Ever have the feeling that you are watching yourself do or say something that you really don’t want to do or say but are powerless to stop? Or that you and your partner want to get closer but some invisible force keeps you at a distance? You can see and identify the negative thought or behavior pattern yet can’t disengage. You so want to change a recurring relational, financial or behavioral dynamic but really struggle to get any traction. The pattern becomes a chronic issue made worse by your feelings of self-judgment, shame, helplessness, depression, worry, etc. You’re sure something’s wrong with you. I call this inner experience of no-way-out, a “round room”.
In my own personal growth, as well as with clients, I find that often the thoughts and feelings that arise from one’s “round-room” point to an unconscious entanglement with emotional baggage from your family system. The roots of all kinds of disempowering imprints and pain can be inherited. They live in the unresolved traumas or not-to be-spoken-of tragedies in the lives of your parents or grandparents. What happened to them impacts you but can only be metabolized and completed by them. However, as a child you intuitively know that your survival depends on your parents’ well-being so you try to help them emotionally. Mom’s overwhelmed and disconnected from Dad – you’ll be her partner. Dad is sad and distant – you’ll perk him up by being the happy, perfect little girl.
In hoping to get the attention, safety, and connection all children crave and require to thrive, you try to be what you think they need. Anytime a child tries to take care of a parent emotionally, instead of receiving emotional support from them, energy in the system flows the wrong way – upstream instead of down. An eddy, just like a round room, is formed in the flow of love and life-force through your family system. You’re now caught in a cycle of abandoning yourself as a way to resource yourself and never feeling seen and supported. Then, as you get older, you probably both blame and reject your parents while also staying unconsciously entangled in a role with them you hate. This dynamic will then play out in other areas of your life.
The truth is you can never do anyone else’s work for them. Completion of mental-emotional imprints and traumas is something each of us must do for ourselves. A child can never be what the parent longs for or fill the hole of a parent’s grief or shame or self-hate. But out of misguided love and unconscious loyalty, you try. You merge, follow, reject and even try to atone for parents without knowing you are doing so. You end up perpetuating the suffering you wanted to alleviate.
Because most of us come from traumatized family systems, identifying systemic imprints is a first step in the process of personal responsibility and freedom. Family Constellations open the door for the transformational process of differentiating from what is not yours and for being both separate and connected to your family in a life-affirming way. When you are in the right place within in your bigger family system and no longer entangled with what is not yours, you can heal and complete what is yours.
This is why I often recommend first doing a Family Constellation first and then doing biodynamic embodiment sessions. I find that seeing and disentangling from your systemic inheritance opens your consciousness to a bigger picture in which there is more compassion and neutrality. This frees you up to engage more fully in the somatic process of completing your own imprints.