We’re born to be happy, at least that’s what my spiritual teacher tells me. But I’ve spent most of my years, and perhaps I exaggerate slightly, in trying to be happy, but mostly failing and literally feeling miserable and low. Not even close to feeling where happiness exists.
The day I finished writing ‘Kalisz’ part of that dark, miserable cloud lifted. I discovered later it wasn’t because I completed such a big project, which is deserving of elated feelings of happiness, besides feeling relieved.
I remember after giving birth for the first time, how much relief was the strongest feeling, before the realization of the love I felt for the baby present in my arms. It’s the creative process. Something born from within, and the struggle to let it out. I realise not everybody struggles. Some find the process of creating a breeze. I’m one of those who don’t. I’m an ideas person, seeing the big picture, launching rockets of ideas. When it comes to bringing them into the physical reality of this world, then I struggle. I get caught up in having a perfect form, it needs to be correct. Other people need to be approving of it. In fact, the opinion of others is very important to my personality, and this is my trap. If I can’t rise above and see how these are only thoughts, I remain stuck and I can’t let go to release the idea, be it a baby or a book or a meal. The process becomes a big struggle and I feel anxious and incapable, there’s no happiness anywhere to be seen. I struggle with letting go, it’s as if something disastrous will happen.
I wrote Kalisz from a vision I held. I didn’t feel it was my story, the characters came to life and wrote their story. Each of the characters grew into family members and throughout the process of writing I built a connection with them all. Through research I gained insights into my own unhappiness due to the losses from the Holocaust and the second world war. Untreated, my parents’ post-traumatic stress has been passed on as part of a legacy I was left to deal with.
The term Ancestral Trauma has been coined and is finally being recognised, and the light where my happiness shines is inadvertently from knowing I carry ancestral trauma. Ancestral trauma has been the guide for me to search for peace and unravel from my family’s bizarre survival behaviours. As a drug and alcohol counsellor I used to tell my clients healing means feeling the pain, and then letting it go.