DNA opens an even more mysterious door to understanding the human condition: all of our ancestors live within each one of us whether we are aware of it or not. ― The One Idea That Saves The World: A Message of Hope in a Time of Crisis
There is science that bears out the idea expressed by Mr. Overmire. I do not know if he is aware of that but the discovery that our thoughts are not just random ethereal things, that come and go exists. Thoughts that you and think actually become DNA “real estate” in our brains. They take on physical tissue in our brains! It is called epigenetics.
This DNA is passed down through our bloodlines. Although today’s proponents of epigenetics reside on the cutting edge of this emerging science, it is worth looking at, even in the midst of ongoing discussion.
So you understand where I am coming from, some background. Science tends to stop at the mind, body connection. That connection is an important element, however, according to scripture, we are created:
- A three part being: spirit, soul and body.
- Further, the soul is made up of the mind, will and emotions.
- Together, the spirit and soul make up the “heart” or “Inner man”
I talk more about this in previous BLOGs. Click here and here to read them. This more global view is key to where I am going in relation to personal story.
More Clarity And Definition
I believe my true self lies in my heart; the spirit and soul. The Bible calls this our inner man.
Our bodies are important and quite necessary for life on this earth. Some call it our “earth-suit” Our brain is part of the body. It is tissue that allows the mind, our thoughts to be processed and expressed. In that process, the brain becomes a repository for our thoughts.
We often use “brain” and “mind” interchangeably, but that can lead to confusion. I shall endeavor to be accurate in word use as we progress!
DNA To Authenticate Your Story
Epigenetics provides a model of how we might be connected to our ancestors in a very physical way. As I remember how my parents, their siblings, their parents and so forth behaved I see my own responses and thought origins. Yes, some were reinforced by their examples, but I also am aware that proximity was not always required for me to take on certain familial thinking.
The idea that we are a product of our parents thoughts is not too hard to grasp. In my case they raised me, fed me, and endeavored to pass on the best of their values and character. But all that occurred after I was conceived and brought into this world.
What thought processes were passed from the joint DNA of my parents to me? In other words, what thinking “tendencies” were within my being at conception. More important, how bound am I to those thought processes? What impact to they have on the outcome of my story?
Three Ways For DNA To Authenticate And Liberate
Recognize that inherited thought IS a factor. It resides within your being. To deny this may leave you bound up by sensed but unseen forces. Knowing this provides opportunity to act specifically on these inherited tendencies. These inherited forces, positive or negative, I see as a gift to be treasured, stewarded and, yes, exploited.
I want to be clear, the fact that we inherit the cumulated thoughts of our ancestors does not relieve us of the God-given gift of personal agency, of personal choice and responsibility. “My mother was just like….” or “my father was….” is not a license or excuse to perpetuate poor thoughts, choices, and behaviors. However, understanding what and where tendencies come from provides an accurate place from which to deal with a tendency, positive or not.
For instance I have a passion to avoid waste, not in the hording and collecting way, but to make things useful again. From composting and recycling to upcycling, I see resources everywhere. I wrote about this tendency previously, which came from both my parents who were products of the depression.
Before them, I had ancestors who homesteaded and others who lived as Native Americans, off the land. My European ancestors were part of a feudal system who made do. I come from a long line of folks who had precious little to waste. Not ever knowing true hunger, except by choice, this way of thinking, no doubt inherited, and then reinforced by my upbringing.
The less positive tendencies, I recognize as patterns of thinking I have God-given agency to revise. You see this brain thing is not permanent: reprogram it! Science also proves that possibility. Thought patterns and brain chemistry can be changed, but you will have to study it out for yourself.
Because of the awareness of this inherited DNA thing, discovering my family stories and writing them down has the added benefit of self-discovery. One example comes from a story my mother told about my maternal great grandmother Leta Clark Rightmeier. She was a famer’s wife and therefore in charge of running her household, which centered in the kitchen. This was her domain.
In her later years, she had back issues so family members would come to help in the house. My maternal grandmother, Pearl Miller Rightmeier, stepped up to help. Although my grandmother also ran a faming kitchen, it was not as tidy and orderly as her mother-in-law’s. My great grandmother insisted on everything going back into its designated place, the place she decided it belonged. E-X-A-C-T-L-Y!
She made a chocolate cake from scratch for Sunday dinner. My mother recalls Grandma Leta’s process to lay out the ingredients exactly each time before beginning the cake making process. Then when the task was complete, everything went back into the cupboard exactly as she had it. E-X-A-C-T-L-Y.
I too have the “exactly as I had them” DNA tendency. I like order, and to know where things are when I need them. Just ask my spouse. This has served me well in 30+ years in air traffic control and as a private pilot. It served me well when I lived on the road and between two homes in different states.
Who knew that when my great grandmother was baking a cake that her thought DNA would pass down to me as an asset telling airplanes where to go? Isn’t personal story amazing?!
What ancestral tendencies do you carry? List one positive and one not so positive in the comments, then write your story about it this week!