The Bodies Our Ancestors Gave Us (with Dr. Ofa Hafoka)

Thu Jan 26 05:00:17 EST 2023
Episode 4

When you think about the term “family history tools,” images of gigantic binders, wrinkled family history charts, and dusty rolls of microfilm probably come to mind. While these items can be useful, there’s another less obvious set of tools we need when we research—especially when we learn about challenging aspects of our family history. For this episode, we invited Dr. Ofa Hofaka to discuss emotional tools we need as we approach body dysmorphia, mental health, and internalized racism in family history work.


Michelle 0:01

In this episode, we discuss body dysmorphia and internalized racism and its impact through our family histories. These are difficult topics. And we know that body dysmorphia and internalized racism cause a lot of pain to many, many people. We just want to let everyone know that we love you, and we are sending you healing energy, whether you decide to listen to this or not. Hey, Miya.

Miya 0:23

Hey, Michelle.

Michelle 0:24

So do you remember a while back when my house flooded, and I was living in a hotel for three months? Yeah, that was crazy. It was a nightmare. So we had a flood up in the upstairs. And I went all through the HVAC system to the downstairs, it was a nightmare. But it was also crazy, because at that time, there was like a shortage of skilled craftsmen, or you know, people that helped you remodel your house, we could not find anyone to help us like remodel. So I had to do a lot of it myself. Well, my husband and I together. And I was like learning all these new skills and these new tools. And it really made me think about family history. Because there are so many tools we can use that we don't even know about. Miya there's a stereotype about like, what tools would be needed to do family history work. What would you say would be like all the tools that you would need to do family history work effectively?

Miya 1:17

Sure. So the most common tools I hear people tell me to that they will use for family history is records, a binder to put all your records in--a three ring binder--the computer to hell research and WiFi to help you access all of these tools. But you and I both know that those are not the only tools that we can use in family history work. And we are so excited to tell you more about that today.

Michelle 1:55

You're listening to the love your lineage podcast by LDS Living a multifaceted shame free approach to family history. I'm Michelle.

Miya 2:03

And I'm Miya. And we want to help you find your space and claim your place in your family history story. Okay, so episode two, we talked a lot about what we send down in our line of boats. And today we're going to give you some of those tools that will hopefully be really practical and helpful for you to navigate your family history story and unpacking what comes along in your family history boats.

Michelle 2:30

Miya I love your boat analogy, because I just think that's such a great visual of, you know, what family history work is we're not only dealing with the present, we're also thinking about how we can heal and address things in the past and how we can heal things in the future. So I am so excited about our guest today, Dr. Ofa, who is a professional licensed psychologist, and she's going to help us build our toolbox so that we can we can heal generations.

Miya 2:56

Welcome Dr. Ofa. To our show. Thank you for being with us today.

Ofa Hafoka 3:00

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Miya 3:02

I'm personally excited because Dr. Ofa and I are both Pasifika woman. And fun fact we grew up close to each other right on Oahu, and Hawaii. So same hometown, same hometown. We're just so thrilled to have you here today. And we will love to learn more or hear an introduction of who you are your background, your family history, especially to highlight your professional background. So take it away. We'd love to hear it.

Ofa Hafoka 3:28

Okay, so my name is Dr. Ofa Hafoka Kanuch and I am from Hawaii. Born and raised in Hawaii. My family originated from Tonga, a small little island in the South Pacific. My parents are both from Tonga and both from the opposite ends of Tonga. So my dad is from To'ui. And then my mom is from Talafo'ou. And they're both because they were opposite sides. I I learned a lot of the history from my through my grandparents. And I learned to connect with my culture through them. And so we were taught the language in our home. I was taught to dance. And there are a lot of even up to our food, like everything in our home was centered around our culture. I grew up with both sets of grandparents. They came to Hawaii when my parents came for BYU Hawaii. And I just always thought that family history was their job, their responsibility, and I fortunately grew up with a lot of stories about their upbringing. And I feel very fortunate to have been raised in that family system. I am now a licensed psychologist at Brigham Young University. I also teach classes there and then I run a small private practice on the side.

