Why Is The Past So Important? We live our life forward, but understand it backward.
Nothing is more important than belonging, we may not know this consciously but unconsciously this is our biggest pull. Sometimes, however, our way of belonging is to suffer like those who came before us. We may become “entangled” in the difficult fate of a past family member, and unconsciously draw unhappiness, failure, addiction or illness into our own life. The purpose of a family constellation is to reveal that hidden dynamic and point the way toward resolution.
We are all born into a family, and this comes with both blessings and circumstances, or fate, that remains in the energetic field of the family system from generation to generation.
Over 50 years ago, Bert Hellinger came to South Africa, Natal, as a missionary, and lived with the Zulu’s for many years. He learned the importance of honouring our ancestors and believed that:
the peace of the dead depends on the living, and the wellness of the living is dependent on the dead.
Hellinger returned to Germany, where he became a psychotherapist, and discovered that more than 70% of the issues that his clients suffered from were not due to psychological reasons, but systemic ones. He coined the term systemic family constellations to encapsulate the essence of his work – therapy that focuses on the individual in a family system, which has a collective conscience, or soul.
Bert told Ulsamer in his book: ” You cant have wings if you don’t have roots” elaborates –
Every family “family soul” or a strong inner bond, regardless of what it looks like from the outside, or if the family members are aware of this or not…. Everything that is suppressed by the family does not disintegrate or disappear, but remains in the energetic field of the family system, and the newer members of the family, the children, feel this energy, and live it out. A child gets “entangled” with their ancestors, meaning they take on the behaviour, feeling or fate of a family member.
In a constellation, it becomes clear how loyal we are to our families of origin, irrespective of the story you tell yourself and others how you don’t get on with one or both parents, or a family member,irrespective of the distance you have put between yourself and a family member, in order to be free. You can be on a different continent physically or emotionally, but this only aggravates suffering. The way forward is to make peace with our parents, even if they have died. A constellation shows, how much our need to belong influences our actions in life.
Often these actions develop into destructive patterns and we are usually unaware how our unconscious attempts to balance energies in our families keep us from living our joy.
A child takes on the behaviour fate and feelings of a family member or ancestor out of “blind” love and loyalty to their family. It is often the child who is capable of the deepest love that does this. In effect, the child unconsciously takes on behaviour that tries to restore order in the family so love can flow. E.g. He/she takes on the identity of a child who has died tragically and not been mourned and grieved for, in place of the parents grieving .