Tag Archives: legacy

‘You are your ancestors wildest dreams’ & 5 reasons to be grateful

I read a slogan on a T-shirt yesterday. It said:

“I am my ancestors wildest dreams!”

It was a slogan that seemed to get itself pinned, literally ramming itself in to a crack in the crazy-paving of my mind. I couldn’t shake it; it stayed with me.

Why? and what would it mean if I allowed myself to truly imbibe the meaning of this phrase?

As I navigate my way through this journey we have each embarked upon called ‘Life on Earth’ I am increasingly aware of the presence of spirit. More recently people and events that have manifest in my life, confirmed that though I thought I was in charge… many of the things I took charge of didn’t quite turn out the way I thought and I ended up learning lessons or getting a spiritual slap to wake me to whatever dysfunctional nonsense was playing itself out at the time.

So who really was in charge?

The end of the year is always a time for reflection and as I do the same, I thought I’d share with you my learning, my truths. You see they may help someone else gain perspective and that’s all good.

This year I learnt a few things to be sure:

  1. People can be malicious and mean, but I’m not
  2. I can’t just be ‘a good person and cry’ when they are I gotta’ ask for help or support.
  3. I won’t die of I DO ask for help or support.
  4. I am loveable and worthy of love in all its forms…

No I know you may all say ‘what? She didn’t know that?’ but what I mean is I finally realised in the core of my being, (through some hurt and being treated as though I am unlovable) that I, and yes YOU, my beautiful sisters and brothers are worthy of love.

Image courtesy of Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/

Of self-love, of the love of your ancestors and the love of that guiding force that supports our lives whether you believe in it or not and of the love of our children and ancestors alike. Ancestral love is where I’m going to place my focus for now.

Many of us forget that our mothers & fathers are our ancestors.

They came before us and despite whatever relationship you had or have with them they are the blueprint you either followed or discarded. Either way they are deserving of gratitude because they helped shape your life.

Now, if your life isn’t where or what you want it to be then from today, you have another 365 days to step into your magnificence and just ‘go for what you want!’ if our life IS what you want at this moment… then ‘whoop di doo’ you either learned great lessons from your ancestors and added to them creating a wonderful life for yourself or you eschewed their examples and now have a blank template from on which you can re-design to your hearts content.

5. I realised too that I have SO much to be grateful for:

  • I am fit (ish) for my age and pretty healthy too.
  • I have (still) maintained a roof over my head and when I look at the increasing number of people sleeping on the streets in our cities I have to say, I am incredibly thankful.
  • I eat, well most, if not all of the time. Yeah the cupboards get a bit bare from time to time, but I still eat.
  • I have talents and skills that are transferable and that I can trade for an income.
  • I have met some wonderful new people this year that I can call ‘friend’ and I also have wonderful old ones whom I cherish beyond measure

It was in this realisation that the slogan on the tee shirt; ‘I am my ancestors wildest dreams’ started to make sense. I realised that many, of them and those who came before THEM had no choice about where they lived, were oftentimes without food, were kept dumbed down, ignorant and illiterate on the pain of death, let alone able to develop skills, transferable or not!

Even as late as the 40s and 50s many were working for little money and their hours and the nature of their work, for some of us what we experience pales into insignificance and I realise we gotta ‘shut up the wailing’ about how hard life is for us.

Many of our ancestors died untimely deaths because of the hardship endured and many, many I am certain slept outdoors on many an inclement night.

Mulling this over it occurred to me that if my ancestors stood before me now, that in comparison to what they had to endure and sacrifice, that my life, my opportunities and the experiences I have had so far would be waaaay BEYOND the wildest dreams of their imagining, when we examine the limits of their experience.

When they look down at who we are and what we are achieving so many of us are surpassing any vision they could possibly have conceived of and for this we need to be grateful, for this we really should take a moment to nod in their direction and acknowledge the huge debt they paid in order for us to be here as we are; struggle and complaints and joys and frustrations and all.

Whether you believe or whether you don’t believe. My life is showing me that spirit is always with us. They just need us to call on them. Your ancestors, whether you acknowledge them or not, are waiting in the ‘wings’– so to speak (and pardon the pun).