Michelle 4:39

Wow, I love that so much. And I think maybe there might be a couple of people out there thinking, What does why would you have a psychologist on a family history podcast like when you have a historian? We want to show you guys today if you don't already know how family history and mental health are really linked and So that's one of the questions that we really want to talk with Dr. Ofa, today is like, How often do the themes of family history come up in in therapy.

Ofa Hofaka 5:11

All the time. And we talk about family history all the time, because as a therapist, it's hard for me to really understand what a client is going through without looking at the context of the system and the culture that they grew up in. And so family history work is really important to therapy. And then also the other way around therapy is really significant. And really important to family history work as well.

Michelle 5:38

Oh, yes. We're so excited. You're like the perfect guest. Okay, so we want to get into this with you. I think a lot of times with family history, work, and therapy. So I'm the first generation in my family to go to therapy, no one in behind me has gone before. And I think it's kind of this unknown area. And I think a lot of people maybe have familial stereotypes of like therapy or, or mental health. And so that's one of the things I wanted to talk with you about today is that these are really tied together and it is only going to help you on your family history journey. So Dr. Ofa, you are the perfect guest for us to talk to today. And we are so excited. A lot of us just we don't realize the connection here between mental health and family history. And here's another connection that might seem a little far fetched, but swimsuit season. Some of us super excited, some of us are like, Oh, no. And how does swimsuit season, psychology, mental health and family history come together? It's one of those things where body image comes up a lot. And whether you love or hate swimsuit season, is whether you have healthy body image or don't. And that is something that's really close to my heart, because, and I've, talking to a lot of women, that is something very close to their heart, because that's definitely a thing handed down from grandmother to mother to daughter, is body image. And so Dr. Ofa, we'd love for you to help us have some tools in our toolbox for struggling with body image. Or if we have a family history of struggling with body image, what are some first steps we can take to start that healing journey, not only for ourselves, but maybe for other women in our family?

Ofa Hofaka 7:36

Yeah, so body image is how we as an individual, how I would look at and feel and what I would think about my body image. Typically, in today's society, people are often comparing themselves to the ideal body image, which actually, if you're looking in history, that changes over time, I also think that depending on what part of the world you're in, that's influencing the perception that you have of your body image as well. And so generations ago, our grandmothers would have had different influences, what they perceived, or what they believed their body image should be in quotation marks versus what we are struggling with today.

Miya 8:21

And there's been some research on this, right?

Ofa Hofaka 8:24

So there was a study done in Fiji before they introduced technology to a really small, rural village. And then they introduced technology and did a follow up study three years later, and found that in that time after they introduced television, that there was a rise in eating disorder behaviors, disordered eating behaviors, insecurities, body dysmorphia, and this started because the women in the villages were comparing themselves to what they saw in the media. And so I feel like when we compare ourselves to the ideal, the current ideal standard, this is where the negative body image starts to develop.

Miya 9:06

So some people may think that these behaviors or changes in behaviors are normal, or natural, but why are they dangerous, especially to women and to generations?

Ofa Hofaka 9:17

This leads to greater problems and issues with anxiety with depression. Also, with trying to gain control over how your body looks trying to manipulate how your body looks, especially if it's influenced highly by your genes. Also leads to this over obsession on like, what you're eating, what you're doing to compensate for what you're eating, and it takes away from focusing on things that could actually lead to having a more fulfilled meaningful life. And so it takes away from not just your attention, but just like it takes a frilly it negatively affects your emotional and your mental health.

Miya 9:57

Wow. And how does that then to if you know, if we see that happening in one generation, we've, I mean, we've witnessed that this has been passed down, is that something that you're familiar seeing as well, in your work?

Ofa Hofaka 10:09

Yeah, you know, if you think about the messages that you internalize, most times it comes from your home. And so when you, if you hear your mom being insecure about her body, you internalize that even if she isn't saying anything directly to you and your body, you hear well, how she's talking about her body. And so that gets passed on, because then that creates your own. That's how you create your self talk. And then that's what you pass on to the next generation.

