When I came to learn about the horrendous lives my fore-parents endured, it did not surprise me to hear the next generation went through much worse.
Disease, War, Alcoholism, Child Abuse (of various forms), poverty, infidelity and the shame of children born out of wedlock (whoop-de-do).
I was pleased to find out that Winston Churchill and I are close relations after ascending my family tree. And like the great man said “One ought to be just before one is generous” and I hope that’s what you take from this.
Intergenerational trauma is defined as trauma that gets passed down from those who directly experience an incident to subsequent generations.
Like those brown slug eyebrows, you got from Nana Pat or dumbo-esque ears from Great-uncle Robbie, but way more f&*ked up.
Every single one of us has experienced challenging events in our own family, but I’m proposing an alternate outcome to this so-called “Destiny” of doom.
I’ll call this Intergenerational Health.
Through my own transformational journey (which includes hammering into remission an “incurable” Auto-immune disease, kicking alcohol (5 years clean), gambling (longer), drug use (longer still) and philandering (well…you get the point) I was told repeatedly that my ‘faulty’ genes were at play.
This is the standard answer to every chronic disease from our misinformed medical industry.
Don’t believe me? Remember when masturbation caused blindness?
Believe what you want, but we need a trigger to activate those “bad genes” and I reckon I’ve found a way to keep many of them switched off.
And in the process, have been able to break a cycle of Intergenerational trauma.
My own self-empowerment is having a direct and indirect effect on my family (on both sides) and they are each dealing with their own demons one demonic beast at a time. Slowly but surely, making incidental improvements one minor breakthrough at a time.
Magnify these 1% daily improvements and you’ll have yourself some damned good Intergenerational Health by the time you leave this planet.
How do you do this? Well, start with you.
Ask for help, lead by example, own your traumas and use them as fuel to fire up and inspire others via massive action.
Shed naysayers using clear boundaries (this includes family members) and decide that you are the catalyst for change.
Having ownership, purpose, drive and clear direction leaves a powerful scent.
It’s only a matter of time before your aroma intoxicates the people you care about.
Laban M Ditchburn
You’ve Gotta be Hungry – Les Brown