As the holiday season approaches, we all wish for a joyous occasion. However, many look ahead with some understandable trepidation. It is important for all of us to remember that the family that gathers for the holidays is just a small fraction of the larger family system that includes past generations, and those who have been forgotten or excluded. Bert Hellinger, creator of Systemic Family Constellations, reminds us that regardless of early deaths, previous of past transgressions by certain family members, everyone belongs—parents, children, siblings, grandparents, great-grandparents—indeed all the ancestors for many, many generations.
According to Hellinger, everyone in a family system is connected by a common power that follows certain irrefutable or undeniable laws. Hellinger suggests that the family system is contained in a spiritual field, and within this field, all members are in resonance with each other. In 1998, the German physician and Constellations expert coined the term, “the Knowing Field” to describe this simple phenomenon. The Knowing Field is commonly used in Systemic Family Constellations today.
Hellinger suggests that when a family member is excluded or forgotten, the field can be thrown in disarray. Excluded members can include babies who were still-born, abortions or miscarriages that wish to be forgotten, children who died young. Some excluded members are adults who behaved in a manner contrary to family forms, or were against society at large. However, no matter how hard the family tries to forget the excluded member, he or she continues to remain an important part of the family system—due to the universal law, discovered by Hellinger, that everyone belongs.
Hellinger purported that “everyone who is part of the family system has the same right to belong.” No one can actually be excluded, but when the system tries to banish one of its members, often another member of the family becomes entangled with the fate of the excluded or forgotten one. This individual may become addicted, aggressive, or may even turn to overt criminal behavior, all in service to the banished family member. Sometimes it is possible that the one who is entangled with a person from the past can develop a serious mental disorder. And, as Hellinger so aptly suggests, all this is done out of love!
In order to heal the family system and restore the family member to “health,” it is important to look at the family system and the field to which it belongs. Instead of continuing to reject the excluded member, the family must take that rejected one back into their hearts and into the family soul. This is the amazing process that takes place in a Family Constellation workshop.
In a Systemic Family Constellation workshop, representatives are used who stand-in for the family members and the appropriate ancestors. The field will then reveal the hidden dynamics involved, and with the assistance of a skilled facilitator, the Orders of Love are restored and the excluded family member is acknowledged and returned to his or her rightful place in the family. Even if the excluded extremely important for love to flow freely throughout the entire family, and for the one who was entangled with the past to become free to live his or her own fate.
If anyone feels that he or she might be entangled with someone from the past, and is not living his or her own life, or that things keep happening that are not in the person’s best interest, it is not too late to work on this before the holidays.
The resolution of the banishment will bring peace to the individual in the present and to all subsequent generations as well. Some believe healing takes place with the ancestors as well.
By Liz Jelinek
MIDWEST INSTITUTE FOR SYSTEMIC CONSTELLATIONS