Michelle 10:37

Thank you so much. And that just resonates with me. And one of the discussion that Miya and I have had is, you know, body image issues that we've had, either personally or in our families. And then we, Miya and I, we're having this great conversation that our bodies are our ancestresses' as bodies, they're the bodies of our mothers and our grandmothers. And to hate something that has been given as a gift from the mothers that have come before us. It's really sad and to to acknowledge that when you look in the mirror, you're not only looking at your reflection, you're looking at the women that have come before you and how beautiful that is, and that your eyes, your hair, your nose, your curves come from those women.

Miya 11:21

So how do we then Dr. Ofa, your opinion, how do we then embrace what has been blessed and passed down to us? You know, in terms of our bodies, how do we treat them better? What are some tools that we can do to help improve ourselves and our body image, and hopefully be that influence for good to pass it down in our family boats?

Ofa Hofaka 11:43

It's really important that we acknowledge gratitude for our body. What our body is doing to show up and to function for us to do everything that we can do in this life, even if even if our body has flaws, or even if we are dealing with sicknesses, our body is still trying the best that she can to show up in the way that we need it too. And so I think it's really important first to start off by cultivating gratitude for the ways that our body is showing up rather than focusing on how we have been taught to hate our bodies. Because I think that we are often so comfortable, being really negative to our bodies to ourselves, that it holds us back from having this really strong relationship that we can have with our bodies.

Miya 12:33


Michelle 12:35

So one of the first tools is gratitude. If this is something that someone is, is dealing with, what is maybe a next step after that, where they could maybe get help?

Ofa Hofaka 12:45

I think acknowledging where something that might seem like a healthy coping mechanism is actually not. I think, acknowledging and admitting that when we over focus on physical health to the point where we are now engaging in disordered eating behaviors, that's when we need to go and see help and seek help. And I think it's really hard for people to admit, when something that started off with really good intentions has now evolved into something that's hurtful.

Michelle 13:15

Or it seems like family tradition, this is just we diet, that's what we do, or we criticize, or you know, we manipulate our bodies. And that's just what we do on our family. And we're inviting you today, to be that transitional character, like we talked about in our last episode to be like, you know, I'm gonna have more gratitude. And definitely, definitely please seek out professional help. And we'll have a link in our show notes, with all the information. This is such a great powerful conversation, one of the things I wanted to bring up that is closely linked to body image is internalized racism. We are all women of color here in this conversation. So Dr. Ofa, could you tell us a little bit more about what internalized racism is and why it's harmful?

Ofa Hofaka 14:03

So internalized racism is when people of color behave in ways that uphold whiteness or white supremacy. It's when people of color are the target of racism, and then start to believe those messages that either they're not good enough or they don't deserve equality, because they've been surrounded by messages or experiences of racism, that they start to believe that that narrative.

Michelle 14:32

Thank you doctor over for the explanation. And so am I correct? Like a perfect example would be those women in Fiji you are talking about and how they were looking at European beauty standards on the TV and in the media. And that was so different from what they looked like themselves. Yeah. And that makes me think of a very personal experience. So my abuela growing up, she would always say like, our family is the raza pura, in Spanish, that means like the pure race and that she told everyone she was born in Spain and that she was from Spain. And it wasn't till after her death that I found her birth certificate. And she was actually born in Mexico. And her mother was indigenous Totonaca, and also through her family line, which is where our African ancestors came. And so if you don't have mixed ancestry, or ancestors of color, this might not be a conversation that you've ever heard before. But it is a huge part of family history work for people of color, and dealing with internalized racism, colorism, where, you know, darker people in the family were seen as bad and lighter, people in the family were seen as good. And I mean, I guess I should be really explicit, like, literally internalized racism blocked walled off a huge part of my family history, I could not go any further, because people were trying to keep this a secret, they did not want to be connected to indigenous people, they did not want to be connected to people of African descent. And so it created this huge wall where I could not go farther in my family history until I learned the truth. And yes, you know, I think growing up in Mexican culture, even today, like people in the indigenous population, are seen as less than people from Spain and Europe. And it's something that has been really hard for me, but I didn't know what internalized racism was, I came across this information. And all I knew was like, why did my grandma do this? Why? And so even the trauma of finding out about this hatred for ourselves and our family, it was really hard. And I didn't have the tools. I didn't know what to do with this information. So Dr. Ofa, I would love for anyone that might be experiencing something like this, which I know not, it's not just in Mexico, there's a lot of people that have this, this experience in their family history. But what are some steps we can take towards healing instead of just shoving it away and being ashamed of it?

