Family is the first system we become part of. It remains a powerful influence on us throughout our lives. This is not a system we can just opt out of. Family Constellation work allows us to become aware of the impact family and family history has on us.
We all have what we can call family baggage. Beliefs, attitudes, and other patterns we have inherited from our parents and our family lines. We get more than physical DNA from our ancestors and we continue to carry this system from which we unknowingly operate. We carry shame, guilt, sadness, and fear that have roots not in our own lives or our own experiences. Every family line has its share of joy as well as tragedy, stories shaped by the social etiquette, taboos, and perception of morality at the time. Even without realizing it, we live entangled with the past that can create blocks to tapping into our full potential.
According to Bert Hellinger who developed Family Constellation, we all carry the blueprint or energetic field of our biological families. This field, sometimes called the family soul or family conscience, affects all members of the family. These entanglements can be seen as depression, difficult intimate relationships, addictions, and other transgenerational adversity.
They say blood is thicker than water. Family bonds and traditions are far more powerful than many people realize or want to believe. No matter the nature of the parent-child relationship, there is an underlying energetic loyalty. Children always want to please and have the approval of their parents. Sometimes this means not outdoing their parents, including living happier lives. Children can also sacrifice their best interests to alleviate the suffering of other family members. Reading this, you may find it completely irrational, even defeatist. That’s because it is not a conscious pull, and that’s why the influences remain hidden.
By addressing the roots of these sweeping patterns, we can release ourselves from the past. By putting down our baggage, we are clearing the ground for deeper inner work and for sculpting the life we envision for ourselves. The amazing thing is that, because a family is a unit, when one member does this work, other family members also experience a shift.
What Family Constellation Looks like, Very Briefly
A person can do Family Constellation work privately with a facilitator or within a group. The person seeking resolution for a problem chooses participants in the group to represent him/herself and the various family members. S/he places them in the circle or the constellation space reflecting how s/he sees the relationships between these members. The person then observes with the other participants what unfolds, as facilitated by the Family Constellation practitioner.
With just the facts, the representatives tap into the field and access and make visible the subconscious patterns. In this way, resolutions are possible. This is not role playing for the seeker nor representatives. In the constellation, the family soul and conscience is given a voice.
To receive the new awareness arising from the work, the person steps back in as him/herself, conscious of the entanglements. The new inner family image replaces the old. How well Family Constellation works does in part depend on the person’s openness and courage to face the issues at hand. For some people, this work can be confrontational and yet powerful. Family secrets may also be revealed. Approaching it purely on a mental and rational level also diminishes its potential impact. The willingness to let go of the old patterns and old family image may be challenging, and the process, painful even. The freedom is well worth it. For yourself, your children, and other family members.
We are all part of a family, no matter how close we are to them or if we have been adopted. We carry the family blueprint, the energetic field of family conscience, that lives within it all the stories and events that have come to pass. Along with these come the unresolved emotions such as grief, anger, shame, guilt – all the feelings that act as energetic handcuffs.
One modality to release these patterns is Family Constellation. This work allows us to put down our baggage so we can become light. As Caroline Myss teaches, the energetic weight of emotions such as unforgiveness increases the wait for manifestation of what we desire. Gaining new awareness and consciousness allows us to dissolve the entanglements that tie us to drama and even sabotage. Are you ready to see with new eyes, through the constellation?