Day 7 on ‘Family & Ancestors’ of ‘Relationships’ Chapter
From Remembering Series
[Listen to the audio. PS: There is no guided alignment at the end due to thunderstorm, highly recommended to set intention to connect to your ancestors for 9 minutes]
“Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.”Carl Jung
Have you ever consider, that some sources of your problem is not from your own life experience?
Do you ever question that these might come from your family consciousness or ancestors lineage?
Let’s look into this interesting topic on what I have learned, with the intention to broaden our point of view on our family ancestral lineage.
My story: I always thought that I am a black sheep of the family, feeling like I am abnormal, thus there are some sense of separation. Until few months back, I learned more of the family constellation, it has liberated me from the weight I carried on my family. Realising I am not an outcast, but, I am a part of my ancestors lineage, a sense of belonging reconciled. Starting to honour my unborn sibling before me by giving him a name and validate his existence. (somehow I felt it is a ‘him’)
Connecting to our ancestors
[For your information: Bert Hellinger is the founder who formed the basis of Family Constellation.]
Hellinger observed when someone is rejected or left out of the family system, this person can be represented by a later member of the system. Which the later person might share or repeat the earlier person’s fate with similar behaviour or repeat some of the aspects of the rejected family member.
It is called entanglement, when entangled, we unconsciously carry the feelings, symptoms, behaviours or hardships of the earlier member of our family system as if these were our own. For children born from the same home of similar upbringing can inherit different traumas and experience different fates.
PS: Based on GoodTherapy.org, Family Constellations is an approach for revealing the hidden dynamics in a family so that they can be worked with and healed.
Below are the key learning points excerpt from Mark Wolynn’s book “It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle.”
Ever wonder why do we seem to repeat certain experiences?
Unconsciously, we could find ourselves repeating to reach to certain people, events, or situation in old or familiar ways that echo the past. It is called the repetition compulsion or traumatic reenactment, stored in our unconscious. When we are not conscious about it, it seems to be fated, until we bring them into the light of awareness.
Pain sometimes submerges until it can find a pathway for expression or resolution, which is found in the generations.
Before we were born & Connection with our parents
Consider this, the history you share with your family begins before you are even conceived, since the earliest biological form, you already share a cellular environment with your mother and grandmother. It is said that before your mother was born, your mother, your grandmother and you were all in the same body. The 3 generations sharing the same biological environment.
The precursor cells of the sperm you developed from were present in your father when he was a fetus in his mother’s womb. Because your father’s sperm continues to develop throughout adolescence and adulthood, thus his sperm continues to be susceptible to traumatic imprints almost up until the point you are conceived. These are from the emerging research studies.
We know that when we were in the womb of our mother, our genetic expression is altered based on our mother’s emotions. If one mother constantly experienced repetitive emotions like fear or anger, it is a way of ‘pre-programming’ the child to adapt to its environment. “From conception, our experience in the womb shapes our brain and created the groundwork for personality, emotional temperament and the power of higher thought,” said Thomas Verny.
Now, this life force doesn’t stop even if one feel disconnected from them. When our connection to our parents flow freely, we would experience ourselves more open to receiving what life brings our way. When our connection to our parents is disconnected, the life force available to us can feel limited too.
Thus, our connection to parents is important.
Imagine our parents are standing in front of you, then ask yourself:
Do I welcome them or do I shut them out? Do I sense them as welcoming me? Do I experience one differently from the other? Is my body relax or tight as I visualize them? How much is a life force flowing from them to me? (0% to 100%)
Be aware of the 4 unconscious theme that interrupt the flow of life:
1. We have merged with a parent by unconsciously take on their pain.
2. We have rejected a parent.
3. We have experienced a break in the early bond with our mother.
4. We have identified with a member of our family system other than our parents.
Many of the problems we experience in a relationship might not originate from the relationship itself, they stem from dynamics which existed from our families long before we were even born.
Does my relationship mirror a pattern in my family history?
Below are the key learning points excerpt from Francesca Mason Boring’s book “Connecting to Our Ancestral Past.”
Our shared ancestors as a tribe
We were all original from tribal, deep in our DNA, our family field with our indigenous knowing, we remember these fierce loyalties of the certainty of the bonds. Until modern days, we are in a kind of spiritual forgetfulness.
What is a family constellation?
Family constellation integrate the knowing fields of the indigenous with Western practices. The process release the dead and the pain of generations long past with combination of several methodologies.
