Sunday, May 25, 2008
Clues in the Patterns
Watching family traits perpetuate is a very interesting process. I became aware of these patterns as I researched my own family histories, and began to count recurring patterns of faith, depression, alcholism, divorces, reactions to unstable or stable employment, and how family members perceived leadership. These characteristics can assume physical, spiritual, and behavioral aspects. According to the geneticists, we all inherit our mitochondria from our mothers. Since the mitochondria is the powerhouse of nearly every cell in our bodies, we receive much more than our mother's good looks. We are given their capacities for energy and stamina. So if your mother was able to habitually run marathons, you're probably going to be able to work long hours and not get ill, if you live a fairly healthy lifestyle. If she was easily fatigued, you may have inherited those limitations, too. Of course, the father's 23 chromosomes cannot be discounted, and will affect how much stamina and energy the children will have. And overdoing things will wear out anyone.
Emotional and psychological issues are also passed down. On my mother's side of the family, her ancestors suffered some form of abandonment due to one parent leaving, or divorce, a pattern running to some of my siblings' families. And then there are the parallels of the lives of cousins...ever notice how sometimes the first, second, or last born children in extended families live similar lifestyles, and have similar results?
The depression that my Norwegian forbears often experienced was probably due to the fact they settled in the U.S. Midwest, where they could not longer obtain enough iodine from their diet, causing thyroid weakness. My mother took prescribed doses of thyroid, and, after investigating my own lack of energy, I learned to request it, too. Being alert to unique habits, health conditions, and beliefs can be used to strengthen your current family.