To whom do you belong?
As a result of the many interruptions to the natural bonding process between parents and children in modern industrialised nations, many of us do indeed feel like islands, isolated and in need of objects and external circumstances to give us a sense of who we are. However, that is not the entire picture. As isolated as many of us may feel in western culture, the actual picture is really quite different.
Contrary to our physical sensations collectively we make up a vast sea of consciousness and awareness – an energy field that is also made up of information. This field of energy has been given many names such as the ‘morphogenic field’ (Sheldrake), ‘family soul’ (Hellinger), quantum field and the ancients used many names to describe the flow of energy and consciousness – prana and chi for example.
Each of us is not only born to parents, but also into a family soul that spans many generations and everything within that field of consciousness and experience is available to us – the art, the music, the skills, the knowledge, the wisdom of grandmothers and grandfathers in addition to the traumas, the crimes, the hatred, the wars, the destructive loyalties and distortions created by religious affiliation, political upheaval and tribalism.
At times it can feel as if we are both blessed and cursed by our family of origin. On the one hand there may be a great heritage and tradition of which to be proud and on the other hand we may feel heavily burdened by the tragic loses of previous generations of the hatred, jealousies and aggression held by some.
So what are the solutions? Do we cut all ties with a burdensome family? Turn our backs and walk away? How do we ‘honour thy father and mother’ and not be burdened by all the distortions or heavy histories?
Part of our soul’s own path is to both challenge and evolve beyond the loyalties that can keep us locked into love bonds that are negative – loyalties to ideas, beliefs and individuals that are tied up in hatred, depression, crime or who are simply lost in their own personal hell. Many of us attempt to get out from under ancestral burden in many ways – deny its existence, remove ourselves from the family system through physical and social distance or escape into an alternative lifestyle. None of which work as we are seemingly inextricably connected to greater the family soul.
However, this does not determine our destiny in the same way it was out fate to be born into our family system. With self awareness and through accepting all that is and was we can grow beyond unconscious loyalties, bow with deep respect to those who have suffered and dissolve entanglements with negative love bonds through journeying into our own heart. Once we begin to meet consciously all that we carry we can realise that rebelliousness, denial and rejection are not the solutions we once thought they were, and that the solution is to accept ‘what is’ whilst relying on our own heart to inform us. This is freedom. It is freedom when we can allow our father to be an alcoholic without question, our mother to be depressed without interfering, our sister to be disabled without limiting our lives through pity, our brother to commit crimes without the burden of shame. There is freedom in the heart when we can love a stranger even when they belong to a group, ethnicity or religion that were the enemies of our families, there is even a greater freedom when we don’t feel obliged to befriend such people owing to the misdeeds of our family against them. The heart gives total freedom and sees everything just as it is and allows everyone to have their suffering with deep respect.
We are not islands and discovering that everything we didn’t get in childhood is alive and well in the depths of our hearts will turn the vast sea of the family soul into tranquil waters to be celebrated instead of feeling like shark infested waters that must be avoided. Healing our negative ties to our family of origin can be deeply rewarding work. Not only does it lead to greater freedom, but we also learn so much more about the nature of human relationships, bonds and just what our heart is capable of.