Emotional Baggage – Are You Sure it’s Yours?

Posted by Nikki Wyatt, Thursday 30th November, 2017

What have you inherited from your family line? Your grandmother’s blue eyes, her father’s gift for music or maths, her grandmother’s love of travel?
When we delve into our family tree we see not just physical traits and talents, but also life themes that have been passed down the generations. It’s as if we’ve been handed a stack of karmic luggage to unpack. As we rifle through it, among the creative gifts, we’ll also find unresolved heartbreak, emotional conditioning and limiting beliefs.

As the saying goes ‘what we resist persists’ and that’s true of emotions too – they persist for as many generations as it takes until someone acknowledges those feelings and expresses them.

Why does that matter? If you’re happy with the way life’s panning out then it doesn’t matter a jot. But if you’d like to change any part of your life then it’s important to be aware of what’s been handed down to you and what the authentic, unique ‘you’ looks like without the baggage.

As well as many years consulting with clients, my journey has included participating in numerous Family Constellation workshops, which demonstrate deep ancestral wisdom. It’s clear that there are themes which repeat across all our lives. Though the details of our stories may be different, the lesson and the path to resolution is always via the heart and the key ingredient is always compassion.

In the same way that a physical symptom is resolved by finding and treating the cause, an emotional, mental or spiritual state of imbalance can also be brought back into harmony when we connect to the core event. It’s as if your ancestors call out to you and their pain is repeated in the form of an echo in your own life, as a way of including and remembering them.

How to Identify Common Family Patterns

  • A sense of not belonging

Who was ostracised in your family? Maybe it was an individual who married unconventionally, who had what was judged to be an unacceptable sexual orientation, disability, addiction, religious conversion or mental health issue. Sometimes it can be the entire family who didn’t fit in, if they lived in a culture where their religion or race wasn’t the norm.

  • A deep grief that’s out of proportion to the circumstances

Who had a major and/or untimely loss or separation which they weren’t able to grieve?

  • A pattern of shutting down emotionally

This is especially common if an ancestor lived through war. It was the only way to cope with the overwhelming horror. Civilians often suffered as much as those on the front line, but in different ways. Masculinity may have been partly defined as an ability to shut down and a wartime survival mentality still finds expression in many of us who’ve never needed to react to the sound of an air raid siren.

  • A feeling of financial scarcity and anxiety, even if it doesn’t match your bank statement. Driving yourself to earn far more than you need at the expense of your personal happiness.

Look for ancestors who either struggled with poverty or who went into bankruptcy. Most importantly look at the human consequences of that. Those who may have starved or been made homeless. Children who had to be given up for adoption, put into care or family members who were separated from each other in the workhouse.

  • A fear of having children

This may be an ancestor who lost a child young or had to give one up. Sometimes it can also be the sheer weight of your family karma which subconsciously feels too heavy to pass on.

  • A sense of something missing in your life

This can reflect someone who’s missing from your family line. They may have been written out of your family history for reasons that might be hard to understand today, but they were never to be acknowledged or spoken of because in some way they had brought shame or dishonour. Deeds that are unforgiven echo down the years until they are brought into the light of compassionate understanding. Other missing elements can be miscarriages, stillbirths, illegitimate children and secret adoptions.

What becomes trapped in the energy field of the family is not the event itself but the emotion that surrounded it and the beliefs that spring from it, which become part of the family mythology.

For example, if your great grandfather desperately wanted to marry outside his religion but gave up the woman he loved, along with unmourned grief, there may be a belief that true love is unattainable. It’s there, but always just out of reach.

How to Heal Family Patterns

To heal the legacy you first need to unpack it, acknowledge it and trace it back. You’re likely to see it repeated through many generations so you may need to go back a long way to find the source.

Ritual is very effective in releasing this kind of patterning and there are many flower and crystal essences which support ancestral work.

Ancestral Healing Ritual

Step One: Create a sacred space in whatever way makes it special for you. You may like to cleanse the area with sound by using chimes or drums. Burning incense or essential oils and smudging with sage are all ways to dedicate the space for energy work.

Step Two: Place a photograph or memento of the ancestor you want to connect to. If you can’t trace your issue to a specific family member then use something to represent the unknown person where this pattern originated. A rose in the space is also helpful, as roses work specifically to open and heal the heart. Consciously breathing in its scent will increase its effect.

Crystals which assist in changing generational energy:

  • Danburite facilitates deep change and cleanses karmic patterns

  • Black Obsidian releases secrets, despair and unrequited love held in the family soul

  • Okenite allows truth to emerge from your family line and encourages self-forgiveness

  • Bloodstone brings faith when life feels chaotic and heals the ancestral line

Flower essences which support ancestral healing:

  • Australian Bluebell Creeper releases negative family stories and enables you to forgive the past so that you can start afresh

  • Beetroot is an excellent essence for releasing war trauma, its red juice symbolising the blood of the fallen. It also soothes survival worries around death, dying and financial security.

  • Copper-Shouldered Oval Sedge helps to give you a positive sense of your family’s roots and the gifts they’ve passed on that you may not yet have discovered within yourself.

  • Soaptree Yucca encourages you to find freedom for yourself and to realise the dreams of your family line.

Step Three: Spend some quiet time contemplating your ancestor’s life. You may become aware of buried grief, or fear or an inability to forgive others or themselves for what happened. Hold these feelings in your heart and if you need to release them with tears or affirmations do so. Once seen, heard and expressed these emotions and beliefs can be transmuted.

Step Four: Create an affirmation which expresses the belief that you now want to carry forward.

Affirm out loud: ‘ Thank you for the life you have given me. I see your fate. I honour your suffering. I respectfully hand this back. I see now that it is yours not mine. Bless me now as I go forward and (add your affirmation such as: live a prosperous life / raise happy healthy children/ follow my soul purpose to its fullest expression).

Step Five: Bow low in front of the photo or memento. Incline your neck fully. Hold yourself there until you feel a change in your energy. You may suddenly relax or exhale strongly or feel a rush of emotion.

When we do an exercise like this, fully engaging our heart and soul, we bring completion and wholeness to our ancestral line so that we’re no longer re-living our history – we’re co-creating our future.

© 2016 Nikki Wyatt


Photo credit: supplied by author


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Nikki Wyatt

The Karma Coach

Nikki offers dynamic tools for personal transformation. A writer and practitioner trained in vibrational medicine, she specialises in helping you release personal and ancestral patterning using the ancient wisdom of crystal and flower essences and other energies from the natural world. She has a monthly feature in Soul & Spirit magazine.

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