Over the next two blogs I’m going to think/talk about our lineage. Specifically, I’m going to look at our inheritance and our legacy.
To really oversimplify things, one shapes who we are and the other shapes what we choose to do. Let’s start with who we are.
Understanding our inheritance is one of the first steps in becoming self-aware. We can begin by asking some questions to shed a little light on the matter:
- What did I receive from the people who brought me into the world and from those who raised me and shaped my formative years? They might not be the same people! Who were they?
- What do I know about what shaped them? What was the world like for them?
- What life experiences did they have?
- What did they value, love, fear?
- What were their aspirations? What motivated them?
- How did they spend their time? What were their habits?
- What did they believe about themselves? What doors were open to them? What doors did they believe were closed?
- What was important to them? What was unimportant?
- What did they stand for? What did they believe?
- What did they want for me? Or not.
- What did they want to teach me?
- How did they try to protect me – and from what?
- What did they inherit?
Whether I was aware of it at the time – or am even aware now – I inherited some things from them. It might be as obvious as the nose on my face, or as subtle as a hidden bias.
Maybe we haven’t ever taken the time to look at what we have inherited, but a key component of self-awareness is knowing what shaped us.
The next step is to decide for ourselves what we want to keep. Some stuff goes in the “thank you very much, I love it!” pile. Some might go in an alterations or mending pile. Some goes in the “thank you, but not for me” pile. And some just goes in the “bless your heart and that’s a big fat no!” pile.
Our inheritance is just our starting point. What we do with it is where we take control. What we make of it is our legacy. In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!
Love, and light in the shadows,