Ofa Hofaka 17:10

I think it's really important to acknowledge the historical and systemic reasons that probably contributed to not even knowing this part of your family history, right? That your grandmother probably didn't pass it on as a way for in her mind to protect you or protect your family from knowing this. And I think as you find out as you do family history, it's really important to extend compassion to family members who, in their way try to protect you, because that'll help you to heal heal from the shame that has been passed on through generations. And also to talk about it right to speak about it as you learn about your different parts of your identity. That may have been shameful in a different generation, that as you own it, as you accept it, and talk about it to your generation or to your future family, your community, that the shame starts to break down, that it's no longer a secret that you have to hide from, but it's more of something that you can actually connect with, because it's likely that people in your own community have experiences of colorism, internalized racism in their family history as well.

Michelle 18:25

Oh my gosh, thank you so much. So can I I'll share with you what I have done. First, I talked to my kids about our indigenous and African ancestors, and teach them to be so proud to be connected to such wonderful, wonderful people, and how wonderful all of our ancestors are. I also have spent some time in my heart and in my mind talking to my abuela and telling her abuela I see who you are, I know your history. And I love you. I see your struggles, and you know, I forgive you, but I'm, I'm stuffing the poison here, I'm not gonna let it pass on. And in a way, you know, in my heart, I feel like she feels relief like I'm helping to correct a wrong that she made in her life.

Ofa Hofaka 19:20

That is so powerful, and also so liberating both ways in the past and also for you, as you change the cycle in your family for the future.

Michelle 19:32

Thank you.

Miya 19:33

Thank you for talking about internalized racism that you've witnessed in your family history. And Michelle, I want to talk about a form of internalized racism that I've been seeing in myself today, and that is stereotypes. When people look at me, as a Pasifika woman, they automatically assume that I play sports, which is actually true and I loved being athletic growing up, but that's not only who I am. I am not boxed. Nor have I allowed myself to be boxed in this stereotype of just being an athlete. So Dr. Ofa in terms of stereotypes, why are they so harmful to not only the present, but how they've been harmful in the past as well?

Ofa Hofaka 20:16

I really like your idea because it illustrates that stereotypes are a narrow, single story of people who are very complex. We have so many interests and experiences and when we believe stereotypes, that's just one belief, one story, the one part of our lives that are way more complex, right. And when we put when we attach stereotypes to an entire group of people, that's where the danger is, because then people start to assume that if you're Polynesian, that means that you're athletic. I really appreciate your example, Miya, because in my work at a university campus, I meet with people who have been stereotyped as athletic or strong, or even dangerous. And I hear that a lot from men of color, who other people would be really scared of, because they assumed that they would cause harm. And I think this is a really important time for us to break down why stereotypes are harmful for us to hold on to, and what we could do. I think it's really important to diversify the people that we know because once we once we start to meet a Polynesian who isn't athletic, or a person of color, who isn't dangerous, that's when we start to challenge the narrative that we held on to the stereotype that we had in our minds. So as we meet people, when we know them personally, then we we let go of the stereotypes that we have probably been taught.

