The following are excerpts from a section in Ancestral Trauma & Healing titled How to Heal Ancestral Trauma.
What Is Ancestral Trauma?
Ancestral trauma is a traumatic event that occurred decades ago and has influenced how individuals perceive, cope with, and heal from trauma.
Ancestral trauma is transmitted through attachment relationships in which the parent has experienced relational trauma and has long-lasting effects on individuals across the lifespan, including a predisposition to further trauma.
This means that we can observe the psychological consequences of trauma being passed down from generation to generation.
Examples of Ancestral Trauma
Now, you may now be wondering, “How does this manifest in families?” Ancestral trauma can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including the following:
- A family may appear emotionally numb or have strong aversions to discussing feelings
- A family may view discussing feelings as a sign of weakness
- Another family may have trust issues with “outsiders” and appear perpetually conflictual
- Some families may appear anxious and overprotective of their children or family members, even when no danger exists
This is far from an in-depth list of ways in which trauma affects multiple generations.
It can also manifest itself in unhealthy relationship boundaries and families learning unhealthy survival behaviors subconsciously.
When we think about history, numerous groups come to mind that have been impacted by ancestral trauma, including descendants of enslaved people in the United States, Native Americans, refugees, those who have experienced substance abuse across generations, those who have survived childhood abuse or neglect, and family members of Holocaust survivors.
When a person witnesses a traumatic event, which is a guarantee for all humans but varies in perceived impact and type, they are permanently altered. Trauma alters us on both a cellular and behavioral level.
Thus, even if you have never met or even seen a photograph of your great-great-great-grandmother, the traumatic experience or incredibly difficult and harsh life she endured lives on cellular, energetic, and behavioral levels in you.
Her genetic expression was altered, and her emotional and mental coping mechanisms were also passed down through the generations.
How To Heal Ancestral Trauma?
Having the courage to address the legacy of illness and strife is the first and most critical step toward healing ancestral trauma.
While we may be unable to pinpoint the source of dysfunction, we are living with its consequences.
That is, we may be unable to determine the source of the sounds we carry because we do not know when the major event or experience that caused the dysfunction occurred.
That is acceptable, though not entirely necessary.
5 Ways to Heal Ancestral Trauma
- Acquire your divine vision
How do you want your life to feel the most?
What types of experiences do you seek?
Which facets of yourself do you wish to explore more deeply?
These things that feel “obstructed” and “impossible to obtain” are yours. If these desires and visions were not for you, you would not have them.
The great illusion (and the result of these trauma legacies) is that they are not yours, that they are unacceptable, shameful, and so forth. Take these visions in and simply hold them.
- Seek assistance from both visible and unseen realms
Invoke your ancestors, particularly those with whom you shared a special relationship.
Invoke the spirits of plants and Nature.
Solicit assistance from mentors and divine space keepers during this process.
- Recognize and address what isn’t working
Is it a specific physical health issue?
Are addictions hereditary?
Is there a tendency toward rage, deception, or emotional unavailability?
Allow yourself to compassionately observe the qualities within you that are impeding your life.
- Allow yourself to delve deeply
The subtle gives birth to the gross.
Allow yourself to delve deeply into the underlying factor that contributes to your suffering, which is located in your subtle body.
Your emotions, beliefs, mindset, behaviors, and lifetime wounds are all contributing factors over which you have complete control and sovereignty! How thrilling!
For instance, that health problem is not simply the result of your physical body ceasing to function normally one day. Investigate further.
- Engage in consistent and ongoing energy healing practices, shadow work, shamanism, meditation, yoga, and other embodiment practices
Your ancestors wished for you to succeed.
You are the fulfillment of their dreams and the answer to their prayers.
At times, choosing a “new” way, a more nourishing way, can feel like betrayal.
Nonetheless, this is the work they longed to begin, and whether it was due to shame, a lack of resources, the era in which they lived, or something else, they were unable to actualize the wholeness that exists in your heart.
Carry out this work for your own benefit and to have the best possible experience of life, as well as for the benefit of those who have come before you of whom you are made.
Here are some resources I recommend:
Shadow Work for Beginners is based on my in-depth research and personal experiences with shadow work, projection, sadomasochism, inner child healing, triggers, and all things shadow. This resource gets updated at no additional cost.
A Light Among Shadows is a guide on self-love and being. This series goes over consciousness, spirituality, philosophy, and makes sense of why people are the way they are. Recommended for anyone dealing with resentment and self-hate. Learn more here.
Shadow Work for Relationships teaches you everything you need to know about attachment theory, practical inner work, and your dysfunctional behavior. By the end of this, you will have developed your earned secure attachment style so you can put an end to your cycle of bad relationships.
Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Shadow Work Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.
Self-Love Subliminal for self-hypnotism that will help you change your behavior and gain self-love, self-awareness, better relationships, greater health, and improve your creativity.
Shadow Play (or “DsR”) is a sister website that goes over “sensual” shadow work through BDSM experiences. If you are 18+ and are interested, go here.
Mindful & Mending is a small website that’s about self-hypnosis, affirmations, auto-suggestion, and more techniques & tools to help you shift your unconscious mind. Check it out here.