The resilience we have is built by the generations of women who came before us.
Did you know that you were in your grandmother's womb? A woman is born with all her eggs inside her. When your grandmother was pregnant with your mother, the egg that grew into you was already present in your mother. Life circumstances, emotional states and psychological challenges that had an effect on your grandmother have an effect on you.
And yes, trauma can be passed down from generation to generation, but so is healing and strength.
If you know where you came from, you also know where you are going.
When you gain more knowledge about your roots, you broaden and deepen yourself, just as roots do when they grow to strengthen the upper part of the tree, which faces different weather conditions every day. Roots grow wider and deeper.
A 2019 article written by Dr Suzanne Degges-White and published in Psychology Today is about how exploring family history can help develop a sense of belonging and continuity, and this in turn can contribute to a greater sense of resilience. The title of the article is "The Power of Family Stories: Using Narrative to Promote Resilience".
Several studies have also shown that exploring your family history can help you develop a sense of identity and meaning, contributing to better mental health and resilience.
Focus on their strengths. Focus on social skills as well as practical skills.
You can do this exercise:
Make a list of the 7 generations of women who came before you. You don't need names or anything, just your own created mental image of the woman is enough if you don't have more information. If possible: try talking to your mother or talk to your grandmother. Perhaps family history was once written down in a book. Try to gather information: country of origin, what they did for a living, etc. Focus on their strengths. Focus on social skills as well as practical skills. Were they a confidant for others or very good at knitting underwear, or were they a midwife or did they know which herbs to use in case of illness e.g. ?
If there is no physical person you can talk to or no written down history, you can try the following. Find a quiet place and sit down. Focus first on your breathing and heart rate. If necessary, close your eyes. Then keep the last person you knew (mother, grandmother, great-grandmother) in mind. Next, stretch your awareness out backwards in time and wait a moment until you feel the awareness of another person and you get a mental image of the mothers who have gone before you. You probably get the image as if they were standing in line at the checkout in the supermarket. In your mind, try to connect with at least one of them, ask them who they are, where they lived, what their strengths are. Write it down.
All this knowledge is a part of you! Feel the power it gives you. Use it to your advantage the next time a storm rages through your life.