Michelle 21:50

And we talk about in the show a multi dimensional approach to family history. And that's what we mean right there like looking at people in their complexity, that they have multi dimensions of who they are, as a people, and even our ancestors, sometimes we put our ancestors in a box and stereotype them, and to broaden their story and realize they were really complex people as well.

Miya 22:13

Yeah, I believe I truly believe that, who they were in their complexities should be celebrated and highlighted as well. So in talking about internalized racism, and stereotypes, both are huge and complex issues in our family histories. So Dr. Ofa how do we break these down? How do we remove or get rid of internalized racism in ourselves, and also stereotypes? What are your thoughts?

Ofa Hofaka 22:42

So this is a big question. And maybe I can just give a couple of things that we can do to start, I think it's really important to first be educated around what racism is, how it's been passed on in your family, and how you've internalized it, and also what stereotypes you've grown up to believe. I think that education part is also is really important, along with being curious in your family history, and compassionate and your family history. That even when you come up against things that are hard, difficult for you to hear, and to believe about ancestors in the past that it's important for you to have compassion for them as you start the healing journey in this link. And so when you acknowledge these behaviors that you've internalized, it's important for you to make the change, for you to change the narrative in your story in your family history. And I think if you as you do this work yourself, you'll start to be more aware of what stereotypes you hold for other people and other communities. And so I think this is really vital work to the healing journey. And this is just one part of the one place where you can start. Many times as you're as you're unraveling history in your family, it might feel really heavy for you to do this on your own. And I think in communities of color, we heal as a community. And it's really important to allow yourself permission to seek help. And that's from a professional therapist, and also from family from friends, people who can validate you and support you as you are reconciling the difficult history along with the beautiful history that you come from.

Michelle 24:39

And I think it's so vital that there are therapists like you who are people of color, and to have a therapist of color who is familiar with that and can help us really untangle a lot of these really hard, complicated feelings about it. So thank you so much. So the tools would be to acknowledge and to get educated first, and to maybe challenge any internalized racism, or externalized racism, and stereotypes. And then if it's too heavy for you to carry yourself to definitely seek out your community and seek out help. Dr. Ofa, there are so many things we want to go over with you, we just don't have time. But another crucial part of family history we need tools for is depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. And so I'm wondering, Dr. Ofa, can you help us with some tools to know only, when we find out things in our family history that cause depression and anxiety, tools that can also help us with depression and anxiety to help us continue to do our family history work and in a healthy, productive way? I think most people just disengage. Once you hit a wall like that, you just disengage and rely back on your coping techniques. And I want to acknowledge that that is okay. But there are a lot of people out there who want to go farther, but just don't know how.

Ofa Hofaka 26:04

So I think it's really important to fight the stigma around mental health, because this is something that I hear all the time. When I feel anxious or depressed, I don't have anyone to talk to. But isolating yourself is actually going to increase the anxiety and depression. And so it's really important to find a community find a social support network that gets you that will understand and validate, and connect with you when you're experiencing these things. I also think it's important to be just educated around to have some knowledge around what anxiety and depression is. So that when you're feeling anxious or depressed, you're not dismissing it the way that you may have the way that it probably was, when you were growing up, especially coming from BIPOC community. As you understand what anxiety is, understand what depression is, in doing family history, sometimes we actually find the source of the anxiety or the depression in that there may have been an experience generations ago, that created anxiety in your family, such as like a unexpected loss of a family member, or a traumatic event that may have happened. And if you don't know that, then it's hard to know where the sources for your anxiety and depression. A really helpful book is it didn't start with you. And that talks a lot, in that book, it talks a lot about if something happened. Generations centuries ago, even the end, no one healed from it, then subconsciously you're actually passing it down. And if I have a meeting with a person of color in therapy, who's experiencing anxiety and depression, sometimes we talk about, are there experiences in your family, with family members that were unspoken. And I think a lot of times people just don't talk about these hard things, because the automatic response is just to avoid and to pretend like it didn't happen. And it doesn't go away. When you don't talk about something, it doesn't just disappear. It actually builds up over time until it gets to the point where someone has to talk about it because it's affecting your mental health. And that's hard to concentrate. It's hard to focus, lack of motivation, lack of energy, all of these things are probably connected to mental health issue, not just to laziness.

