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Family Constellations – The Path to Sacredness

As a new family constellation facilitator with 20-year experience in the counselling industry, I wanted to share the sacredness of family constellation work and how I found it to be the missing piece of my work.

Family constellation came into my life, not by accident, it was destined. It entered my life at a critical point where the loss of my mother was suffocating all aspects of my life, including my marriage, work, family and friendships. Honestly, I nearly suffocated. I hid my emotions from 99% of people, wearing a brave face to stay slightly connected, but deep down, I was literately dying on the inside. I was riddled with a kind of loneliness I had never felt before. I was swimming in loneliness, almost drowning. I could barely keep my head above water. I was not living anymore, I was existing, waiting to die, so I could be with my mother again.

As I kept existing on this planet, one day out of the blue, the topic of intergenerational trauma sparked my attention. It took me to Google and to Mark Wolynn’s book “It didn’t start with you”. When the book arrived, I started reading it straight away. In Part 3 of the book there were several exercises of which I completed. It was in these exercises where I gained a new awareness of myself in my family system. I was waking up to the deep-seated pain and suffering in my family system, that was also inside me.

A few days after reading the book, I was walking from the kitchen to the sunroom and it was like a divine moment where the following message was given to me; “You are not only carrying your own grief, you are carrying your mother’s grief and your maternal grandfather’s grief” Holy shit, I thought, and in that very moment, instantly, I felt lighter and those words resonated with me deeply. I took a breath and knew that message was about to change my life, I just didn’t know how.

My mother left Hungary in 1957, after the Revolution and never saw her parents again. She always talked about being the apple of her fathers eye. When her father was dying in 1980, a telegram was sent from Hungary to Australia, telling my mother that her father was dying and that he wanted to see his daughter one more time. Sadly, she never made it because my father wouldn’t let her go. My mother was later told by her cousin, that her father died of a broken heart waiting for his daughter’s arrival.  My maternal grandfather last saw his daughter when she was only 19 years old.

That message “You are not only carrying your own grief; you are carrying your mother’s grief and your maternal grandfather’s grief” began to land in my body more deeply as the days passed. The grief felt less overwhelming and I started to acknowledge my mother’s death for the first time in seven years.

Several weeks later, I was drawn to research family constellation training. The more I read about family constellations the more I knew I was moving in the right direction.

Prior to family constellation training, when I worked with clients, especially couples, I would explore their family of origin using a genogram. The genogram gave me so much insight into their family of origin and my strong intuition filled in the rest of the gaps. By using a genogram, I was able to help clients, see what they were carrying from their family of origin into their relationships, their family, their friendships and their work environment. But deep down, something was still missing.

After training with Yildiz Sethi and reading some of the work of amazing experts in the field, (Stephan Hausner, John Payne, Bertold Ulsamer, Svagito Liebermeister, Francesca Mason Boring, Bert Hellinger, Daan van Kampenhout and many others) I was finally trained and I was now able to build on this incredible modality. Life as a therapist was just beginning….

The more I engaged in the work practicing individual constellations and finally stepping out of my comfort zone and facilitating group constellations (thank you to Joanne Porter and Kevin Darwen who supported that for me and made it happen). Family constellation work was the missing piece I have longed for. It finally arrived.

Enough about me… let’s talk about the sacredness of family constellation work. I am only speaking from my personal perspective as a third-generation facilitator of family constellations.

When we gather as a group of mostly strangers, we come together creating a sacred space. In family constellations, we call this “the knowing field” There is a field of memories surrounding us. It is a collection of memories that influence us from previous generations.  When we are asked to step into this field and represent/resonate for a family member or an ancestor, we are stepping into, what seems to be their energy field and feeling deeply into that person (dead or alive). The phenomenological field that is created holds a safe space for the representative/resonator to feel into the person they are representing and the magic begins. Memories, feelings, sensations, family secrets, entanglements and traumas are revealing themselves. The person that is having the constellation, observes the unfolding of past memories, feelings, sensations and entanglements, which informs the facilitator of where to go next.

Many of us still do not understand how all of this happens, how does a stranger tune into a dead person from three generations ago and tell their stories, tune into their feelings and provide vital information for healing to occur? What we do know is that thousands of people all over the world have healed different aspects of their life through this beautiful, sacred work.

I use the word ‘sacred’, because when we tap into the many generations that came before us, we are somehow inviting our ancestors back into our life. Most of us are oblivious to the long line of ancestors behind us. In family constellations, we are remembering and honouring our ancestors. We are honouring their sacrifices and their fate. We give back what doesn’t belong to us. We bring our family system back into order, we take our place in our family system and we hold close to our heart the love and support of each family member that came before us. We are no longer alone… actually, we were never alone, we just forgot along the way that our ancestors are our support in life. The sacredness and tenderness of our ancestors is the gift that keeps giving, we just need to remember them with great honour.

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