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Look to the Ancestors to Tame Your Spiritual Unrest

Updated on December 11, 2016
Phyllis Doyle profile image

Physical and spiritual well being is of great importance to Phyllis. Spirituality is deeply ingrained in Phyllis' life.

Look to the Ancestors

Wife of Modoc Henry by Edward S. Curtis, 1923
Wife of Modoc Henry by Edward S. Curtis, 1923 | Source

Seek Your Spiritual Path

To look to the ancestors to tame your spiritual unrest is the best way to find you highest truths and your own spiritual path.

Often we struggle for days, months, even years, seeking something that is missing in our life. Even after attaining what we had always wanted there may still be a void. A yearning for some unknown desire keeps tugging at our hearts. We may feel lonely at times, even when we are surrounded daily by loved ones. We may not understand what this loneliness is or what causes it. This is what I call "Spiritual Unrest".

Native American peoples have a profound awareness of their own spirituality and in every thing in nature. From an early age tribal members have gone on spiritual seeking quests, Vision Quests, to find their spiritual strengths.

Today, in this time of uncertainty and concerns about the future of our country, in keeping up with our busy days packed with chores and errands, with trying to stay up to date with the news, and numerous other things we have on our "must do" lists, we do not have as much time to focus on personal growth and needs.

It is so important to set aside some time each day to devote attention to our spirituality. A miniature Zen Garden, Bonsai tree, or Japanese Stone Garden on your desk top can provide you with a few minutes of peace. Sometimes that is all we need to break away from mental stress and regain balance and harmony.

Regain Balance and Harmony

A mountain, waterfall, and gravel "river" at  Daisen-in (1509–1513)
A mountain, waterfall, and gravel "river" at Daisen-in (1509–1513) | Source

Have we Lost Touch?

Have we lost touch with our ancestors? Have we lost faith in them? Has knowledge of our heritage been blocked from our consciousness due to repression?

Part of our purpose in life is to teach our youth -- to leave them a legacy of their heritage and to instill in them the importance of their own spirituality. This is not an easy thing to do in this age of keeping up with technology and social networking.

In the days of our ancestors there was more time to focus on the training of the younger generation. A major portion of their life was spent in passing on to the children stories and teachings from their ancestors. It was of top priority to pass on to the youth the most important things in life: to know they are loved, to know they are an important part of the family, how to survive, how to take pride in their heritage, and give them the gift of spiritual awareness. Help then find their own creativity and interests in life.

These are things a child needs so they may grow strong in their beliefs and potential. I do not intend to give the impression this is all a child needs today, but, I feel it is the most important basics of what a child needs.

Teach the Children to Find Their Creativity

A creative child will grow spiritually.
A creative child will grow spiritually. | Source

Stay True to Yourself

I believe that every one, regardless of their faith, needs something to believe in, to rely on, to find comfort in. Spiritual growth is something we all need.

My definition of "spiritual growth" is basically: belief in yourself and your faith. To draw comfort and knowledge from what you believe in, to allow yourself to stay true to yourself and your belief system or faith, is spiritual growth.

Quite often I get emails from readers, mostly Native American peoples, who are seeking a connection to their past, to their ancestors. For numerous reasons they have lost touch with their heritage. They seek some knowledge of where their ancestors came from and who they were, what they believed, and what their traditions were.

They seek some connection to their past so they may go forward with renewed energy, pride, and a sense of purpose. There may be many reasons this knowledge has been repressed or hidden from them -- then something may trigger a memory or a deep subconscious need and they start reaching for enlightenment to fill that void in their life.

Sadly, there was a time when people were afraid to admit they were of Native American descent. Fear of being shunned, discriminated against, or put on a reservation made them bury their pride of heritage. Because of this many younger generations have not learned of their ancestral ties.

Young Native American PowWow Dancers ~

It is wonderful to see younger generations who are in touch with their heritage.
It is wonderful to see younger generations who are in touch with their heritage. | Source

Folklore and Mythology ~

In many cultures folklore and mythology are a huge part of daily life.

Both these subjects are based on truths and often contain lessons for a child to learn from. They also instill a respect for their heritage and belief systems.

In Japanese folklore, Momotaro is one of the popular heroes. His name means Peach Tarō. During WW ll, Momotaro was seen as the hero who would save the people. He was sent from Heaven to a childless couple. His purpose was to fight evil and bring peace to Earth.

In India, there are many festivals celebrated throughout the year. The festival of colours, Holi, is usually in March, at the approach of vernal equinox.

It is a reminder from an ancient Hindu legend that celebrates good over evil, when Prahlada disagreed with his arrogant father and remained devoted to Vishnu.

Folklore and mythology is a very important part of staying connected to ancestors and one's own heritage.

Tricksters, mythological beings like Coyote in Native American legends, are mischievous and love to play tricks on others. However, even the tricksters always have an important lesson to teach about good and evil, right or wrong. As a child grows, he or she begins to see the importance of what the trickster legends mean and how to apply these lessons to life.

Coyote ~

Coyote from Yosemite National Park, California
Coyote from Yosemite National Park, California | Source

International Children's Folklore Festival in Bulgaria, 2014. It is very beneficial spiritually to involve children in folklore festivals.

