Forgotten But Not Gone   2 comments

no-irish-need-applyI am Irish from 4 generations back, and my great-grandfather apparently lived out that legacy with a liquor bottle.  My grandfather was converted, and I guess he tossed everything out from the old country, good and bad, because we heard nothing more about his father in our family histories.  Our illustrious past started with grandpa, and what lay before was best forgotten.  By my generation, we were starched so red-white-and-blue that I discovered my green ancestry by accident, from a passing comment.  When I was a boy, March 17th had no more significance than the 16th.

new plantNew beginnings are rich with potential as Kimberly and I can attest in changing our surname, in my case from McQuilkin to Grace, but the past cannot be sliced off like so much dead weight.  It’s roots are permanently entwined in who we are till death do us part–it’s part of our physical and spiritual and mental DNA.  Recognizing that, I kept my middle name Kent.  I often wonder how much of that early delinquent heritage has seeped down through our family line, even more powerfully because of our refusal to acknowledge it.  In facing the shadows of our past, reaction is as false a step as acquiescence.  I also wonder how much good we have missed by that same act of mental divorce.  How might we have been enlightened and enriched by a past which has now faded beyond recovery?

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Posted March 17, 2014 by janathangrace in Personal

2 responses to “Forgotten But Not Gone

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  1. VERY interesting! “In facing the shadows of our past, reaction is as false a step as acquiescence.” I will be chewing on this one today. What word or words would you say describe the healthy way to deal with the past?

    • Thanks for asking! I like the interaction! All that makes up our past shapes us in profound and unique ways (even siblings will be impacted quite differently from one another). I think the key is to thoroughly understand it and take it into account in our ongoing journey, using it to understand ourselves better. How did this make me feel? How did it affect my view of myself and others? How has it impacted the way I relate? and so on. Everything in our past can be used for present good, even the evil that can be redeemed, but only to the extent we respond to it in healthy ways (and ignoring or minimizing it is not a healthy way).

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