Is There A Spiritual Meaning To Your Ethnic Background?

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We’d all say that there can be many positive connections to our ethnic group, right?

Merriam-Webster defines ethnic as:

a    :  of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background <ethnic minorities>  <ethnic enclaves>
 b    :  being a member of a specified ethnic group <an ethnic German>
 c    :  of, relating to, or characteristic of ethnics <ethnic neighborhoods>  <ethnic foods>

Off the cuff I wouldn’t have thought it mattered that much.  Sure, there have been moments when I identified with the area where I grew up, or some traditions of my heritage.


Sometimes I am drawn, really drawn, to native American indians – the kind of drawn where it’s not that you think they’re attractive, it’s that you think maybe you used to be one.  There is no reason for this that I know of, except maybe an unremembered lifetime or recognition of a spirit guide.  I’ve met many indian spirit guides, but I don’t have any myself that I know of.


I was raised in an area where there were a lot of parents who were immigrants to the United States and so my friends were “first generation” and often spoke two languages.  There were a lot of specific cultures represented, and one in particular really stood out.


I was always very drawn to it, and slightly jealous that I wasn’t born into it myself.  The language, the country of origin, the food, and the entire lifestyle.  As a child I said,”If I ever get to travel, THIS is the country I want to see.  I want to go all over.”


I married someone who has a good dose of it in him.  I have always had many friends who have that blood in them.


When it comes to ethnic background, I knew what mine was and basically it amounted to Russian Jew on both sides, German and English, so there wasn’t much to talk about.  I understand there  is some Mongolian in there, which is kind of cool and might account for the longevity and extremely durable, strong will of my ancestors.


I can’t quite explain this to you, except to say that I always felt at a slight disadvantage when I was in an argument or a battle of wills with someone from the culture I wanted to belong to.   I realize that sounds completely ridiculous, but it was one of those things that though it may make no sense, I felt it in my core very strongly.


Then one day I got into a bitter argument with someone from that culture (he started it!) and that feeling of “not good enough to stand up to him” popped up.


At the same time, I noticed an uncharacteristic quality come on line that basically said,”Cross me and you’re dead to me.  Retract or be dismissed.”  You can probably imagine the degree of boiling point rage that accompanied that, right?


Except, it wasn’t rage.  It was calm.  True calm.  So calm that I scared myself.


I may have been known to be a bit hot tempered when younger, but I genuinely thought I had it under control (or actually, I didn’t think there was anything to control, because I also could be quite the doormat in those days, and this feeling was quite the opposite of that).


Afterward I was extremely upset over the argument because it was one of those “burn the bridges” situations, and though we are polite to one another today, it will never be the same as before.  I know I cannot trust the person and they don’t have my back.


I called a family member afterward just to have someone to vent to, and they told me something that completely changed my viewpoint of my entire life.


It gave me a dose of confidence so strong that it will stay with me forever and serve me always.


I know technically it should be irrelevant, us all being interconnected, and cultural or ethnic background being just one little piece…it shouldn’t matter that much, should it?


You might think it’s silly, in fact I think it’s silly, but it is as true as can be nonetheless: the news I was given changed my life.


I didn’t know my entire family background.  I was missing a relative.  The relative was a full-blooded native of the country I had always yearned to be from, and more specifically, most likely from the specific area I considered from childhood to be “the best.”


I wondered later if all of my temperament, outlook, and style could be attributed to hanging out with these people for my whole life, or if it was simply a genetic part of me.


I wonder if some part of me always “knew” I had an ancestral connection.


There have been so many more things that I think should have played a more significant role in my life, when I think back on the Big Moments.


But there aren’t.  This one is it.



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  1. I feel this way about black people and culture. I am convinced my most recent like was spent as a black woman. I feel drawn to the community – and their men, in a maternal way – and I’m a lesbian. It’s not sexual at all. It’s just…a feeling of familiarity. I desire to be a part of it again. I feel it in my heart and soul. So I’m not sure it’s ancestral connection this time (I’m as pale as a ghost)…but definitely soul remembering.
    Lindsay recently posted..The promise of new beginningsMy Profile

    • Lindsay, Maybe your black woman knew my indian man! Okay, probably not 🙂 Nonetheless I think these things are so intricate, it doesn’t even matter if we know the story (or a part of it) because we already “know” it inside.

