Our ancestors’ world was not always one of romance, heroism, and honor. If you start the work, be ready for some disappointment & shame. Of course, there were valiant soldiers and hardworking women struggling to withstand economic, political, and social pressures, but just as today, there were people who I’d want in my inner circle and others I wouldn’t go near without a fight. When I discovered a Puritan juror who sat on a Connecticut witch trial and a slave-owning family in Massachusetts, I was horrified. How could members of my family victimize other human beings with such disregard? How could I possible carry those atrocities in my DNA? It took weeks of soul searching for me to realize that if I hadn’t lived in their place and time, I shouldn’t judge. I am not, in any way, excusing my ancestors’ behavior, but after significant meditation and reflection (and spiritual guidance from other ancestors), I found a way to explain their barbarism and live alongside it. Such efforts have led me to a deeper sense of self-forgiveness and, more importantly, forgiveness of others. If that’s all I ever get out of my practice, then it’s already a win.