We live as individuals, but carry patterns of those before us too in our feelings and impulses. It’s not until we notice those patterns appearing in our lives that we realise that willpower alone is not enough to change them.
Lets look at one story. A man is sent to war to defend his country and returns home mentally and emotionally destroyed. He has seen and done things that violate his own morality and carries a heavy burden as a survivor. The faces of those who didn’t survive remain with him in recurring dreams and flash-backs along with horror and annihilation. In his distress he becomes angry and turns to alcohol to dull his aching heart and disturbed mind. His wife becomes the sole carer of the family, as she has to take over the gap he can’t fulfil. She is so busy in day to day matters and grief over the loss of a loving relationship and shared support of their family that the children feel her lack of presence too.
The children experience a void of emptiness and distress at having lost their father and mother in different ways.
The son who was so looking forward to having his dad back from war is shocked to find that a stranger has returned. The humour and softness of his father is no longer present. Instead there is anger, impatience and fear in the house as his mother does her best to keep life flowing for the family. The son deeply hurt by the lack of response or attention from the father he once knew doesn’t know what to do with the shock and grief he feels. He withdraws in his pain and takes in the feeling that he is unworthy of his father’s love. He carries his fathers sense of hopelessness and his own along with his mother’s distress and responsibility.
Later the son becomes a man with his own family and for a while all seems to be going well, but then he becomes depressed and turns to alcohol to dull his inner turmoil. His children are distressed to experience their father’s withdrawal and internalise this as not being enough too and so it continues.
Until it can be stopped, turned around and restored.
This is where a family constellations or business constellation can make a difference as it has the ability to merge realms of reality to assist us in the present to sort out what is ours, and others and confirm our own place in starting a new story of health and strength as a partner, parent and individual.
It’s never too late to change those internal imprints to gain more acceptance and peace and step forward in opening a new page of our life for new beginnings.