It’s immensely comforting to realise, that there Is a guiding force beyond yourself that is ready, waiting and wanting to guide and support you as you grow into your life, it’s ebbing and flow, its joys and trials. If you want their support it’s easy:

  1. Connect to spirit (in whatever way feels right for you)
  2. Ask
  3. Listen to the answer (usually whispers, nuances, intuitions) and
  4. Act
  5. Be grateful

And if this has just been a whole load of woowoo tosh to you at the very least we can at least start the year in the energy of gratitude…Imagine the fantastic year ahead you will create!

Simples…

Make them proud and remember:

YOU are your ancestor’s wildest dreams!

Happy New Year to you all!

Fireworks! my favourite aspect of bringing in a New Year. Image courtesy of Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/

And may the magic of 2020 a new decade, bring peace, all the joy your arms and heart can hold, laughter and prosperity. Love and best wishes from me…

Pauline Tomlin

(Insightful Angel)

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Sick of the Hurt! – Sayeth the man

Sick of the Hurt!

You may remember last week’s blog? The one in which I dared to tell the world that black women have feelings too! You know, the post which exposed the fact that we’re not made of stone (shocker!) And the limited narratives society (and indeed our own communities) offer us as a means to articulate our experiences are not about anger or a martyred single-dom, but are about our collective and individual PAIN?

Well…

That very same theme has carried into this week for me. I was intrigued by a comment made whilst in discussion with a friend. She recalled a conversation with her partner as she attempted to have a heartfelt discussion with him.

For some time she had noticed that she was not getting the best of him and was feeling ignored and dismayed by this. His attention was perpetually divided and when he seemingly was ‘listening’ it was with an ear towards the next message; skipping between ‘other’ (in her heart and eyes) more important contact’s messages; business calls that needed responding to (even at night) and other ‘stuff’ that meant she was perpetually side-lined, ignored, dismissed and her feelings needs and desires negated.

Expressing self

He’d been unaware of her week’s movements, challenges and triumphs, due to either not hearing her… truly being present and listening or because they hadn’t properly conversed in quite some time. Yet she, was acutely aware of his successes and challenges, had been there to support him in a particularly challenging issue he needed advice on and his response ad been, shall we say, less than grateful.

She felt it reasonable to express her disappointment to him, he is after all her life partner and she was acutely aware that if the situation continued they would be in big trouble in their relationship. She confessed to me it was only after her abandonment was so acute that she summoned up the daring to broach the subject with him. Fearing the often-felt dismissal when the black woman’s ‘feelings’ are brought up and the immense wounding she may swallow yet again, if she couldn’t get through to him.

The expectation would be for her to stifle the aching, yet again, find some emotional balm from deep within and place the salve on the knawing gape of her woman’s desires herself and just ‘get on with it!’

‘Getting on with it’ is what has been the lot of the Black woman since we were kidnapped from the Motherland.

Superwoman
  1. The dark hued woman was designated the back-breaking field work, bred like donkeys, raped and tortured, saw their children sold of at intervals or die: The first trauma – *Vilomahed (see below)
  2. Or else the children they produced who were ‘closer to massa’ in looks were brought into the house and discouraged from fraternising with the woman who bore them; the first heart-breaking rejection: The second trauma – Rejection
  3. If their men loved them, protected them, admired and appreciated them or their family unit was becoming just ‘too tight’ He was sold off: The third trauma – Unprotected
  4. If their son’s were protective and loving towards their mothers, if they dared defend them they lived in the fear of them being tortured or killed and so she had to teach her darling boy to ‘bow his head’ just a ‘likkle’ so massa wasn’t too offended by his emerging manhood and she felt shame. Shame that in trying to save him she was forced to become complicit in the emasculation of her own men: The fourth trauma – Psychosis inducing Guilt

And all of this, she had to stuff down. Even though it was vomit-inducing and choking she went back into the fields day after day, pregnant and in mortal fear instead of able to embrace the joy of bringing new life,

Into the ‘big house,’ and wet-nursed the massa’s baby, her life-giving, rich, original-mother-of-the-Earth-mineral-rich-mother’s milk suckled by another woman’s children, whilst hers went hungry…

Imagine…

Where did all that pain go?

And so… the narrative of the black woman being able to bear anything and get up and get on with it is ‘hot-metal branded’ into our collective psyches. No other woman in any other cultural grouping be-it a Racial, Social or even Professional context is or has been exposed to such isolation, rejection abandonment and emotional molestation.

Where did all the pain go?

Another friend and I have sat up night after night examining the shared experiences in our lives and the uncanny synchronicities within them.