Michelle 28:35

I think in many families, we try to process trauma passively. And I think right now, in this time, we're realizing that that doesn't work. It didn't work. We have to engage in it and someone in the family line has to and that, that generational trauma is not going to go away until we heal it. But I do believe you know, we talked about temple ordinances for our ancestors, and giving them healing and giving them opportunities and giving them peace in the temple. And I think this is so tied into that as well as us, not only healing ourselves, but giving them a chance to heal.

Miya 29:14

I loved what you said about when things, if you don't talk about it doesn't mean it goes away. And if it's been passed on generationally, things that have been unspoken, eventually there'll be somebody, hopefully that will speak up and speak out. And from my own personal experience, that's why I'm back in therapy personally because I have recognized things in myself and in my own family and family history, that there's some things that have not been said or shared and have not been healed, especially when it comes to my own mental health. And so having this privilege to go to therapy has helped me leaps and bounds and I would hope more importantly, that what I heal I will continue to heal in my family in this generational chain, right. Again going back to the boats, if I heal what I'm seeing in this boat in front of me, I hope that the healing will continue on to my son, to his children and children's children. And just can not only help this direct line, but continue to bless my community. And in thinking about our people are Pasifika people. I've met many in our community that have as children or in this current generation, they want to talk about mental health, they want to discuss it, but in their family and everybody else around them, they are so against it or scared to talk about it. So one of the questions I had for you then, Dr. Ofa, was how do you navigate that kind of circumstance? If you know, what advice would you have for me, if that was me, who wanted to heal from mental health and work on this with my family, but they're not willing or you know, not ready to talk about it?

Ofa Hofaka 31:03

In an ideal world, if you were ready, everyone else around you would be as supportive as you would hope they would be. And I think realistically, more often than not, especially if mental health was not talking to your family, you will have some resistance from family members who feel threatened in that. If this gets out outside of our family, this will might bring shame. And I think it's really important to change that narrative, by experimenting. If I told a trusted friend or if I told a professional how are they receiving this and how can that help. How can that help me to heal? Because as you change that that cultural narrative that helps you to heal, even if the people around you in your family are not giving you the support to heal, it's still important that you still that you do the work, even if other people are not supportive right away, don't back down from you trying to heal because that's most important.

Miya 32:03

As you were talking, it reminded me of my own personal journey, family history and in healing. And Dr. Ofa, I would love to hear about what are some healthy expectations we can have in our healing journey, especially pertaining to mental health.

Ofa Hofaka 32:19

I think that as you embark on this healing journey, it's important to have realistic expectations that it's not, you're not going to heal drastically, and just one therapy appointment, one conversation, even one generation. Healing takes time. And it takes a lot of strength and resilience and grit for you to get to a point where you can feel like anything as a resolved. Especially if you're healing from experiences that have been carried on through generations. And so I think being realistic, that healing can be hard, it can be tough. But also, on like the other side of this healing also creates a lot of strength and resilience that not only are you receiving from people in your family history, but also that you can, you can use like your, your current community right now to strengthen you to fortify you so that you can continue to heal for your future.

Michelle 33:22

So this makes me think of a question I have for you that I've heard from a lot of people to be like, if facing this stuff is so hard, why should I even do family history work? Why should I go to therapy? You know, why? Why do it? Because it's not going to be easy. Why should we do it?

Ofa Hofaka 33:42

Because it's harder and more painful to not do it. That when you avoid pain, that pain and that hurt is only going to it's only going to amplify for the next generation. And so although the work that you did currently is hard, and it's painful, it's important for you to address it now so that you're not not then passing on pain for children, for your community for someone else to have to deal with.

Michelle 34:11

And that really brings to mind the prophecy of Elijah that we hear so quoted often about, you know, family history work that I feel like we don't even really listen to the words were, you know, turning the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to the children, like really turning your heart and doing something really hard for the people that surround you in your in your family. That's really beautiful. Thank you.

