A picture of a page in my family's genealogy book showing enslaved people they owned
Personal, Podcast, Racism, Mental Health, Coronavirus, Society

How Embracing the Ugly Side of Your Family’s History is Healing

Why It’s Important to Yourself and the World

Part Two:

What does the word Embrace mean to you? I looked up the definition of “Embrace” after a dear friend encouraged me to Embrace my family’s ugly history of owning enslaved men, women, children, and families. How in the world do you embrace something like this? And why?

Spotlighting injustice is my life’s theme. I have always been one to fight for the underdog, vulnerable populations, sidelined groups, and the mistreated.
Perhaps this stems from being raised by parents who were cruel at times, emotional abusive, and created a foundation of uncertainty. I was the underdog. I was the mistreated. I was the vulnerable.

My ancestors were part of something horrific, something that is the complete opposite of my soul which has been a devastating discovery for me. But why? And is it really devastating? Or am I creating an unfounded belief from my childhood programming that it was my fault?

A picture of a page in my family's genealogy book showing enslaved people they owned
A page from my family’s genealogy book with enslaved people my family owned

According to Meriam-Webster Dictionary.com, Embrace as a verb means “to put one’s arms around and press tightly”, “to surround”, or “to take for one’s own use”. As I am reading the definitions of Embrace—I see the word assimilate. Just as my friend told me he’s had to do his whole life as a black man—Assimilate.

At any moment we can choose a different emotion, a different perspective, a different realization. There are many truths to many things we don’t understand. Sometimes we will never get the clarity or understanding to situations which cause us great pain.

I will never obtain the clarity and understanding from this ugly side of my family’s history. I only cause myself more pain by trying to fill in the answers over and over again. The answers will not be good enough anyway. So what do you do?

Only You create the clarity & understanding for Yourself

Now I create my own clarity and understanding by defining Embrace as surrender and acceptance.

I Embrace–surrender and accept– this ugly side of my family’s history because I am healing this “ancestorial curse” as my insightful friend calls it. I choose to embrace my family’s history because I cannot change the past. I choose to embrace my family’s history because fighting against it only hurts myself and my own healing.

I am on the Beautiful Healing side of my Family’s History.

I Embrace this.

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast
Listen to episode 4: the childhood
to find out more about my abusive racist upbringing

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