Healing our Ancestors
According to Genetics, our life experiences get passed on to our children and our children’s children, through our genes. Studies on the survivors of traumatic events suggest that exposure to stress, trauma and shock may have a lasting impact on people and their subsequent generations. To a great extent most of our habits, tendencies and diseases can be blamed on the genes of our ancestors . But it cannot be denied that believing in it incapacitates us and renders us almost incapable of changing our reality. The question is, is it possible to make a difference? Can healing our own traumas, prevent them from being passed on to our children and subsequently our grandchildren?
In a new development, scientists have discovered how this genetic inheritance can be regulated. We can work on the precise mechanism that turns the inheritance of environmental influences “on” and”off”. The good news is that healing a personal trauma can make a huge difference to this process. The modality of transgenerational healing helps in resolving those energetic block it is in our bodies, as well as our consciousness, that may be coming to us from our ancestors.
How wounds travel?
Attending to the wounds of the past can connect us with “The collective wound”, says John Halifax, an American Zen Buddhist teacher and author.
What is overwhelming and unnameable is passed on to those we are closest to. Our Loved ones carry what we cannot. And all this happens at a deep subconscious level.
Famous book,”Lost in transmission “, builds on the idea that, “Whatever human beings cannot contain of their experience -what has been thematically overwhelming and unbearable, unthinkable -falls out of social discourse but very often goes onto and into the next generation as an effective sensitivity or a chaotic urgency”. The transmission of trauma may be particular to a given family suffering a loss, such as the death of an infant, or it can be a shared response to societal trauma. For example parents who were survivors of 9/11, would not let go of the hands of their children . The kids could sense that there is an anxiety, but they can’t make the connections. The unnamed trauma of 9/11 was communicated to the next generation by the squeeze of a hand.
Psychic legacies are often passed on through unconscious cues or messages that flow between the child and the adult. Sometimes anxiety gets transferred from one generation to the next through told stories.
Author Harold Kushner raises an important question in his book,” When bad things happen to good people”. The question we should be asking is not why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? That is really and unanswerable, pointless question. A better question would be, “Now that this has happened to me, what am I going to do about it? “
This is what healing process is all about. We must remember, that we are born to learn lessons and healing is a part of it. Whether or not we choose the family we are born into, as some people say, we do need to heal the wounds that are a part of it to become whole and complete in ourselves.
We cannot eliminate the so-called negative forces of afflictive emotions . The only way to work with them is to encounter them directly, enter into their world and transform them. They then become manifestations of wisdom. Our weaknesses become our strengths, the source of our compassion for others and the basis of our awakened nature.
There are many routes to healing transgenerational trauma. Profound changes can occur during individual therapy, group processes, ceremonies or in personal meditations. One very interesting technique is called family constellations which is inspired by the Zulu people who called upon their ancestors through indigenous healing traditions to heal family wounds.
Traditionally carried out in a group format, Family constellations are a form of psychodrama and somatic psychology. A process of allowing the wisdom of your associations, sensations and emotions to guide the healing journey.
Many traditional cultures offer ceremonies to honour their ancestors ,recognizing the fact that illness or disease can arise from unresolved patterns in the family lineage. Rituals attending to the past are observed to free the new generation from the fate of its ancestors. No matter what approach we take to healing, releasing the burden of traumas, either our own or that of our ancestors, increases our chances of scripting a new reality for ourselves.
Though the above is mainly about communities, the same is applicable to families and family structures as well. Communities are after all made of families . From family structures, one goes into individual healing.
An inevitable energy transfer happens down the generations of a family. This energy manifests in different ways in our lives.
Why some of it is easily recognizable such as hereditary features ,characteristics and traits, sometimes the propensity for certain types of physical, emotional and mental ailments in a family too is because of this energy transfer. Since ancient times, rituals and practices have been performed to “heal” this kind of transference, that limits the quality of life. In Modern Times, the method of transgenerational healing is used to address family issues.
