Since I began traveling in Europe in 2015, I have visited many WWI and WWII museums, concentration camps, memorials, battlefields, cemeteries, destroyed villages, bomb craters, and other places in which sad/bad/negative/evil things took place. Being an empath I tend to feel much of the energy in these spaces, whether than is positive or negative. I know many of my readers experience similar things. How often do you consider the emotions these places create in you that can be used for change and healing? Or do you experience them for a moment and brush them off and move on?

Dachau ovens. Photo by author.

I read an article recently called, Why We Should Visit Museums That Make Us Think and Cry. I tend to feel, think, and cry in many places I visit so this article really called to my soul. The article focuses more on human and civil rights museums rather than military, but the concept is still the same.

“It’s really important to consider historic and contemporary issues from multiple perspectives so we can combat bias and prejudice – which we might not even realize we have until presented with an alternative view. This is fundamental to understanding and promoting human rights.” Throughout history, and even today, we can see patterns of denial and minimization of human-rights atrocities, along with efforts to silence the survivors and witnesses. These issues are not easy or comfortable, but it’s our role and responsibility to provoke thought and conversation that leads to education – which is the most powerful force for human rights in the world.”

Dr. Jodi Giesbrecht, CMHR director of research and head curator

Why Are These Spaces Important?

These spaces are important because for many of us, not all, they create conversation. Often we will visit places like this with someone. As we wander through an exhibit, a cemetery, a concentration camp, or other place, things call to us that we must comment on. Through conversation we hear someone else’s point of view about what is being expressed in the exhibit, etc. Conversation may create questions or points of view for us to sit with, meditate on, journal on, that we had not considered.

These spaces through conversation, meditation, thinking, push us to feel something more than we might have just reading an article or seeing someone’s vacation photos on Facebook. This may then create the need in us to do something about the issues we now know more about. This includes things from history like the Holocaust or combat in World War II.

How can we do something about those issues since they are in the past? Many people are still dealing with the trauma and effects of these events, among many others that have happened in our collective history. Inherited trauma creates in the descendants of those who participated or lived through these events, issues that create chaos, depression, sadness, anxiety or panic and many other things in their lives. Unresolved grief can devastate a family for generations. Yet by visiting these places that evoke emotions and thought, we can best determine how we personally should move forward to help heal the collective.

Doing something could be that we start talking with our own families about their experiences in the war, civil rights, genocide, Holocaust, or other collective trauma events. Writing those stories, learning the lessons, and sharing with others – even within our family – will help.

My belief and what I have experienced throughout my career as a family and military researcher is that if I can impact ONE person, it will ripple out beyond anything I can imagine. Some people do not believe this. They believe you have to stand and speak in front of thousands to have any effect on change or healing. That isn’t my belief. I have seen that if I help one person – teach one person – facilitate some healing in one person – they will go on to do more and tell others what their experience was and how the learned/changed/healed – and that may inspire someone else to look at their life and beliefs and make changes.

What is Your Experience in These Places?

What have you experienced in these places? Where did you go? What happened while you were there? What thoughts and changes did you make? What conversations did you have? How did it impact your life, living, and reality? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

“While there has been abundant research quantifying war’s psychological impact, much of it has focused on PTSD, depression, and substance or alcohol abuse associated with combat exposure, there has been limited focus on grief among veterans.”

Pauline Lubens

UCI Studies Grief in Veterans

In World War I we heard the term SHELL SHOCK. In World War II we heard COMBAT FATIGUE. After Vietnam we didn’t hear much new unless it was in regard to how many Americans viewed returning veterans in a negative light. Then by the 1980s we had PTSD to label veterans suffering from a variety of illnesses that were previously undiagnosed or ignored.

PTSD trickles down through our DNA into future generations. Growing up in a household where PTSD exists can create this in children and other family members. Any traumatic situation we find ourselves in can create PTSD symptoms.

With all the studies on PTSD and veterans, one primary component, especially when we look at veteran suicide is GRIEF. Yet, grief has not been studied until recently. Grief also creates issues for not only the veteran but the family and friends close to the veteran.

Unresolved, unacknowledged grief over what someone did in combat, or did not do, who they lost, survivor’s guilt and sadness of being the only one left, and many other ways veterans hold grief all contribute to their state of mind, the life they live, the joy (or lack of )they feel. This unresolved grief also affects those closest to them.

Finally, the University of California Irvine conducted a study on grief in veterans. You can read about it here. It is interesting what they discovered and how it deeply affects veterans, even separately from any PTSD they may have or had, and how it affects families.

