My recently deceased mother spent the last years of her life petitioning heaven for the healing of ancestral wounds. She seemed to think that it was enough to ask for the general healing without naming the wounds or those who suffered from these afflictions. Perhaps she didn't know the specifics, or she was too ashamed of her part in them to be able to name them. So many times we hide from our own sins in shame, which forever precludes the healing of their wounds. The sins of the ancestors are only passed down to subsequent generations because we refuse to recognize and repent of our wrong actions.
When we live in a society of fear, ridicule, and reprisal, where do we find words of guidance for our children and their children as they embark upon the waters of adult life and love in this fragmented world. Who will sit with them and listen to their anguish without attempting to interject their own weaknesses and those of their ancestors as justification for further wrongdoing? Tradition seems to trump careful consideration of what is right for individual relationship issues. Do young families have to resort to divorce court in order to be heard?
When two become one, we, as a society, should take their union seriously. We witness their vows, then do nothing to strengthen the union. Even in involved families, the norm seems to be holding onto our own children and insisting on the superiority of our family's ways, rather than releasing them to form their own families. When they ask for guidance, we seldom seek the wisdom of the elders of our communities in guiding our answers. We tend to be too busy protecting our own turfs, traditions, and reputations.
All growth is created in stress. Stress causes a seed to break open and become a tree. A marriage cannot produce offspring without breaking open. When children are born to a union, the young family is in crisis. With the work, wisdom, and wit of the elders, the new tree will flourish. But in the absence of the solid ground for growing and much nurturing, the new tree will either wither and die or splinter into several weakened branches.
It takes courage to carry the burdens of the young on our weary and stooped shoulders, but we must be brave if we are to help to create peace in the new lives of our progeny.