family SYSTEM constellation
You may agree that we are part of a family system consisting of parents, grandparents, great grandparents and many more generations of mothers and fathers. The system that we are part of is informed by an energetic field that holds memories and connects us to each member of our family (something similar to cyber space that connects the web). All wisdom traditions have an understanding of this field, which is being increasingly recognized in the western world through the science of epigenetics.
The deepest and sometimes most unrecognized patterns are those within the family system. Constellation work exposes hidden family patterns that may have been unknown for generations. These patterns may originate from unresolved trauma, entanglements, or other issues that negatively affect family, career, health and relationships.
The healing and life force that come through this work are truly amazing!
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WHAT IS FAMILY CONSTELLATION?
Healing the World
By: Francesca Mason Boring
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. -Lao Tzu
Family Systems Constellations is a method which identifies and honors those trans-generational events and traumas which have inhibited the flow of love in a family system. The traumas of war, assault, death, dismemberment, poverty, or exploitive wealth, crippling judgment, imprisonment, institutionalization, insanity, murder, rape, these are the stuff of the human condition and within a family context they are often tales which go untold, or family secrets which require complicit silence, no matter the unremitting impact.
These are the unspoken echoes of horror and loss that prevent one from fully experiencing love in personal relationships. Some systemic or ancestral pains in love relationships become unconscious prohibitions against the ‘suffering’ of love. Some losses and interruptions in the system become a lifelong challenge to ‘find a place’. Some difficulty in processing forced migration become an inability to look at the issues of immigrants, systemic insulation for the sake of self-protection becomes systemic blindness, sometimes of collective proportions.
Generational group loyalties which fed slavery, genocide, decimation of land and ostracism of those who would not comply have stealthily expanded to national group conscience and atrocities throughout the planet.
How do we save such a world? Perhaps it takes a simple step: looking with mercy and without judgment on the wounds, oversights, and predators within our own family systems.
All family constellations are a part of a wider field. The context of history, destiny, and all the circumstances which surrounded the catastrophes within our own family systems may represent events which were impossible to integrate. Seeing what was would have meant self-destruction, catatonia, incomprehensible rage or suicidal guilt. Family constellation allows us, (sometimes for the first time), allows a family system to see, and to be able to live within the context of what was. Now scientists have observed epigenetic memories being passed down for 14 generations, our work with trans-generational forces has growing support from multiple disciplines.
As we expand our individual family constellation within a community experience, we become a collective witness. And as humans have done for millennia, we together become a prayer for freedom and reconciliation. As our work in the knowing field has expanded there are many facilitators who honor the collective movement which can arise from a family constellation and those present who have lived with common weighty family dynamics. Ritual, walking meditation, ceremonial hand washing, silence, and ever holding respect and safety for individuals and families who are drawn to the work is a part of our expansion.
In honoring our ancestry within the safety of our common humanity, for the first time we can live our lives within the context of what is. Without the restraint of systemic burdens, we can fully step into the world with love. Perhaps this is one important step toward healing the world. –All My Relations
©Francesca Mason Boring 2017
(highlighting parts of the text are done by Sony for emphasis)
Following a constellation: Allow the new image to work in you
Hellinger: I’d like to draw your attention to something. When a new issue arises or a new image develops, you can’t act immediately. That’s an important point. You shouldn’t make any quick decisions. The new image does the work itself, and after a while, it will be very clear what has to be done. If you move too fast, you get ahead of your soul, and the new picture recedes. So it’s important not to make any rash decisions or take hasty actions. Just continue exactly as before, without making any changes, until things become crystal clear. Sometimes things will change without even noticing it; that is without any push from the ego. (P.136)
-Supporting Love: Bert Hellinger’s Work with Couples (Zeig, Tucker & Theisen, Inc. co. 2001)
Hellinger: Many people start making objections after a constellation, out of fear. They go into their minds and start putting their new experience in old theories and former experiences, and then the work is destroyed. If you do that, you go out of the experience and into your thinking. We then follow personal preferences and beliefs; we are lead by something smaller than the full experience.
Unfortunately, many therapists help their clients make such objections. Sometimes… therapists experienced in other therapy forms try to follow up what happened in the constellation. They may give advice or interpret in a way that softens what happened so that it has no longer its original power. That kind of helpful interpretation and advice is actually a form of objection….
The other thing is, it is no use to try to remember what happened in the constellation. The soul knows it. Most people forget completely what happened, and that’s a sign of the quality of the work. Really helpful work is beyond thinking. (P.178-179)
-Touching Love, Volume 2: A Teaching Seminar with Bert Hellinger and Hunter Beaumont. Copyright: 1999 by Carl-Auer-Systeme Verlag
There’s another point to consider. Much of what we work with here is the result of entanglements that a family system imposed on a child, and that a child accepted out of love. They often are things we didn’t choose and couldn’t defend ourselves against. Working at that level exposes both our child’s loyalty and our innocent defenselessness. People feel safer opening up to that level when they don’t have to worry about comments, criticism, feedback, or suggestions from other group members. No matter how well meaning, comments can easily hurt and shame that tender place where we all still love innocently, like little children. Group process and group dynamics are effective methods for other tasks, but they just don’t offer the level of safety we need in order to work as we do here. (P.194)
Love’s Own Truths, Bonding & Balancing in Close Relationships, Bert Hellinger
Copyright: 2001 by Zeig, Tucker & Theisen, Inc.
CREDIT: All My Relations Constellations: Francesca Mason Boring, Facilitator, Trainer, Author