How to Know Yourself: Look to Your History

self-knowledge Mar 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

For me, this is a day to remember my ancestors and to celebrate Ireland, the green island of my grandparents.

My father’s name was Patrick, and maybe you know that Catholics are fond of celebrating their saint’s “Feast Day.” This is a day on the calendar that the Catholic Church assigns to a particular saint—the patron saint of Ireland. And while I long ago left behind the shame and the guilt and the abuse of the Catholic Church, I’ve had to make peace with the guy who raised me in that church.

So St. Patrick Day in my household always had the fanfare of the holiday—parades and shamrocks and wearing green and a celebration of all things Irish. And the deeper meaning of it being my father’s day. Now, it seems that everyone loves to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I was reminded of how prevalent this is when I looked at the Google icon today:

Google is using the triskelion in a beautiful tribute to Ireland. You could be cynical about a mega-corporation using this symbol and I would get that. But my first reaction this morning was one of delight. That’s a beautiful part of my world right there.

That triple-spiral in the middle of Google was found on ancient walls in Ireland at Newgrange. It has become a popular Celtic symbol and has developed several meanings over the centuries.

The symbol speaks so much to me that I use the triskelion symbol in Metamorphix’s logo to capture the essence of movement and growth of spirit, mind, and body towards wholeness and beauty:

 

The Metamorphix name honors both the journey towards wholeness and beauty—a journey that can feel equal to the changing of rock from one form to another or from a moth to a butterfly. But also the logo honors my personal history and experience: as I have found the ways to make life work better, it is clear that my work is to help others to do the same.

So I’ll make my kids the Irish soda bread that my grandmother made me. We’ll have corned beef and cabbage like we do once a year. We’ll laugh and tell the stories and honor my father, my grandparents, and our roots on Dingle Bay.

We’ll tell the stories of how transformation happens, and how we can remember the triskelion’s best lessons of moving towards a life of balance, caring for one another, and creativity.

May you too, enjoy the best of St. Patrick’s Day: Sláinte!

 

 

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