An inheritance is usually thought of as something of value passed on to someone – either a financial or material possession, a genetic trait, or behavior, attitude, physical characteristic, etc.
that is identifiable to that person, group, or family
An inheritance is often much desired, even fought over and the cause of broken relationships—but sometimes it is a burden,
as in the case of an asset that carries a tax liability or has a debt
attached to it or has a risk attached to it as in the case of the
genetic predisposition to a particular disease.
The area of inherited emotional baggage is one that seems
mainly to be ignored, perhaps because it is an area that is hard
to explore and challenging to view objectively, but sometimes is
mentioned after some explosive event or tragedy occurs and the
search for causes and a desire to assign some responsibility
comes up empty.
The importance of what is passed on to others cannot be
overemphasized because awareness of what has been passed
on to me by others can help me gain insight into who I am and
guide me to understand more about why I make certain choices
which might be confusing to me without a review of what has
been passed on to me – very often without my realizing it.
Inherited emotional baggage—a view, without assigning guilt
to myself or anyone else, can help me in many ways. If I explore
where my feelings and my beliefs come from, I can make choices
to keep or discard certain pieces of the puzzle that is me.
I remember a story I heard often when I was growing up about
a woman who always cut a corner off the roast she was cooking
before she put it in the pan. When her daughter asked her why
she did that, she said her mother had always done that, but she
did not know why. So the daughter asked her grandmother why
she cut the corner off her roast before cooking it and her
grandmother said it was because she always cooked her roast in
the same pan and the shape of the pan meant she had to trim off
one corner to make the roast fit in that pan. After the daughter
told her mother the reason that her grandmother cut the corner
off the roast, her mother stopped cutting off the corner of her
roasts because the roast fit in her pan without cutting off the
corner . . . finding out “why” changed a way of doing something
that was being passed down as the way to do the task but was
not needed once the reason was understood –
a multi-generational way of doing something that was totally
not needed was passed on until someone stopped and asked
What could I discover about me and my life
just by asking “why” and then
making a conscious choice to accept or reject,
grow or discard one concept and
how would that affect what I pass on to others?
Choosing my inheritance and
my legacy . . .