Why is we can be the most conscious loving individual until we get together with family? The answer lies in the energetic field of the family. If there is conscious love present we feel loved and supported. If there is unconscious love in the form of trauma we feel the trauma. It is a trauma field. Much like a minefield all we have to do is be in it, to feel we are not completely safe. This topic comes up often more often than you might think during a Family Constellation session. Family Constellation Work often deals with those difficult moments in a family's past that may have been to much to bear for those that were part of the event. It can affect us on every level even if we have never experienced it personally.
I have noticed clients that are aware of this will call for a Constellation session before a family gathering or vacation because they have realized when they are in the presence of other family members something changes. They may be a successful business person, community leader, stable and well-adjusted until they are back in the company of family, then it appears everything goes out the window and they can't even remember the balanced person they were the day before.
Awhile back I heard a sweet story during a Dharma talk. I was sitting in the back row of a Zen Center, and the center's Chaplin was sharing about her longtime practice, and her stories of life off the cushion. The audience sat in rapt attention and stillness... UNTIL, she mentioned the F word, FAMILY. My back row seat afforded me a unique vantage point of the entire room. It was fascinating to witness these practitioners immediately started moving, itching, stretching, and coughing. I could see the thought of family move through the room as a visible wave of discomfort. As she dove into her story describing a challenging relationship with her parents and the difficulty in being with it, she shared something that offered her peace of mind. When seeking advice from a revered teacher she was surprised to hear the teacher share with a smile, "Forty years of practice has gained me ten minutes with my parents." The Chaplin was relieved to realize she was not alone in the struggle to connect open heartedly with those closest to her.
So we are in good company when it comes to courageously facing our reactions, behaviors, and issues that persist, as we hold them for our family.
The natural protective wisdom of the body is brilliant. It guides us to retreat from situations that are not safe, where trauma is, or has been present in the past. The body's automatic response to danger and the natural process of disconnection has a lifesaving purpose at its core. But what had been lifesaving in the past may become life limiting in the present. It is these energetic strongholds that keep us anchored in the past repeating lifetimes of suffering. Nothing new can emerge until we transform the destabilizing event at its source point, in the family's past. As I often share with my clients, you may have experienced very difficult events and situations in your family but that is not the source of the issue. I have yet to meet a person that has had a difficult life whose parents or grandparents live wasn't harder. Hence, our knowledge that your issues did not begin with you.
What Can You Do when you find you are Not in Touch with Your Strength?
Tracking your body's response to a situation is helpful until you can begin your Family Constellation work. If you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling overwhelmed and fading into the background, Keep your Eyes Open and Breathe. Bring your focus into the present and your breath.
Remind yourself of the date, your current age, and who you are in your life today. Be aware if you are a high sensitive you may be feeling others feelings in addition to your own. Learn to differentiate but not to disassociate. Be easy with yourself.
By working gently with great respect, through Family Constellations the trauma field reveals itself to be a unifying field that brings together that which was made separate. Transforming these disturbances at the source point, the heart of the matter facilitates shifts on a soul and DNA level. When transforming our energetic family inheritance we may experience family and our loved ones in an entirely new way. Difficult situations, and behaviors no longer hold a charge, there is no longer a disturbance. In its place a new response is now available; we and those around us feel safer, more loving, and can stand in new found strength. Amazingly the Family Constellation creates shifts in an entire family without anyone else having to be involved. For the first time we may feel included, acknowledged, and whole.
Krista Jarrard is the founder director of The Center for Systemic Healing. Krista has been a dynamic force as facilitator, trainer and pioneer in the evolution of the Systemic Family Constellation work for over 14 years. She offers her work worldwide via Skype/Telephone, Trainings, and Workshops and Private sessions.