for what only appears in the roots. ~ Rumi
I wait and sit with an uneasy heart attempting to find my voice, horrified by the tragic events of the "latest" school shooting. Like so many I am overwhelmed and heartbroken at the loss of our children, and the life of fear they have inherited simply being a child going to school.
People are seeking viable answers to "why this madness continues". As a Family Systems facilitator it is impossible for me to miss the hidden connections and intergenerational trauma when it comes to these troubled young men and boys involved in school shootings.
I enter the conversation with respect for all that is present with the inquiry.
These insights offered from my long time practice as Systemic Family Constellation facilitator address one facet of a complex question.
I share with a respect for a work that brings healing and creates solutions, offering a visceral understanding; that we truly are all connected, to each other - AND to who and what occurred before us.
These observations are just that, and not political in nature. When working with inclusion there is no one at blame.
To see each person as human is a first step to healing.
When I look beneath the surface of what appears to be chaos and separation there is a symmetry which guides me to the roots of what joins us. We know we inherit our physical DNA, but along with the color of our eyes and hair we inherit much more. The conditions, patterns, traumas and strengths as they existed in our families past are also carried through DNA.
I work with my client as part of this larger whole, their family system. Through this lens I am aware people are attached through their linage and energetic inheritance. This most often reveals personal issues have their origin in the families past. We have observed pain and trauma, and resilience can remain alive in a family for generations.
Understanding the role of inherited trauma is an essential piece of the puzzle in understanding WHY patterns persist and difficulty continues.
Systemic Family Constellation work as developed by Dr. Bert Hellinger in post war Germany was an early therapy first illuminating this understanding of family inheritance. It was his experience with hundreds of clients in the potent climate following the Holocaust, he observed everyone in a family system had the right to belong, and with this inclusion profound solutions came to light.
Further supporting what we have witnessed for over thirty years, is the emerging field of Epigenetics. This new science sees that genes can be turned on and off, and expressed differently through changes in environment and behavior, transmitting effects at a cellular level and across generations. It reveals the hidden influences upon the genes affecting every aspect of our lives. At the core of this new field is a simple but extraordinary idea - our genes hold a 'memory'. This gene memory creates a resonance field of knowing and belonging. It is this extraordinary tracking system that allows our hearts and actions to remember what our minds would forget.
This knowledge is reflected in the pioneering work of Rachel Yehuda, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and one of the world's leading authorities in post-traumatic stress. Her work and research with children of Holocaust survivors, Vietnam Vets, and pregnant women who survived the 9/11 attacks lends scientific proof how trauma and resilience cross generations.
From the Systemic Perspective war violence is a dominant source for pain, trauma, and disconnection as we move through history following its effects on families, and communities.
This is seen in my clients and their children's issues transformed by connecting in love to parents and relatives that perished in the Holocaust. Or a client's night terrors stop after connecting with respect to her father's experience in Vietnam. Then there are my many clients whose children (most often boys and young men) suffering with Autism, ADHD, Bi Polar disorder find relief when the generations of men and women that suffered in recent wars are seen, included, and given their place of belonging in the family system.
The experience of war influences the fabric of our culture in ways unimagined. A majority of Vietnam Veterans struggle with chronic PTSD symptoms, with four out of five reporting recent symptoms when interviewed 20-30 years after Vietnam. That is just one war of many. I see the systemic effects of WWII most often.
These unseen wars have created a burden on our men that were in service to their country. This burden has affected their ability to father. One thing that unites school shootings is fatherlessness, either minimal involvement with father or fathers, father no involvement. 51% of women under 30 are raising children without father involvement. As boys become young men, their suicide rates go from equal to girls to six times that of young women.
Young men and boys are in crisis and I see history repeating itself in these shocking events.
People wonder why things are different here in the US than from what we see in many other countries. We have never been forced to face our early history as a country.
One crucial part of the equation is our wars being fought on foreign soil.
Out of sight and out of mind has created separation and collective amnesia.
The legacies of actions unseen do not go away, they follow us.
We are being forced to look the pain of the past, in the face.
Unlike other countries it appears we have yet to learn from the past because we are detached and had the luxury of turning our backs.
Excluding or repressing what has been comes with a price.
In the 1960's, students protested young men being killed in the war in Vietnam. Now tragically, their children and grandchildren are experiencing the "war" has come home and into the classroom. Even the weapons are the same. In the coming days and weeks their descendants will stage their own protests, and student walkouts.
The question remains when will we listen and learn from the past?
This is not a new question, there is no blame, it is the story of human history and historical trauma. It is a call to action to heal what has been.
We have the tools; there are solutions available.
WE are the elders, not the children.
It is our responsibility. Let us do the real work. No more distractions, no more by-passing.
Taking responsibility to transform our past, unburden our children and create a strong future.
There is strength, wisdom, and resilience when we include all that is present in the past.
We don't have to live like this, and our children don't to have die like this.
Our ancestors want us to thrive.
Krista Jarrard, founder Center for Systemic Healing
Krista Jarrard has been a dynamic force as facilitator, trainer and pioneer in the evolution of the Systemic Family Constellation work for over seventeen years. Krista brings a deep intuition and remarkable scope of wisdom to her practice with clients worldwide. Krista is passionate about supporting the current shift in consciousness by working with clients to transform their ener-genetic inheritance of the family linage. She has brought this multi-dimensional healing to clients around the world, and to international communities for awakening. She is the founder of the Center for Systemic Healing, and creator of Healing at The Heart of the Matter Immersion Learning Program.
Krista’s upcoming book “The Radical Act of Inclusion” reveals the secrets to her work with Inclusion.