The blood of my ancestors
The blood of my ancestorsBy Mr. H.H, Tokyo, Government employee, Japan
When you’re a small child, perhaps if you’re born male, you may admire your parents, but someday you may think you should move beyond them.
Looking at my parents, I unconsciously set a goal to live a better life than they had, to surpass them.
As is typical during Obon holidays (Traditional Japanese event to welcome the sprits of ancestors), I want to share my awareness of my ancestors, my grandfather and father.
My maternal grandfather was a city executive, president of the tea ceremony and flower arrangement association, and was decorated before he died.
On the other hand, my paternal grandfather (whom I don’t remember, as he passed away soon after I was born) was a drunkard, violent, and always angry, and seemed to be a nuisance to the family.
I realized that my mother had lived her life worrying about what other people thought of her because her parents were solid, while my father had lived his life worrying about what other people thought of him because his father was embarrassing.
I was born a male, but I understand that there’s a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energy within me as a universal system.
Yet my male ancestors, both my grandfather and father, seemed to hate their gender heritage.
My grandfather, who was a heavy drinker and seemed angry all the time, was originally born into a different family and was adopted by his relatives, the H family, when he came of age.
I think my grandfather has lived his life hiding his painful feelings. Perhaps he wondered why he was the only child who was sent to a different home, who wasn’t wanted in the family, or if his parents loved his brothers while he alone wasn’t loved. So when my grandfather had his own family—not knowing about Mirros—he drank to distract himself. Yet all the while he was screaming inside, “Love me! Pay attention to me!”
But according to my mother, my grandfather was completely different.
When my mother married and served my grandfather a meal for the first time (she wasn’t a good cook, having assumed she’d have a maid when she got married), he ate it all and told her “It’s delicious,” even though the food was undercooked and raw. (By the way, that mirin-dried fish was made by my mother’s mother, my grandmother. I’m glad it tasted good.)
When a popular doughnut shop opened near my house, he was the first one to treat everyone.
Then, when my parents moved in together next door to my grandparents, he gave my mother a large sum of money as a gift.
Even during the difficult time when my father’s sister—my grandfather’s own daughter—gave birth to a premature baby, he told my mother to take care of herself first, and looked after her as if she were his own daughter.
Looking back, my mother said, “Who else would have been so kind to me as a daughter-in-law, even when his own daughter was having a difficult time?”
I used to think that the male side of me—the blood from my father and grandfather—wasn’t good.
But that wasn’t true. I think that because my grandfather was adopted he really wanted to take care of his own family more than anything else.
I think he loved the life that was about to be born and was happier than anyone.
As Ms. Matsumoto, the Miross instructor, said, “Try to forgive and be grateful to your parents for raising you in a time when there was no Miross.”
Even though my grandfather didn’t know about Miross and didn’t know why his life turned out the way it did, he steadfastly took care of his family. That made me shed tears.
My father and I have always believed that my mother’s side of the family was good and my father’s side was bad. My mother was good, and my father was bad. The truth is, I was in pain.
Even though I would go on to have a family in the future, I felt as if I was failing my future, and that feeling was painful, but I didn’t know what to do.
For the first time, I became able to appreciate my grandfather and my father for their suffering and love, and for having lived their lives to the fullest. That’s why I’m the person I am today.
There really is a “proud” world on the other side of the world simultaneously created by “shame.” I also understood that knowing your true self means regaining your love for yourself.
I finally understood that I have warm and proud blood flowing in me.
For the first time in my life, I felt proud to have been born a man and to have my male ancestry. It was such a profound feeling to know myself. I felt like I had regained my warmth.
To be honest, I had been afraid to face the unpleasant side of my parents and relatives. I thought over and over again, “All that’s over. I don’t want to feel sad anymore.”
My father didn’t talk much about his parents. I don’t have any memories of my grandfather. My father always ended up becoming somewhat angry when he talked about him.
I guess he somehow detached himself from his father, because he didn’t want to be hurt himself. He didn’t want to have to think of his parents as an embarrassment. So finally hearing my father’s and grandfather’s thoughts was quite a big deal for me.
Learning Miross in fact makes me greedy to improve my current reality. I want to have a better job. A better environment than I have now. A happier life than I have now. I find myself thinking about everything that could be better.
I realized that I had completely forgotten about knowing “myself!”
During the Miross LIFE course, instructor Matsumoto told us many times that “the purpose of Miross is not to turn things from negative to positive, but to know your true self”.” In the past, my visits to my ancestors’ graves have been more of a status report. But this year’s Obon was a chance for me to express my gratitude to my grandfather for bringing me life in the true sense of the word, for being happy that I was born, and for being born as his grandson.
I was able to realize something truly important.
I thank instructor Matsumoto and everyone who was with me in the LIFE course for all these insights.