Who am I?

Who am I?
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ELAINE K. WILLIAMS shares some simple and practical tips for ensuring a sense of continuity for children in their family, community and on planet Earth.


At some point in our lives, or perhaps at many points in our lives, we ask the question, “Who am I?” At times like these, we are looking beyond the obvious, beyond our names and the names of the cities and states we came from, into the layers beneath our surface identities. We may feel the need for a deeper sense of purpose in our lives, or we may be ready to accommodate a more complex understanding of the situation in which we find ourselves. We may connect with our internal voice, finally, attending to our intuition.

Whatever the case, the question of who we are is a seed that can bear much fruit. It can send us on an exploration of our ancestry, or the past lives of our soul. It can call us to take up some form of mindfulness in order to discover that voice deep within us that seems to know the answers to a multitude of questions. It can draw our attention so deeply inward that we find the spark of spirit that connects us to every living thing in the universe – that mystical moment we intimately know Oneness.


One of the many things you do as parenting grandparents
is to give your grandchildren a sense of belonging to a family,
whose ancestors left a legacy of values, beliefs, stories and more.
This sense of belonging to a lineage that describes who came before us
helps define who we are in the present and the legacy
we will leave to those who come after us.


While it can do all these things and more, I want to focus on how it allows us to explore our ancestry. One of the many things you do as parenting grandparents is to give your grandchildren a sense of belonging to a family, whose ancestors left a legacy of values, beliefs, stories and more. This sense of belonging to a lineage that describes who came before us helps define who we are in the present and the legacy we will leave to those who come after us.



While your grandchildren may not be thinking of this right now, it is very re-assuring for them to know they are part of a family with roots that nourish not only them, but will nourish their children and grandchildren, also. Here are some ways to keep them connected and rooted to their heritage.

1. Share your stories about when you were growing up and what the world around you was like.
2. Show them pictures of your parents, their greatgrandparents, and talk about where they came from and what they did for a living.
3. Talk about each generation’s extended family, not just brothers and sisters, but cousins, aunts and uncles.
4. Buy an inexpensive book that inquires about your life. One I completed for my grandchildren is called, Grandma Tell Me Your Story, or Memories for My Grandchild, both found on Amazon or in bookstores. Don’t just write your answers to the questions, talk about your answers at dinner, or dessert time or when you gather in the evening before watching TV.

This will be the gift of gifts for your grandchildren. As a parenting grandparent you have given them a home where they are safe, secure and loved. Now give them a sense of pride in their roots by making sure they know where they have come from and who came before them. This not only establishes a foundation for the development of their identity, but in large measure will help them answer the question “Who Am I?” as they grow up.

With gratitude,
Elaine



Article by ELAINE K. WILLIAMS


Elaine K. Williams

About Elaine K. Williams

The author of The Sacred Work of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Elaine has spent her career working with multiple generations from children to elders. Her expertise is in the area of trauma, loss, life transitions and inter-generational communication. Elaine is a nationally respected coach, trainer and therapist known for her common sense approach to helping her expand their human potential to live an inspired, meaningful life.


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