How can trauma from our grandparents influence our behavior today?

As you probably know, I have been working a lot with family constellations for a few years now. It crossed my path years ago. I am now a certified family constellator and have experienced and seen how deeply this work can affect you and how quickly and effectively it is to take major steps in your process.

I find it extraordinary that we are influenced every day by intense events in the lives of our grandfathers and grandmothers. In recent weeks I heard about a study done on mice. The mice were continuously exposed to the scent of blueberries and at the same time received a shock. The smell of the berries therefore became stressful for the mice. The children of these mice only had to smell the berries to also have a stress response. And the grandchildren of these mice also showed a stress response only when they smelled blueberries.

Pretty bizarre, right? It turns out that old fear, which is not ours, has an impact on how our DNA is read. If you would like to read more about this study, you can find it in this link. Our response to situations is not based solely on our own experiences. We certainly carry with us the experiences of previous generations.

As long as we are not aware that it is not ours, we will continue to react the way we always did. We’ll probably wonder why it is so. Why do we have that irrational fear of water? Or always be wary of people who talk very loudly?

A family constellation can give you insight into important themes that play beneath the surface in a family. For example, in a constellation I asked myself what was between me and my success, or where the fear of showing myself came from. In the constellation it became clear that there were hidden stories between my grandmother and my mother that I had put in my backpack out of loyalty.

My grandmother was widowed at a very young age, my mother was 6 years old at the time. This was close to Rotterdam, shortly after the Second World War. There was no time for mourning. The land had to be built up and my grandmother was on her own with 5 children, the youngest 6 months old. It was very confusing for my mother. She was not allowed to attend the funeral, nor was she allowed to ask questions about her father.

My grandmother’s father-in-law did nothing to help her. And the wise gentlemen of the church also failed considerably. She was really on her own and had no choice but to put her head down and work hard. As a woman there was little to fall back on, she just wasn’t important enough.

The pain of her loss and the fear of having to support her five children made my grandmother close off from her feelings. She wasn’t emotionally available to my mother.

To be able to show yourself, you need that connection with your feelings. That gives you self-confidence. But out of loyalty and/or entanglement with my grandmother’s fate, it didn’t feel safe for me to show myself; to be successful.

In this constellation it became very clear that I could leave this with my grandmother and mother. My higher-self kept asking for my attention in this constellation. Every time I looked away, my higher-self stepped back into my view and continued to guide me toward my success. The success was very accepting and looking forward to work with me.

It was a beautiful and emotional constellation. It’s not like I’ve been overflowing with self-confidence since then and have never encountered that old familiar self-sabotage again. But I am aware that my attention is always drawn back to what I want to do, which is helping other women to let go of old patterns and beliefs. So that they can start living the life that is theirs and that fits them perfectly.

Would you also like to experience what family constellations can do for you? Then book a place in my next group session family constellations. Or book a 1-on-1 session with me.

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