Last night I dreamed that I was at the home of my paternal grandparents. Relatives mingled--my daughters, grandchildren, brothers, cousins and family members who had passed on. There was no separation between the living and dead.
In the dream, layers of shattered glass filled the floors. I couldn't avoid stepping on large broken pieces and some almost invisible to the eye. I removed pieces from my bloodied feet and struggled to remove the tinier splinters and fragments with a tweezers.
I was surprised by the presence and amount of shattered glass in a home known for its immaculacy and beauty. My grandmother, who we called "Dinn," spent hours every day scrubbing, mopping, straightening, and dusting every piece of furniture and the collected art and treasured objects from their travels around the world.
When I woke, the images from the dream lingered. To explore possible meanings of this powerful dream, I turned to prayer, meditation and journaling, using the 2-Way Prayer writing practice.
What emerged was that the shattered glass represented intergenerational trauma. Though I dreamed of a personal setting--my grandparent's house--the effects of trauma are everywhere. The shards, fragments and splinters are inside and outside--inside homes and huts and tents on streets, in mansions and refugee camps; outside in oceans, lakes, rivers, farms, fields, expressways and back alleys.
No one is spared. Trials and tribulations, crises and calamities impact us all. Everyone is going through something--pressures on the job, unemployment, marital problems or divorce, diseases, addictions, prejudices of all kinds, war, hunger, alienation and more.
One of the larger traumas I faced was early childhood violence. I left home at 18 with the intention never to look back or return. However, the more I aimed to distance myself, the more present my relatives and ancestors were. They appeared in dreams. They were part of the memories I discussed in therapy. They were in my own features, gestures, words, tendencies and patterns. And truth be told, they were sometimes missed because my parents and relatives were far more than who they were in their weakest and most dysfunctional moments.
I eventually realized that I couldn't amputate the past. I could instead integrate the past in more conscious and constructive ways. I could, with God's help, forgive without forgetting, denying or minimizing the destructive patterns and behaviors. I could strive to "be the change."
For those of us engaged in working toward the betterment of the world, we have learned that social transformation begins in our own personal and home lives. We are awakening and becoming more conscious of the positive and negative forces that have shaped us. We are choosing to align ourselves with what is constructive and creative. We avoid denying or minimizing ancestral trauma and the crises in our lives.
Most importantly, we are turning to a Power greater than ourselves to remove the splinters and shards that have wounded us individually and collectively. We are praying for assistance to heal and learn from the challenges and calamities that have impacted us. We are becoming the very people we need--people who judge less and love more.
One of the loving people in my life is a mosaic artist who lives in Brooklyn. She spends hours working with disconnected fragments of glass and creating a unified whole from these disparate pieces--a mosaic of exquisite light-filled creations.
Creativity, my friends, can transform what is fragmented, broken into wholeness and service. Our artistic creations can be the gifts we pass down, instead of the shattered glass.
So what shattered glass have you experienced? What challenges or calamities in your individual or social environment have you experienced or witnessed? How have you transformed and grown? What insights and wisdom have you gained?
Please join us and register below for the next Writing Cafe. In this transformational master class, we will practice Mosaic Writing. We will rearrange some fragments from our lived experiences and observations into a Divinely-Inspired exquisite whole.
Rather than the reactivity that prevails, let's contribute creativity and wholeness to our world. Click on the flyer or button below. Scroll down a tad and register.
Transformation Writing Café
Thursday June 30, 2022 – 2 pm est
Register Here for Zoom Link