Transgenerational Healing is a blend of psychotherapeutic process, energy work and Soul work that is known to alleviate many difficulties and challenges. In the Indian context, this is related to the Karmic baggage and known as Karma balancing. However , this trend is picking up , here in west also. This particular modality involves reflecting upon one’s own family lineage, while mindfully attending to one’s body, mind and emotions.
How it works
A large part of the emotionally disruptive life patterns we could be dealing with, originates from our family system rather than from direct personal experiences. For example, a heavy burden of guilt, pain and trauma carried by the entire family- soul gets passed down from one generation to another, when unresolved issues have not been dealt with and healed by the people concerned. Furthermore, complex issues of hidden loyalties to the person wronged by our ancestors can cause us to hold onto experiences of pain and trauma, which in fact do not belong to us in the first place.
Through the healing process, we are able to identify and resolve those issues. This as a consequence, releases blockage to the stream of life-force that enters our life through our family lineage to help us create health wealth and joy.
In other words, we are connected with each other through Karma and it is karma that frees us when we forgive and love everyone in our lives. This is what we learn in transgenerational healing too. It is one of the most liberating pragmatic and powerful works and techniques out of all various healing modalities.
One of my very close friend Sam, recently went to attend the family constellation process. She is a 48 years old woman, and shared and unpleasant relationship with her daughter. In the constellation, she and her daughter’s representative were brought into the Energy field. The daughter didn’t want to face her mother and stood with a back towards her . She also looked angrily at her mother. Based on the fact share by the representative, Sam and Sam’s mothers’ energy was also brought to the field with the help of a representative. It was discovered that , Sam shared an unpleasant relationship with her mother and showed the same anger, which her daughter carried.
Some time was spent in bringing resolution between Sam and her mother. A healing statement completely melted their hearts . Effect of which was seen on the daughter as well and now the daughter looked towards Sam with lot of comfort and love.
It is been observed that if one shares an unpleasant relationship with one’s parents, there is a great possibility that one may have a difficult relationship with one’s child as well . As there is a blockage in the sacred order of love. When one heals their relationship with one’s parents, one also steps towards healing it with one’s children automatically .
Healing family wounds with love
One of the participants, Anne, attended the program and came out with a huge shift . For a long time, she had felt that she was playing a mother to her mother. Specially, after her father passed away . After going through a few sessions, Anne has reclaimed being a daughter to her mother and no longer mothers her. She feels enveloped by the presence of a large Intelligence, and consciousness after the TGH process.
TGH process, allows us to step into the role of another person, and speak on their behalf , at the energetic level, not at the rational or intellectual level where we often block out the truth . And through the exchange of energy , the healing happens.
Very often we are caught into saying ,”They Wronged me/ I can never forgive them”. They often becomes the father/ mother/ grandfather and so on. In this context, and in all healing journeys, we must learn to accept what is and forgive and love them. After all they are part of our identity and to become whole ,we need to forgive, heal and love completely.
How to heal yourself
Few Things to remember and practice , If we are on the path of healing.
HEALING is a lifelong conscious effort of putting the hurt behind you and going forward with the knowledge that you are now ok .
HEALING means that you acknowledge your feelings of sadness and unworthiness. and You also remember who put it there inside you. But you accept it and move on.
YOU accept that you are an accident or causality in someone else’s life . You also forget the loss of an opportunity to love and be loved by someone.
You refuse to carry the scar through your soul with unexpressed greif and unvoiced regrets. You speak of it as long as it takes and as painful as it seems to be.
Transgenerational healing will enable us to
- Transform your relationships with our family members especially parents
- Break the chain of distorted patterns of ill health, be it physical, mental or emotional
- Develop reverence and compassion by understanding the story of our ancestors
- Heal recurring family patterns in the area of health, relationships or prosperity
- Accept life gracefully as a gift of our ancestors
- Stand grounded in our place of belonging
- Accept that nothing needs to be excluded, everything needs to be included and acknowledged as is. What is excluded or denied will ultimately make its way to be included in a system.
Some Techniques to practice
- Imagine yourself among the entire family , all ancestors from both sides
- Thank them and hug them . Feel them bless you
- Visualise your entire family including, ancestors meeting in soul space
- Affirm that our family is together and strong and visualize all others also doing this