A radio interview was done with the Ph.D. student who conducted the study and several listeners called in to contribute to the conversation, including a female Graves Registration Service soldier. The interview is powerful and full of many themes I feel we should all be exploring with our own families – even if we have to go back to our WWII or Korean War veterans to ask questions and look for family patterns. Grief is something passed down also.

Exploring Grief in Your Family History

In our society we are taught/trained/told to buck up, shove things inside, deal with it and move on, or solve a problem, when we talk about grief. We are given 2-3 days of leave from our jobs if someone in the family dies. Apparently all we need is 2-3 days to deal with arrangements, grieve, forget and move on. Our western society has not done a good job helping people to learn how to grieve, or explain why it is important to do so.

I invite you to explore the times and places in your life and family history where there was an opportunity to grieve and instead you pushed it away or did not fully deal with it. Consider the cost of that to yourself, your health, your family life, your history. How did your family veterans handle grief? How did their spouses and children? How do you? How can you begin to change this?

Grief Resources

Do you need a resource to help you? I am taking a couple of courses with Shauna Janz through Sacred Grief. I am finding these grieving courses extremely helpful. I encourage you to check them out. I wrote an article about her Healing Conversations class here.

The website What’s Your Grief is also full of resources and articles. Have you explored this site?


Are you following Jennifer and all her work on all her social media sites? Click the link to learn more and find different content.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

Question 22 July 2020

What dis-eases run in your family? Who did they originate with? What was the context?

 

Most of us carry dis-ease or health issues that originated generations or centuries of generations ago.  Allowing the original source of the dis-ease to heal can change the outcome for all future generations.

 

Please comment below to share with others if you feel comfortable.

I also invite you to journal on this question on your own.

 

 

2020 continues to give us new information about what is actually happening in the world – in all it’s ugly, horrific truth, and also where the shadows of ourselves need to be brought into the light.

When we look back over our lives, we can identify many turning points and crossroads. Places in which we had a CHOICE on how to proceed. In reality there are no ‘mistakes’ or ‘wrong choices’ because each choice we make still leads us to where we need to go. Even those choices that bring tremendous pain and grief. Those may be the most powerful as the parts of us we have refused or weren’t ready to look at are ready to be explored.

As I look back over the last 10 years of my life, specifically from 2015 to the present when I began traveling and living in Europe, I am seeing many things. New connections. Things healed I did not realize were. Lessons learned. Hard times and good times. If I could go back to my first trip overseas, I would have made a much better attempt at journaling my days every night before bed. However, that trip was so packed and I was so exhausted most days I didn’t. I have a million photos from that trip to remind me what we did. Some notes in my journal but not at the depth I wrote on my second trip. The second trip I took alone and it created even more change than the first. What follows are the journal entries (for the most part) of my second trip which created an even more powerful spiritual transformation in me.

These articles were originally posted on my WWII Research & Writing Center website in 2015.

If you are interested in some of my European and Spiritual Journey since this trip, pick up a copy of my memoir, I BRING DEAD GUYS HOME.

October – NOvember 2015 Journey through europe and my soul

 

Spiritual Journey in the Soldier’s Footsteps

Day 1 – 14 October 2015

Spiritual Turning Points & Crossroads

Day 2 Part 1 – (15 October 2015)

Day 2 Part 2

Day 3 – 16 October 2015 – Bastogne, Belgium

Day 4 – 17 October 2015 – Bastogne, Belgium

Day 5 – 18 October 2015 – Netherlands, Margraten, Maastricht

Day 6 – 19 October 2015- Henri-Chapelle & Remember Museum

Day 7 – 20 October 2015 -Ammerzoden

Day 8 – 21 October 2015 – Heeswijk

Day 9 – 22 October 2015 – Arnhem

Day 10 – 23 October 2015 – Wandering Ammerzoden & Writing

Day 11 – 24 October 2015 – WWII Presentation at CRASH Museum near Amsterdam

Day 12 – 25 October 2015 – Zaltbommel, Netherlands

Day 13 – 26 October 2015 – Goirle, The Netherlands – Speaking for Liberation Day

Day 14 – 27 October 2015 – Honoring Dutch Liberators and War Dead

Day 15 – 28 October 2015 – Speaking on WWII records at Groesbeek, the Netherlands

Day 16 – 29 October 2015 – Den Bosch and the Ring

Day 17 – 30 October 2015 -Goree-Overflakkee Speaking Event & War Dead

Day 18 – 31 October 2015 – Lovenstein and antique shops

Day 19 – 1 November 2015 – Day with the Timberwolves

Days 20 & 21 – 3 Novmeber 2015 – Rijksmuseum & going home

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

 

Ancestral Lineage Healing is something I’ve been doing for myself and my family for many years. I have explored many different energy healing and alternative modalities to accomplish this important work and continue to study with new teachers every year. 

healing family patterns by ariann thomas

Healing Family Patterns is a great book for those just getting started with ancestral lineage healing. I have read so many books on this topic and studied with various teachers and understand this can be a complex topic. It can easily overwhelm those who want to learn more but are not sure where to start.