Incredible Experiences

I have been blessed with the knowledge of incredible experiences of many people who have shared their stories with me - who have suddenly realized what it is they have been missing in life. To hear or read about a connection they made with an ancestor is a joyous feeling. To know that these people have found out things about themselves because they made a spiritual connection to an ancestor is a very fulfilling experience.

To know even little things, like one can carry on a particular skill an ancestor had, is a tremendous boost to their spiritual growth. It is like finding a lost loved one when a spiritual connection to, or knowledge of, an ancestor is found.

If you feel a void in your life, I encourage you learn about your ancestry, explore your heritage, find your spiritual path, and grow spiritually. Become who you are meant to be, become all you can be.
~ ~ ~ ~

© 2010 Phyllis Doyle Burns


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    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I believe in the same way, Indian Chef -- ancestral spirits are still our teachers when we honor and call upon them. Thank you for your comment and encouragement.

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

      In India ancestors are worshiped a lot and their spirit even after their death drive you a lot and can give you lot of courage. Voting it up.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      onegreenparachute, how interesting your history is. I admire you for searching for your heritage -- it is very satisfying to find links to the past and to the ancestors.

      Thank you so much for the visit and sharing your story. Thank you also for the votes, it is much appreciated.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      prettynutjob, thank you so much for the visit, reading and comment. I appreciate the votes and share, thank you for that also.

    • onegreenparachute profile image

      Carol 4 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

      It wasn't until I was in my twenties that my mother admitted that her mother was an "Indian". I never met my grandmother as she died when my mother was only sixteen. I had an immediate 'ah-ha' moment when I learned of my maternal ancestry. I knew then where that feeling of loss and spiritual unrest came from and I determined to find my true roots. My mother knew nothing about her tribal ancestry as her mother was ashamed to even talk about her family. It took me until I was in my forties to discover that we were Nisga'a, a proud northern Canadian tribe from the Nass River area.

      I have spent the last twenty years uncovering and discovering my Aboriginal heritage which has been hugely satisfying.

      Thank you for this hub. You put into words exactly how I feel.

      Carol - Hax Waa Ksakw (Never Gives Up)

      Voted up and shared.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, voted up, shared and more. I have been looking up some information on my heritage lately and have found my ancestors were rather spiritual people.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Kitty, thank you so much for the visit, reading and commenting. I really appreciate it. Let me know when you have written your article, I would love to read it.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

      Amazing hub. This past year I have been working on connecting with my ancestors and my bloodline. It has taught me so much, and I have ongoing experiences with my ancestors in dreams, etc. Great article! I was writing an article on ancestors and came across yours in doing research...well-written!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Angel, thanks for stopping by. You have some very good insights about the youth of America. I cannot imagine how I would have grown spiritually had I not known my ancestry and the spiritual strengths they had and passed down to each generation. Thank you for your thoughts and visit.

    • angel115707 profile image

      Angel Ward 6 years ago from Galveston, TX

      Love this Hub! I really believe this is why teens are so depressed, drugged, and suicidal, if you don't know your past, you have no future, and kids are raised and programmed to think of themselves as worker bees and consumerists, deep inside young adults know this is against their spirits! America is falling apart primarily because kids do not know their ancestry and have no value system in place to guide them...

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Tammy, thanks for the visit and comments. Nice to see you here.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      I have traced my relatives back to Croatia. Everyone should do this. You learn so much more than you can ever imagine. Thanks for sharing. Another fabulous hub!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Deborah, thank you for reading and voting on this. I love to research and write about American Indian peoples.

      Merry Christmas to you also.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Phyllis, my fathers side of the family is

      Cherokee from the North Carolina mountains. and my mothers side is from England. I take after my mom's side of the family.. but I do have high cheek bones like the Cherokee..

      I really enjoyed this thank you for researching and writing it.. I voted up and awesome..I really enjoy all your writing that I have read.. MERRY CHRISTMAS PHYLLIS

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 7 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Duchess. What a wonderful welcome! Thank you for your comments. Yes - knowing and reconnecting with our ancestors is such a wonderful thing to strive for. It helps us to bring clarity into our life.

      I am enjoying reading the hubs of others here on HubPages and making my way through on how to navigate around the community. I love it!

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

      I think it is a wonderful thing to know your past, and your ancestors. I have always enjoyed learning about them as much as I can.

      We also have some great stories written about some of our ancestors and I am always left wondering how I would have survived in some of the conditions they had to live in.

      Anyway...I loved your hub. I was a wonderful introduction.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 7 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      It is so fascinating to connect to our ancestors and helps us define our own life, thoughts, etc. Your ancestral history sounds very interesting and probably deserves to be written about.

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      I believe we can all benefit from a connection to our ancestral past. My cousin has just completed a major task of tracing our ancestral past to Yorkshire England and it's truly amazing to read of the history and lifestyles that many of my ancestors lived.

      The hardships, sickness, hard work on the lands and sea and their pilgrimage from one place to another. It all unfolds before my eyes and I try to envision their place in history and how they were thinking about their futures unfolding.

      I agree a connection to our ancestral past is paramount for all of us. Peace