Maybe You Shouldn’t Listen to Your Gut

What if “what feels right” is nothing more than inherited patterns?

Keri Mangis
The Dissident
Published in
8 min readSep 7, 2023


buddha statues inside of buddha statues
Photo by Céline Haeberly on Unsplash

Parallel Lives

My oldest daughter, who is 23 years old, left for California today.

She will be working for the same company she worked for here, in Minnesota, so she already knows the job, though she will have to orient herself to the new environment and community.

The last few weeks of her job here, however, were hell for her—not due to the job itself, but because of her boss, with whom contentions grew from business disagreements that veered into the personal.

When I was 23 years old, I moved from a company in Minnesota to the same company in California. I already knew the job, but I would have to get to get oriented to the new environment and community.

My last few weeks on my job were some of the lowest, most painful weeks of my life. My boss, after I had made a mistake, shifted from being frustrated with me to making personal insults.

Ancestral Patterns

The pattern between my daughter’s life and mine is hard to ignore. And this story is just the most recent story in a series of stories in which her life, and my other daughter’s life as well, seems to parallel, if not mimic mine.

It gives me goosebumps to consider that there might be more behind our shared desire to leave Minnesota and move to California at the age of 23 than just beaches and sea air. Is it possible that we inherit more, much more, from our parents than physical traits?

As you probably know, there is a wealth of study and information on the idea that we pass on traumas through our lineage, or what’s known as generational trauma. Dr. Gabor Maté is one of the leaders in this field of recognizing that trauma passes from adult to child.

Could it be that, via our DNA, we pass on traumas, yes, but more than that too? What about such things as beliefs, tendencies, preferences, outlooks, or even such things as whether we tend to be pessimistic or optimistic? How about such things as our taste in music, food, wine, or life partner? How about less tangible things such things as memories or preferences? Could that…



Keri Mangis
The Dissident

Keri Mangis is an award-winning author, teacher, and speaker.