In this book Ariann gives an easy to understand explanation of Quantum Physics and family history. She explains how we can heal ourselves by journeying into the past through meditation and other means.

Her scientific information is backed up by client stories which illustrate various ancestral lineage issues, the origin of them, and how to return to the CHOICE POINT and choose something else that will benefit the entire lineage.

I found this book a quick read but full of a lot of great questions to ask yourself as your do genealogical or military research or are ready to dive into ancestral lineage healing.

For those familiar with ThetaHealing and other energy healing modalities, you may find some of the techniques described can also be found in other modalities. That is one big reason to study so many possibilities. You may resonate more with one modality for a time and then need something different. Yet, from my experience, the basics are pretty much the same no matter what system you use.

 

What Do You Think?

What do you think about these topics? Have you explored them within your own family history? How have you been able to move beyond and heal the trauma of the past?

Do you have any favorite books or teachers for ancestral lineage healing? Please share in the comments.

 

Disclaimer: The book links are affiliate links to Amazon. This does not affect the price you pay. When you purchase using my link I make a small percentage of the sale.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

New Personal & ancestral Healing training program

Are you ready to start transforming your life and healing the past? Ready to explore family patterns, energy healing, ancestral lineage healing, inherited trauma and more topics related to our ancestors and personal growth? If so, you are in the right place.

Learn more and explore all the topics we will cover the first year, plus bonus materials on the registration page.

Do you have questions about the membership program? Email Jennifer at info@wwiirwc.com to ask.

Please note: This is an introductory membership price structure. It will go up by January 2021. Lock in your fee by joining today!

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

Question 15 July 2020

What beliefs are you holding that were inherited through your family?

 

Many of us hold beliefs that do not serve us, which were handed down through our family lines. Verbally, non-verbally, through our DNA, and other avenues. A common belief is in LACK or SCARCITY of things we require, including money. This is just one example.

Some beliefs around money which hold us back and can be released are:

  • I don’t deserve money.
  • I never have enough money for my needs.
  • Money is security.
  • Money is power.

What other beliefs do you hold?

Please comment below to share with others if you feel comfortable.

I also invite you to journal on this question on your own.

 

 

There is an incredible book The Survivors. A Story of War, Inheritance, and Healing by Adam P. Frankel. I picked this book up to attempt to find another book I could use in my master class on war, inherited trauma, and healing. This book gave me a completely different view of healing than to others I’ve read.

Whether you are from a family of Holocaust Survivors or not, the themes in this book speak to many of us. As Frankel tells his story we learn about identity, family secrets, family patterns, loyalty, grief & loss, survival, sexual secrets, mental illness, PTSD, shame, anger, familial behavior, and so many other themes associated with war, survival, the physical manifestations of keeping secrets, inherited trauma, and how we each have to choose our own path regardless of our family’s choices. We also learn how his Jewish family, who survived the Holocaust, felt about loyalty and looking the other way on family secrets.

If you were to look at my copy of this book, you would see underlining on many pages. Notes written in the margins, and a lot of questions or correlations I make to my own family. I think any good book makes us think and helps us to see where we are not alone in whatever we are going through and if we are lucky – just how much we have changed and healed ourselves.

By the end of the this book I could see some of myself in Frankel – his experience, how he dealt (and didn’t) with the family secret he learned about himself, and in the end how he began healing. Honestly, I was in tears.

I will spend some time journaling on what I read and going back through the book to see all the passages I marked as important.

Have you read this book? What was your reaction? Do you have another similar book you can recommend I read?

Disclosure – the book link is an affiliate link. It does not affect the price you pay for the book.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

Historical Fiction. A lot of people do not like this genre because they do not consider it “real” history. I quite enjoy it because I read a tremendous amount of “real” history every day for my work and personal growth. Sometimes it is nice to get lost in a historical fiction book, even if it is WWII based, and be exposed to new ideas. I appreciate it when the author does her or his homework and provides a bibliography or additional titles within their Author Notes. I know I am not the only person who explores things they had not heard of because they read about it in a historical fiction book.

The Paris Orphan by Natasha Lester

I read The Paris Orphan on Thanksgiving. It’s almost 450 pages and I could not put it down. I even stayed up late to finish it because I had to know how it ended, even though I had an idea, though hoped I was wrong.

