Generational Healing: What Is It and How Do We Know When It’s Done?
The concept of generational healing is new for our culture. It’s a privilege, regardless of the difficulty of the path. To all of the questions regarding it, I imagine there are many answers and that books have been written to address it, none of which I’ve read. But one book influenced me greatly as I was learning how to make peace with my past. Power vs Force, by the late David Hawkins, was the key for me that opened the door onto a liberating path.
What I offer below is my own perspective of generational healing. It’s the result of having assimilated, through personal experience, the insights shared by Hawkins. Having moved through the various energetic fields that are illustrated in his brilliant Map of Consciousness, I appreciate that healing occurs when we embody certain qualities such as acceptance, forgiveness and love. And that when we do so, the healing ripples outwards, positively affecting our family and loved ones, and is felt throughout time and space.
What is Generational Healing?
The healing of the generations, I’d say, is a process that starts with acceptance and ends with love. Through the process, we heal ourselves and by doing so we put an end to negative, repetitive patterns that have been “handed down” , often unconsciously, through the generations. Addiction, violence and manipulative behaviours are classic examples. Ending the cycles creates the space for new and positive ways of being to seed, take root and grow. It’s a process that is liberating for ourselves, that brings peace to our past and illuminates our future with optimism. For parents, it means that those inherited behaviours and energies won’t be passed on to their children.
As with any process of healing, there are stages to move through. Courage is a defining quality, without which we’re frozen, unable to see our limitations. But when something in our psyche strengthens, the ice melts, the fog lifts and all of a sudden we’re able to see with clarity. At this point, we can start climbing towards the radical state of Acceptance, where everything shifts dramatically.
But even before arriving at the point of Courgage, there’s work to be done. Below this level there are ugly and difficult emotions that are tied to the physical, emotional and spiritual wounds that we’ve received from our past. Shame, Guilt, Grief and Rage, for example all come bubbling up to the surface of consciousness and need to be addressed. As we start to confront our inner demons and process the emotions, the healing lifts us higher.
Courage is embodied when we stop blaming others and recognise that we are personally responsible for how we react to events in our life. We surround ourselves with support and we trust in the healing process. We activately work on revealing, transforming and releasing the heavy energies and behavioural patterns that are weighing us down. With less baggage, we elevate naturally into a lighter and brighter space.
Each step upwards, now matter how small, reveals a new perspective and a new way of being.
Acceptance, Forgiveness and Generational Healing
When we rise to the level of Acceptance, big transformations occur. Here, we’re able to appreciate in a deep and heartfelt way that our parents, grandparents and ancestors were damaged children who never had the opportunity to heal. This is true for all of us. All humans, from the beginning of our evolution up until just one or two generations ago, embodied the traumas of war and violence, the threat of starvation, the grief of infant mortality, the tragedy of death in childbirth, the reality of corporal punishment, the uprooting of emigration, and so the list goes on.
Moreover, as the concept of mental health began to take form, it was regarded with suspician. Fear of “loony bins” and electric shock therapy meant that what went on behind closed doors remained there, and the “skeletons in the closet” were guarded with lock and key. If there was a person in the community who could be approached for assistance (the wise women having being burnt and silenced), it was most likely the local priest whose advice was inevitably biased towards original sin, temptation and eternal damnation.
But for our generation, it’s different. Not only do we have the opportunity to heal, but we have a choice of modalities and practices available to us that is limited only by the imagination. Generational healing recognises that our ancestors didn’t have the opportunity to heal, and so we do it for them. When we accept our history and the vulnerability of the generations before us, the gifts are great. Rather than blaming our lineage, we’re able to forgive.
Forgiveness is liberating and clears the path for transcendence. Forgiveness and Love are enriching and empowering. They allow us to break the chain and interrupt the cycle of behaviours and beliefs that are limiting at best and damaging at worst. Through Forgiveness and Love we’re able to declare, “The buck stops here. With me, no more.” We stop seeing ourselves as victims and choose to be the directors, or, as Jean Shinoda Bolen writes, the heroine of our own life.
From the centre of our own healing, the effect ripples outward. Relationships change and positively evolve. We communicate with clarity and empathy. We make choices from a place of maturity and wisdom. We’re at peace with our past, and in being so, our spirit and the spirits of all those who walked before us, are released.
Generational Healing: Stand Up and Heed the Call
It’s not an easy process. To describe a family, I like to use the analogy of cogs in an analog watch. Lots of little wheels, all with their role to play, and all moving together as one is intricately linked to another. If one cog changes it’s momentum, then all of the others have to change. That’s the way it works.
If you’re the one, in a long line of generations, that decides to alter a system that has always “run like clockwork”, then all hell may break loose. You may feel like frightened little Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings, confronting the ferocious advancing armies with his small clan. It’s important to hold tight to high intentions, be clear about your mission and invest in support. Be soft and strong at the same time.
If you’re called to do the healing of the generations, stand up and heed the call. Healing is the great victory and the rewards are great. From our centre, to our families, to our communities, and gradually embracing the world, through healing we clear the path for an enlightened future.
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Books cited in this post (with affiliate links):
Power vs Force by David Hawkins
Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen
More from the Book of Ways
Economic Justice – Is the Price Right? – A model for how we can make our services available to all.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer – Transformational reading, a book for our times.
Full Moon Ritual for Powerful Loving – Connecting with Nature and our Inner Nature
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