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The journey to discovering your inner wisdom and finding out who you truly are frequently involves being willing to take an outward journey as well. The inner journey requires you to sojourn through the impalpable terrain of feelings, memories, dreams, values and beliefs. The outward journey may take you to actual places, places of origin, birth and ancestry. Don’t be surprised then if all this talk about inner journey causes you to wonder about your roots and sends you off to discover more about your parents and relatives. Wanting to explore the influence of our parents and the folks who contributed to making us is a natural part of claiming the wisdom that is ours.

Now that our parents are dead, my siblings and I spend a lot of time at holidays remembering their lives through the stories we tell. We laugh and fight back tears, and we remember. My favorite stories are about my mother teaching me at four how to read while she cooked dinner every night after working all day. Remembering the stories of our ancestors is a great way for discovering the role they play(ed) in shaping our inner journey. Remembering the stories of our ancestors is also a great way of making certain that they remain a part of our inner journey.

What positive gifts in your life come to you directly from your mother? Thank her for each of them, either in person, through a letter, or in an imagined conversation. What positive gifts in your life come to you directly from your father? Thank him for each of them, either in person, through a letter, or in an imagined conversation. In those same conversations, explain to them why for you feel it’s time you let go of any negative legacy that you received or carried for her or him.

–Renita Weems

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