Colonization brought Christianity to South Africa, and while many Zulus converted to Christianity, they still preserved their personal beliefs and customs. One of these was respecting their elders – “Ubuntu” – believing that aging was sacred and those who lived long lives were divinely aligned with the Creator.
Zulus who disrespected their elders would live to regret it. They believed a disrespected elder eventually turned into an ANGRY ancestor!
Zulu ancestors could still enter the realm of the living, visiting their descendents while they slept. Those who had respected the ancestors in life received dreams full of loving messages and wisdom.
But those who had disrespected them received nightmares and self-doubt! Additionally, an enraged ancestor could send illnesses to those who had disrespected them.
While respecting our elders and ancestors is important, we must remember that disagreeing with our elders is different than disrespecting them. We have SO much wisdom to learn from elders, but that doesn't mean we can’t disagree or set boundaries with them.
When was the last time you set a boundary with an elder? Like the Zulus, we must respect our elders, but we must also respect ourselves and our needs. Setting boundaries rooted in our collective care needs ensures we are all respected, and respect and care for one another is necessary for deepening our spiritual journeys.
How have you respected and honored your ancestors while staying true to your boundaries?
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