In a constellation, people re-member the connections of them and their members, be it parents, siblings, partners. They become strengthened by the gifts of their ancestors and learn to separate themselves and the traumas plus limitations of their ancestors.
The ‘Re-member’ term is known in the constellation work to bring back the forgotten or excluded members into the family system through remembering the isolation of their trauma and the impact of their transgenerational pain on a family or descendent.
“One simple prayer is:
“Allow me to be present with clean hands and a clean heart.”
Below are the key learning points excerpt from Dr. Steven D. Farmer’s book “Healing Ancestral Karma.”
In many cultures, both modern and primitive, has paid great attention to the ancestral family. Yet, people tend to forget their ancestors thinking that they are isolated and that one’s destiny is in own’s hands. When we know that we have inherited certain characteristics from our ancestors which affect our lives today, we are opening ourselves to allow ancestors to guide us, protect us and help us heal.
It works both ways, not only our ancestors help us, in turn, we are helping them too, for any unhealed emotional, mental and physical wounds in their lifetime.
Our lineage: Connections before us
“Your number of ancestors doubles every generation, starting with your parents. Ten generations ago you’ll find 1,024 directly related ancestors.
If you go back twenty generations ago, you’ll discover you have 1,048,576 ancestors in your lineage!
In fact, if we were to go back far enough we’d find we all share a common ancestral lineage.”
Cultures & Traditions
In the Chinese traditions, the culture believed that the ancestors will look after the family in the afterlife, how ancestors influence the fortunes and wisdoms. In turn, we pay homage to the ancestors, first from the funeral of the deceased where we burned the used items of the deceased and the spirit money, then created an altar with picture of the ancestor to honor with flowers or food and incense. There are special festivals like Ghost Festival or Tomb Sweeping Day where we visit the tomb or altar to honor our ancestors.
While in African traditions, ancestors are honoured through prayers, offerings, and sacrifices. The ancestors are seen to be the caretakers of the family and community customs and moral codes, when there is a misalignment, the ancestors can create difficulties or illness. The ancestors are also seen to be able to punish or support the living ones.
Gretchen Crilly McKay was initiated as a traditional African healer called a sangoma, or African shaman. In a personal interview she shared the following:
“When you were having a problem, you would go see the local sangoma and he would contact the ancestors and determine the source of the problem by throwing the bones [an ancient tool for divination]. I recall where a friend’s son was taken ill and they took him to see the sangoma. He threw the bones and determined from the ancestors that gathered in the ritual that the boy had the wrong name! So, the boy given another name and immediately the illness lifted.”
In Hawaiian traditions, the indigenous Hawaiians were intimately tied to each other, their ancestors and the land. One writer shared, “the most important ancestor for all Hawaiians is the land itself.” Hawaiians see themselves as one with the natural world and recognize their ancestral lineage is intimately related to everything in the world.
A Course in Miracles tells us
“When I am healed I am not healed alone” (Lesson 137).
Deepen connection with ancestors
When we deepen our relationship with our ancestors, it will enrich our life where we benefit from ancestors’ wisdom and guidance, for their desire to help us as their descendants.
“When we illuminate the road back to our ancestors, they have a way of reaching out, of manifesting themselves… sometimes even physically.”Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise
The book mentioned there are 4 things our ancestors need from us: acknowledgement, validation, understanding, and forgiveness. Once we are able to provide these, they will seek to help us in many ways as spiritual guides and teachers.
Reviewing your deceased loved ones, to whom do you feel most connected? Are there any ancestors you have unfinished business with? What blessings or gifts have you received from any of your ancestors?
Worth to take note: The 3 types of ancestors
1. Biological ancestors of our lineage
2. Territorial ancestors where we inhabits in a particular geographical area
3. Spiritual ancestors for humans who have come before us and walked on this Earth where you feel a strong pull to another land and culture other than the one you were born
I encourage you to do your own research or read the books for more details and guidance or attend the family constellations near you.
What can we do to deepen the connection?
Here are some possible ways which you can dive deeper yourself, where I will experience it myself too, then I will share it.
- Heal Thyself First (Focus on your personal healing first)
- Forgive yourself
- Draw your Family Tree
- Set a Family Altar
- Try Automatic writing
- Send Energy Healing to your Family Tree
- Forgive your ancestors
There are many ways to do this, so find what suits you.
May we acknowledge and honour our ancestors by validating their background and pain.
May you be aware that your ancestors love you.
“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”Thich Nhat Hanh
Looking at my palm,