There are days when this war is not my own. Ancestral threads pull, tear apart my heart, as if claws and teeth rip me open, their cries sound familiar, like they are part of my DNA.

She, the Mother, and her Mother, and her Mother, and her Mother… I claim her eyes when I look into my own, brown and deep, a darkness sets in and suddenly it is not my face I see, but a ghost of the woman who gave me life. She comes, and I am meant to bear the weight of her mistakes, her failures, her reckless wandering spirit torments me, and I know what I must do.

It takes … everything I have. All my strength, all my courage, not to run from the work of healing this history. There are days I know, the battle is far greater than just me, and I was chosen to pick up this fight and carry it to completion; the darkness ends with me.

It goes against my nature, to agree that I can handle this. I’d rather retreat and live a quiet life, easier, happier. Yet, when I sit and realize this weight in my chest is not my own, I have to accept it, and then find a way to mend the broken pieces that tear into my heart; holding their losses is what God knew I’d need to finally give it everything I have to repair what was broken, and I don’t just do it for me, I do it for them. I am doing it for my daughters, so they never have to know this pain I’ve carried.

It feels like hell, sometimes, to know it is my face in the mirror but hers looking back at me. I cannot let it go, because she’s here, inside my skin, inside my blood, inside my bones.

I don’t want to have to work this hard, to heal what’s inside, but if I do not – the fates dictate the cycle will just continue, and I cannot ever fathom my story ending that way. It cannot, I won’t allow it.

So, I sit with it all. The sorrow. The hurt. The awful destiny of the woman that brought me to this earth, and all those that came before her. I sit in this pain, so that I can burn it red hot to ashes, then watch as it blows like dust on the wind. I sit with this darkness, so that I can understand what got them there, and find a way to overcome it within myself, knowing if I can, the tapestry will mend, and all the ripped seams and tears will become a beautiful reminder of what love can do, much better than the tattered rags of shame they are today.

I feel it, some days. It is not my pain that hurts me, but theirs, and my shoulders are quite tired of holding this. Alas, this is the work, and I am grateful God made me strong enough.

Please, I welcome your thoughts, perspective, and new ideas on anything I have written here!

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