Even we, seemingly intelligent, well-educated, sophisticated, modern Black women have had to recognise, painful as it is, that the trauma has been passed on. Passed on in utero. Passed on as our fragile lives take shape, as we exit the birth canal; the trauma has already been tattooed into our psyches!**

And it is so that we enter the world to then layer the traumas experienced in our own lives on top of the of the ones we’ve been bequeathed at birth.

Traumas and hurts from abuse, abandonment by lovers, husbands, children; for some of us, emotionally flat, unfeeling, sometimes cruel mothers, mothers unhappy at their own life choices and without the emotional maturity to deal with their feelings or ‘babies’ as mothers who like deer in headlights, were nursing their own traumas with no damned idea how to soothe and support themselves let anyone anyone else!

The trauma is perpetuated and so the narrative embeds deeper and deeper within our psyche, our experiences and our society. We can deal with ANYTHING, we have no need of comfort or protection or consideration or care; we are fearless and strong.

We are impenetrable.

Impenetrable like rock

In order to survive, that is exactly what many of us have had to become…

impenetrable, stone: pushing it all down, calcifying our pain for fear that if we acknowledge it, shine the light of realisation on it and dare to heal, that we might, instead lacerate and annihilate our very souls!

My brave friend persevered. She KNOWs she deserves like any other woman a chance to experience the love and protection and companionship of a life partner. She longs to be an example to her children and especially her girl children of what they can and should expect from themselves and their partners.

His response was to negate her hurt, it was to outline how fed up he was of hearing of her needs and that if this is what being  ‘strong black woman’ meant then he was ‘tired’ of hearing it.

Strong?

What is the strong black woman?

Her response was that ‘being a strong black woman’ means:

Recovering from another instance of someone:

  • Happily sharing your gifts, being uplifted and promising equanimity, yet in reality being incapable of admitting that they do not want to fulfil that promise or equanimity when it comes to you.
  • That it’s giving and loving and caring and supporting and getting little or nothing like the same in return…
  • It’s having your needs and feelings dismissed and instead being blamed
  • It’s somehow after being crushed, abandoned or neglected (after all you’re a strong woman and so can do EVERYTHING alone, so get on with it and shut up!) finding the courage and the hope and the compassion for self and others and swallowing the massive FEAR that you might get it wrong again…

It’s after society and your own men shove you to the bottom of the pile every day…

  • It’s after THAT… you dare to try again, to believe things can be different and not become cynical, cruel, ugly, vicious, mean or hurtful.

It’s getting up though you’re bruised and terrified and giving it another go, believing in the spirit of humanity, believing in romance, believing in true partnership and love and believing, despite exhaustion that you too deserve all life has to offer and you’ll give it one last go; just ‘ONE MORE TIME”

That…

She said is what being a strong black woman is!

Blissings and much love

Insightful Angel

*Vilomah means “against a natural order.” As in, the grey-haired should not bury those with black hair. As in our children should not precede us in death. If they do, we are vilomahed. … A parent whose child has died is a vilomah:https://today.duke.edu/2009/05/holloway_oped.html

**The Telegraph, Sunday 27th October 21019The Genetic Scientists are now beginning to confirm that phobias can be inherited: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/10486479/Phobias-may-be-memories-passed-down-in-genes-from-ancestors.html

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Legacy

Happy Sunday All,

Please Excuse me…I hope you’ll forgive my not posting last week, but one week and one day ago one of the most momentous events that I believe can occur in one’s life happened to me.

I became a Grandmother.

statue-572169_1280It’s been a week of transitions and changes and emotions and insights, which have left me reeling at times and awed at others. Don’t get me wrong, I have been aware of our little angel’s imminent arrival for the last nine months, but nothing and I mean nothing prepared me for the searing almost pathological love that consumed me when she did arrive.

Yes it was a little girl.

Beautiful…perfect and I believe with all my heart she is a gift handed down into the hands of my wonderful daughter and into our family, directly from the Angels themselves.

Roots

root-1013564_1280I have been in the privileged position of working with the next generation for the last ten years. This means I have been able to observe them, to know them and t love them intimately and to learn what we need to do for our children to survive, thrive and contribute.

Those children who have a less than secure, or indeed NO connection to their heritage, their foundation or roots, if they are not sheltered and secure as they grow, they are less able to find the self-esteem and worth required to allow us to teach them and to guide them. They have less self-love and this manifests in destructive behaviours, towards themselves, towards others, or both.

nature-1060244_1280Acorns

Like the acorns that fall from the Original Oak tree, they need fertile soil so they can begin to burrow their own fragile roots into the soil, they need time to feed and grow; become strong.

The strengthening and growing process is most successful when it takes place in the shade and protection of the branches of the mighty trees, which came before them. They are strong enough; they know the vagaries of the wind, they can read the seasons and know when and how to bend and not break, to store nutrients to survive the droughts and the storms, when to envelop the new sapling in their protective branches so they are not buffeted and destroyed by the elements beyond.

Saplings

If the older trees fail to do this, if they turn from the sapling and leave it exposed to the vagaries of the seasons before it is ready or able to deal with the searing sun or the biting wind then our poor sapling grows warped and misshapen, unable to grow tall and straight, unable to stand strong.

Grow model - New shootFor our little sapling the wind is harsh, not soothing and the sun is cruel, not nourishing as it was exposed to it too soon. Exposed when it had neither the strength, knowledge, nor experience to anticipate the damage it would suffer to and was left scarred by the meeting; blistered & burnt; limbs broken & weak…

Mighty Oaks

oak-1004607_1280If these ‘elders,’ the mighty strong Oak trees, which stand in the forest before them are loving and caring they will bow and bend, flexible enough to protect our young sapling, they teach it when & how to hide from the searing sun and the biting wind.

The sapling then grows knowing care, knowing love, secure; knowing and feeling protection. Our sapling faces the wind and the sun when it is ready, when it has the knowledge and skills and the strength to do so… the sapling grows straight and strong.

Legacy

Legacy: defined by the Cambridge dictionary as:

‘Something that is part of your history, or that remains from an earlier time’

I could have had mixed feelings when I think about ‘being from an earlier time,’ but for me this new phase of life; being part of her ‘history’ means the sapling (me) has become a ‘Mighty Oak’ and that ‘legacy,’  the passing on of the history, the sharing of ‘that earlier time’,’ is now my responsibility.

I am responsible for passing on the ‘legacy’ of who we are and who we were, to teach her where she came from, so she is able to navigate where she is going, to strengthen her roots and guide her through the wind and the sun, so she grows strong and straight, enabling her to become the magnificent ‘She’ that she will inevitably be.

I’ve been so moved by this new phase, it got me to wondering about what it means to me and what I hope to pass on to her and so I wrote it down..

Legacy

For Amelia:

I won’t care that you dirty your clothes

As long as I can sit with you on the doorstep in the fading sun, sucking on home-made lemon-ice, chit- chatting about everything and nothing

As long as I can show you how to mine your wonder and find your limitless potential

I won’t care what you do in your work

As long as I can teach you to do what it is your heart aches to do

As long as I can show you how to dream

I won’t care who you love

As long as I can teach you to do so with an open heart

As long as I can show you how to live with passion & fearlessness, always alive, always brave.

I will care when you are hurt by life and love and betrayal, but…

As long as I can teach you how worthy you are

As long as I can show you how to let your pain expand your soul, stay open to life, despite the hurt…you will rise.

I won’t mind (too much) that you sometimes forget to call or visit your ‘Ya Ya’

As long as I can teach you the power of your spirit

As long as I can show you the magnificence and the beauty of the Queens from whom you’re descended & whose fire & determination courses through your veins

I won’t care how many degrees you hold

As long as I can teach you to dance with life and express yourself in JOY

As long as I can show you how to live unrealistically and daringly, show you how to be limitless and carefree, show you how to not care one jot for the opinions of those who seek to restrict you out of their fear.

I won’t care (too much) to leave you…as it’s inevitable that one day I must

As long as long as I can teach you to keep on hoping, teach you to keep on dreaming, teach you you MUST keep wishing; knowing that there will always be a brighter day, knowing that you always deserve to see the sun rise

As long as I can show you how to truly ‘like’ whom you’ve become, look in the mirror and see the beauty in her…

Everyday…

Even when your life feels less than pretty.

I won’t mind that you’ll sometimes forget me

As long as you remember to ‘feel’ life through your grief and despair, as long as you remember the lessons I taught you

As long as you remember the loving kisses I gave you

As long as you remember the pressure of my arms around you

As long as you remember to look yourself in the mirror and see yourself with love and with acceptance.

As long as you remember you’re amazing and perfect

As long as you remember I am your friend

As long as you remember I’m always with you

As long as you remember…

I will ALWAYS…love you

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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