned home from devastating wars throughout the years, remaining true to themselves and each other in their silent suffering.

My father was just outside of the previously mentioned circumstances. However, he was stationed in the Army in what we refer to as Occupied Japan. Although fully trained, he did not see active combat. It was over. I now wonder what it was like being in a country previously annihilated by atomic bombs. How did the aftermath seep into the outskirts of the targeted sites? We all inhabit the same planet. The ripple effect is real. It may take days, months, or even years for collateral damage to reach distant shores, but in some way, it does, and it will.

We are not insulated from our right or wrong-doings. I believe that we are all connected—some more closely than others. There are spiritual beliefs that would refer to this as karma. In Christian terms, it would be to do unto others as they would do unto you. There are countless ways to perceive cause and effect, natural justice— universal laws.

My authentic nurturing tendencies blossomed almost immediately when I became pregnant with my firstborn son. There were definite shades of it when I cared for my pets. For most, nurturing or cultivating is a natural part of our being-ness. Another myth is that nurturing tendencies are restricted to the feminine. Hopefully, during this great awakening, we will be able to sort it out, owning our fullest potential. We all, both male and female, carry the divine masculine and feminine within. During the past few thousand years, patriarchy has ruled, crushing the Divine Feminine Energy in multiple ways. This reaches beyond the general ruling class and individuals. I am referring to all elements of our earthly existence. To be perfectly balanced, it is essential to embrace both the feminine and masculine within us—Yin and Yang. For more information, check out Carl Jung. He expands on this.

Motherhood begged me to explore my own ancestry, beginning with my mother and father, reaching back. This awareness and willingness to sift through the often messy past led to elevated self-comprehension and all-encompassing connection. In my case, this journey began when childbearing commenced. It continues in various stages in accordance with my own growth and development.

Maturity is a strange thing. The more you learn, the more you realize that you do not know. It took the maturing of my children and my parents’ death—becoming undaughtered—for me to grasp an understanding of who they, their parents, and I were and to go from there. Sometimes, it’s brutal. This is when letting go of teardrop restriction is helpful. The act of crying is a healthy activity in releasing toxins. Please, allow it. Crying being a sign of weakness, again, is fiction. It is actually a courageous act of self-care and trust.

The most difficult part of this is being aware of cyclical patterns, their origins (to the best of my knowledge), and my desire to amend, correct, and heal. Knowing is one thing. Implementing is another.

It sounds like riddles, I know. So, I will be somewhat specific here. I am aware on both sides of my family that intergenerational wounding is prominent in the feminine. This cord is woven tightly through the genealogical fabric of my family. Hard as I try to unravel the knots, most of the time, they remain in some capacity. Perhaps it is to remind me that I cannot alter the timeline. Still, I can soften the edges by embracing, re-membering, and releasing any fragments that may want to reside within. This is a form of scarring for remembrance.

On my father’s side, we have the witch persecutors. I viewed court documents and affidavits signed by my ancestors as plaintiffs accusing others of witchery. I have consciously considered those acts and how they resonated through time. I am aware that I did not personally sign the documents, carry out the inspections, or rig a noose. But, these horrific actions are in my DNA. Chances are, with the witch killing worldwide, you are affected in some way as well. Salem was just a drop in the ocean.

Because at this time, our species have been and are war-mongers, I have countless ancestors who were in these wars on some level. You cannot be on this planet and escape this. Your ancestors were either carrying weapons, being attacked, or brought to their knees within the horrors of war.

Even if you’re part of a dynasty that makes decisions, plots attacks, writes treaties, violates them, or spends eternity in repentance, somehow, the blood of wars courses through our veins. The thought of humans evolving while remaining biological creatures brings about tears of joy—no more wars.

I have spoken in terms of forgiveness and the releasing of trauma that came before me, in my ancestry. Only a few generations passed. There was suicide, loss (by theft) of healthy baby girls, infant deaths, illness, alcoholism, addiction, substance abuse, abandonment, betrayal, depression, and PTSD in all shapes and forms. This is not unusual. We all have it to varying degrees. It depends on what you know, and it's impossible to escape. Some are screaming in pain, expressing their afflictions for the world to see. While others quietly carry their torment close to their hearts.

The big questions are: How do you cope? Do you let pain permeate every cell of your being? Or are you on an ongoing healing journey?

I am here. Generation after generation, I have witnessed the patterns as they play out. Even when I refuse to play, the game surrounds me. It is still my responsibility to pause, identify, steer clear of judgment (even when it hurts), and practice unconditional love. At that point, I can only imagine the best possible outcome. There are no guarantees. We all have free will. It is what it is. Part 2 to Follow