  2. Interesting post! And so very eerie about the missing relative you discovered. Makes you wonder if it’s soul recollection or an amalgam of that and just familiarity with their ‘ways’ from years of exposure.
    I am dying to know what country now!!!

    • Anonymouse, Maybe we just find things out when we need to know them? It wouldn’t have been as meaningful if I had known it all along intellectually, it was just one of those natural things that I never gave any actual thought to, but just “knew in my gut.” I’m not telling what country, but you can guess if you want 🙂

  3. Oh, well, you know me, I have a giant Jew fetish (not for giant Jews specifically, regular-sized ones are fine too). This is despite having virtually no contact with them growing up, and no Jewish blood in my family that I know of. But I’ve since figured out that this is most likely a past-life issue, so in that context it makes perfect sense.

    I think we have all sorts of weird lingering preferences and issues left over from previous lives, and if we pay attention to them, it may give us information about those bygone days and help us to release some of them, which can often be quite helpful. But I too think you should cough up the country you want to be from, so we can start planning a vacation there! Especially if it’s Italy. 🙂
    Jennifer Lynne Flint recently posted..Remote ViewingMy Profile

    • Jenny, I am all for Italy any time, just book the tickets!

      I’m glad you are OK with regular sized Jews because I am standard average woman height 🙂

      Long ago I called Mary Occhino’s radio show and told her about an indian man I kept seeing, and she told me he was me. I found that surprising but possibly not entirely out of the question. Would explain why I always want to join the circle when I hear their traditional music play…I would have no idea what I was doing and would look a little odd, but I swear I belonged there at one point. I guess I’d say it feels more “me” than I do!

  4. Hi Julie,
    Such an intriguing post this week, one that I will spend time mulling over indeed.
    I was adopted but always knew of my cultural background, yet raised in another culture.
    The most compelling part of your article, for me, was the feeling of “you cross me and you’re dead to me. Retract or be dismissed”. THAT is exactly how I have felt in certain relationships in my youth. I had this pension for having some sort of confrontation with a friend that inevitably caused me to cut them off. I too was a hot head, dubbed sparky for my short dude. Perhaps that lends to the argument of nature vs. nurture? But my point is I completely identify with that inner voice saying this, I knew that once you crossed me that was it, over & done. Even if I wanted to come back from that- I never could. I didn’t understand that component. People assumed that I was being irrational or too extreme in those situations. However I felt a complete calm in every one of those decisions, guided by an unknown force. I am curious now if it has to do with my ethnic background… thanks for giving me something to ponder! : )

    • Nicole, I think for some of us- who “ordinarily” don’t easily get upset, but when we’re done, we’re done – part of it is intuition (your higher self coming on line) and part of it is a matter of forcing you to set boundaries. There is great merit to cutting people off who don’t fit in your life – it’s healthy, sometimes it’s even for your own safety or ability to get on with what you need to do in life. Sometimes we don’t want to see what’s in the other person’s heart, even when they expose it to us we just don’t want to believe they could be that way – and that’s when the calm anger comes up, pretty much forcing us to handle it.

      When your higher self shows up (might think of it as your warrior archetype, too) you MUST pay attention or you will be repeating that stuff until the cows come home. It’s a very brave thing to do, actually! That’s why you could never go back on it. If anyone outside of the situation judges it, well they aren’t you and we don’t accept outside judging anyway, right!

  5. Fascinating. I have found that I am drawn to Celtic music. I do know that I have heritage on my father’s side that goes way back in the UK- mostly England and Ireland. We have a book of my (maiden) family that dates back to about year 1000. I am drawn to the tin whistle in the Celtic music and also in the Native American music. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was a Native American once upon a time.

    I, too, had the feeling you were talking about Italy.
    Sue recently posted..Living A Life Of GratitudeMy Profile

    • Hi Sue, I love when something comes along that just grabs me in a way that I know whistles along the past. So much today is commercialized and repetitive, it’s a relief to find the unique that calls to us throughout history.

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