This book is historical fiction inspired by the life of female model and war correspondent and photographer, Lee Miller.

The main character Jessica May is a model for Vogue and a photographer, who chooses to join the war effort and has to deal with discrimination, rape, abuse from the men in the military, a desire to do more than “be a pretty face” or someone’s “sex doll”. The author brings in real-life female correspondents like Martha Gellhorn, Hemmingway’s wife, Lee Carson, Iris Carpenter, and others as she weaves her magic with words.

Jess, like all other women during the war, had to prove themselves over and over. To constantly beg or demand for the opportunity to do the job they were hired for. To go where women had not gone before and help men realize they were fully capable of doing so. Jess and her colleagues also had to deal with traumatizing topics of life and war.

Jess is confronted during the war with the issue of not only hearing the Russians went through and raped German women, but also knowing the American soldiers were doing the same to French, Belgian, Dutch, and German women. We would all like to think none of our soldiers/family members could have done this, but we might be surprised at just how many did if the truth came out. Jess debates writing an article about this after being unable to stop a rape from happening. In the end, to avoid being kicked out of her job, she opts to wait until the war is over to write this particular story. The author raises a question in her reading guide about whether or not this was cowardly or brave.

She also fights her own battle with her male superior officer who tries in every way to make her life a living hell. Sadly, he usually succeeded. She and the other female correspondents all have to deal with his ego and imagined superiority. I wonder how many of our female ancestors, whether in military service or who worked any job outside the home during the war, dealt with these issues and never spoke of them.

While I have done a lot of reading and research on women in WWII – WACs, WAVES, WAPS, Nurses, etc. and knew of the discrimination they were up against, knew the rumors men spread about them being “easy” or “sluts”, the sexual abuse some endured, and how they had to fight for every opportunity even when they could do it better than a man, I knew very little about female war correspondents. I have researched some male war correspondents and photographers and have some books about them. It wasn’t until I read this book that a whole new world of research opened up for me. Thankfully the author provided several books in her notes that I can read.

Why are these topics and this book important?

The more I read this book, the more I admired the women who came before me. The struggles, abuse, trauma, and other things they endured to provide new opportunities for women in the future. I also realized there are many topics I still need to learn more about. Also, as I read, I felt sad because we still have a long way to go in how we view, respect, and treat women.

In 2019, women are still, around the world, fighting for rights, equal pay, and to not be viewed as sex objects because men can’t always control themselves. We are still fighting to be seen as equals. We are still fighting to have our bodies protected and not be told by men what we can and can’t do or how we can or can’t operate our bodies, and who can and can’t touch us. I sometimes wonder, how far have we really come since WWII? Sometimes it does not feel as far as we think we have.

This book and it’s topics also made me wonder what stories are within my family, like Jess’ that were hidden. Jess ends up enduring terrible things during the war, things she keeps secret until almost her dying days. Things she felt would protect her family and those she loved. I’m aware of the abuse that runs through the female ancestors in my family and I wonder if we acknowledge it happened and can work on healing it – how much we can change the world and ourselves.

My Invitation To You

I invite you to explore the deeper, darker, secretive stories of your family. To see if it is possible to discuss these topics with older family members and find out what their experience was. Knowing these things may help you better understand why family members are or were the way they are. To better help you understand the blessings and burdens you carry through your DNA and lineage. I also invite you to write the stories about this for your family. This doesn’t mean you have to share publicly, but get them down on paper so they aren’t lost. There are many lessons to be learned and healing to be done if we are brave enough to start the conversation.

Author’s Suggested Books – Further Reading

These are a few books the author put in her Author’s Note at the end of the book. She also included a reading guide which makes this book a great book for book clubs.

  • The Woman War Correspondent, the U.S. Military, and The Press by Carolyn M. Edy.
  • No Woman’s World: From D-Day to Berlin, a Female Correspondent Covers World War II by Iris Carpenter.
  • The Women Who Wrote the War: The Complete Story of the Path-breaking Women Correspondents of World War II by Nancy Caldwell Sorel.
  • Lee Miller’s Way edited by Antony Penrose.
  • Lee miller: A Life by Carolyn Burke.
  • Martha Gellhorn: A Life by Carolyn Moorehead.
  • Women War Correspondents of World War II by Lilya Wagner
  • Women of the World by Julia Edwards.
  • Where the Action Was: Women War Correspondents in World War II by Penny Colman.

What Do You Think?

What do you think about these topics? Have you explored them within your own family history? How have you been able to move beyond and heal the trauma of the past?

Disclaimer: The book links are affiliate links to Amazon. This does not affect the price you pay. When you purchase using my link I make a small percentage of the sale.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls