Do you feel connected to your ancestors? Halloween/Samhain is believed to be the day where the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest; while popular culture may choose to celebrate by eating tiny candies and wearing costumes, there are those who use the opportunity to communicate with the dead. Directly after is Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday (now widely celebrated beyond Mexico) dedicated to honoring the ancestors. Whether or not you know/knew the people in your bloodline, you can still honor those who came before you and the gifts and challenges that have been passed along to you.
Many of us come from long lines of repression when it comes to our sexuality and we carry that weight with us- a weight that was never ours to bear. Our ancestors didn’t necessarily mean for us to suffer; when you look at what the world was like only a couple hundred of years ago, there was so much more need for protection. Laws against homosexuality were much more widespread around the world. Cisgender women in particular who desired sex were often labeled with some kind of psychiatric disorder. There wasn’t nearly as much knowledge about STIs and certainly there wasn’t the level of medical support that’s available to us now. Sex in general wasn’t something that was openly talked about; all of this combined sent the message of “danger” when it came to anything regarding sex and sexuality.
How supportive of our ancestors to try to protect us from that danger!
The truth is that we don’t live in a world where it’s entirely safe to deviate from cisgender heterosexual identities. There is still such a thing as slut shaming. STIs are still stigmatized. While sex is more openly talked about, there is still a movement for keeping discussion under wraps. But all of that is changing. When we make the choice to heal ourselves of not only the wounds we’ve experienced in this life but those challenges that have been passed down to us, we also heal our ancestral lines. Choosing to do things differently also impacts our descendants; if we don’t have children, we influence and affect anyone in our lives who looks up to us.
However, our ancestors didn’t just give us challenges and trauma – even if they tend to be the things we see most easily. Our ancestors also gave us gifts! We might need to dig a little bit deeper to find those gifts but they are there. For example, perhaps somewhere along the line, you were given the gift of curiosity and that curiosity has led you to seek out resources to support you in exploring your sexuality – including reading this blog post!
If you’d like to honor your ancestors at this time, here are some journal prompts to guide you:
What are the gifts you can see that have been passed down to you? How might you celebrate those gifts within you?
What do you see as challenges that have been passed down to you? Are those challenges actually yours to contend with? Can you have compassion for those who came before you?
What burdens do you decide as of now that are no longer yours to carry? Thank your ancestors for those lessons…and then lay those burdens down.
Who do you get to be now that you’re no longer carrying those burdens?
How does that version of you impact others around you?
You may choose to write over several sessions or set aside several hours to write. However you go about this, go slowly and be gentle with yourself as you answer these questions and embrace all that you’ve been given in this lifetime.
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