Enjoying a historic site in silence, without all those tourists with their cameras, are golden moments for me. But in silence, sometimes another history also passes by.
Not only my own past, but also that of my entire family. And that is not so easy to let go of, because as it turns out, it is in my DNA.
I love history. I always got good grades in it and after years I still know a lot about what I have learned and seen. The stories behind buildings, paintings and sculptures have interested me since childhood.
And I still do, when I see a film or series, for example, based on history, it touches me and I investigate it all the way down online. I have always been a 'why' girl and when researching history, I can find my heart is content.
I enjoy the search for what is 'hidden' behind things. And even though big History interests me, small history intrigues me the most. The stories you don't find in books and on Wikipedia. The stories you have to hear from the mouths of elders, or even, from your own imagination and empathy.
It is always a special moment for me, when I can sit down for a moment in a small historical place, especially the ones that don't attract tourists. That I have to get the key from the neighbour and get an unsolicited tour of the special details in the chapel. Or that a shepherd walks by with his flock and shows me a few more things in passing. That.
But when those stories are not there, I find it a challenge to find out for myself what it used to be like. Poking at the edges of history to discover the quiet history of a place. For example, by imagining how people once walked up those worn steps, entered through doors and sat at tables. In my imagination, I see ordinary people strolling through the streets.
"The more you know about your history, the more liberated you are." - Maya Angelou
In recent years, I often got stuck on myself. Because why did I keep feeling a certain way in certain situations every time? And why do I sometimes say things I didn't support deep down? And why didn't I get that certain behaviour changed? A behaviour that took me exactly where I didn't want to be with my whole heart?
It frustrated me.
Precisely at such moments, I didn't feel like myself. I knew I could be different, I knew I was different from how I acted. If I stopped to think about it, I actually felt like another person, like my ex, the teacher, a friend or like my much younger self.
Sometimes I could take that off like a coat that was too small, cut it loose with a string or let it wash away with running water. But there were the moments when that feeling could not be easily released:
The moments when I felt like the people of my family line.
The silent history of my family. That one bothered me. That history is in my blood, in my bones and in my cells. The events before I was born. Events that were never told about, that involved a lot of emotion and thus ultimately define how I view the world.
And that is because my parents carry it with them, but also because my body carries it with it.
I wanted to live more from my heart, but it wasn't that simple. The heart is the centre of the circulatory system. The closer I got to my heart, the closer I got to the stories in my blood. The more I could feel in my heart, the more I could feel my bloodline. The pain and sorrow I encountered there was sometimes too much. But I decided to stay with it in silence. To pick at the edges of my own history and listen. To my heart, to my blood, to my body.
As a result, I learned more about myself. Where my blockages, my pain and my sometimes inexplicable yeses came from. And allowed me to give them back to who they really belonged to. My grandmother, my grandfather, my mother, my father. I could leave them with them, with their interrelationship and past event.
Much of this silent history kept me where I was. In the little circle I was spinning in, the way of life I assumed as true without questioning, and behaviours that seemed like they belonged to my character. It was often these very things that made me feel unhappy.
Maya Angelou was right. Know your silent history and feel free. This requires a degree of curiosity, courage to ask "why" and courage to take the dark road to the root of your own being. But after that, you will feel freer. Freer to be more fully your real self.
The extraordinary thing was that as I began to process my family's silent history through family constellations and bodywork, my mother was also able to slowly release her silent history. My path opened doors for her to start processing her pain.
This convinced me that our bodies are the path to our personal freedom. After all, history is in our DNA. It is only necessary that we learn to dwell on what our bodies want to tell us.
And in our society, with all its beliefs, speed and many distractions, this is a big challenge. Do you feel that there is also a silent history in you that is preventing you from taking steps in the direction your heart is whispering to you? During my search, I came across two valuable resources, especially for women, that can help you with that.
Bethany Webster has a blog full of interesting articles that highlight the psychological side of being a wife and daughter in our society.
Sabrina Lynn has a blog and walks the physical path of self-awareness. This short workshop on the family line has caused a positive shift in me.
I wish you much courage and a history that may speak. If you have any questions or comments please contact me:
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