Miya 34:38

My question for all three of us then is has healing been worth it then? And if so, why? And also, how has it brought you closer to our Savior Jesus Christ? So, to start off, I know that the healing has been worth it. I may not see fully the fruits of my work and healing myself. But I can feel it. I can feel it starting because I'm recognizing these healthier patterns in my own son, who's five years old right now. And thinking about what you said, Dr. Ofa about not wanting to pass down pain, as a mother, as one who loves my child, as the last thing I would like to pass down to him, or to anybody is to pass down pain that I have personally felt or shame and humiliation. I only want to pass down love. And I feel like I have that desire, because I experienced what it's like, from up above from our Heavenly Father, our Heavenly Mother and our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have felt their love be passed down to me. So I also think about to about our Savior, Jesus Christ. You know, we mentioned him as much as we can in our home. And in thinking about transitional characters, He was the number one transitional character for all of us, for all humans and all space and all of time. And if he could do that, and he has been giving us this power to do that for ourselves, why not me? Why not me to do something? You know, I've been blessed with so many privileges, to act, to use tools like therapy, to take care of my body and think of myself in healthier and better ways to challenge things that may have been passed down to me. Why not me to do something about it? So yes, my answer is absolutely yes. That it has always been and I hope always will be worth the healing. And I hope my example more importantly, will continue to inspire my future generations to keep doing the same to carry this on.

Ofa Hofaka 36:55

Spirituality for me has been a significant part of my healing journey. I think as Pasifika people, spirituality is infused in our culture. And also for, for me as a therapist, something that I can witness and other people as they connect to spirituality, as they develop spiritual like habits and a foundation, it helps them to heal because they're not holding on to initial grudges that they've probably experienced in discovering some painful things in their family history. I feel like in my own personal healing journey, it's made me more appreciative of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It's also allowed me to access the atonement in ways that I didn't fully understand before being able to identify emotional pain, mental health pain, and I feel like that's in turn helps me to strengthen my relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Michelle 37:59

Thank you so much. I think we all have really loved this discussion today. And just thinking about the different tools, so not only do we need or not only what it isn't nice to have a family history app, or a website or a three ring binder. The tools that we need to have in our toolbox to do our family history work is curiosity, empathy, education, therapy, community, those are the things that we need to heal and continue this important work of, of connecting to our families. I personally, this journeys have been worth it to me. Because by educating myself by learning by going to therapy, I have built so much compassion for people who are struggling for the with the same things my ancestors struggle with. You know, and going over this list of tools that Dr. Ofa has given us, in addition to our three ring binder, actually, you don't need a three ring binder, but if you want one, that's okay. And that all these tools are all Christlike qualities. And to be able to gain Christlike qualities through family history work is such a liberating and beautiful experience. And I'm so grateful that I was brave enough to venture into my family history and its complexities.

Miya 39:25

And with that, we want to thank our special guests Dr. Ofa for coming here today sharing her thoughts and experiences. We love you. And we appreciate you so very much.

Michelle 39:34

Dr. Ofa. We are now obsessed with you. And if you would like to also be obsessed with Dr. Ofa, she has an amazing Instagram account where she shares wonderful thoughts and you know, mental health tips and even just like thought provoking questions to maybe ask, I've asked myself, so I encourage you to follow her. And thank you so much for being with us today.

Ofa Hofaka 39:56

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Michelle 39:58

Thank you.

Miya 40:03

Thank you for joining us today for this episode of Love Your Lineage. You can find all the references and full transcript for this episode in our show notes at, and if you love this episode please please leave us a review or a rating.

Michelle 40:21

This episode was hosted by me, Michelle, and the lovely Miya. It was produced and edited by the brilliant and talented Erica Free and Katie Lambert and mixed by Mix at 6 Studios. Thank you for being with us today and we hope you feel empowered to love your lineage and embrace your authentic family history story.

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