The Orders of Love are the universal laws of the family system. When our family’s relationships do not follow the order, love does not flow, and the family system is interrupted.
Family Constellations is the mechanism to set the systems in order
In the article titled, What Is Family Mapping, I shared the process for connecting the dots from your life issues to their origin in your family system. It’s a process that can provide profound insight and context for some of your deepest struggles.
So, what’s next? How do we take what we learned from our family map and bring it to a resolution? The answer is Family Constellations.
We Exist In Systems and With Order
The universal system of collective consciousness, our global system of earth, the system of our country of origin, the country in which we now live, the state we live, our place of employment, our friendships, but most importantly, the families for which we belong; These systems operate under a morphic field that share a consciousness. It’s within this field where healing happens.
Within systems, there needs to be order. The Orders Of Love as given by the founder of Family Constellation work, Bert Hellinger, is guided by five fundamental principles:
- Everyone belongs.
- There can be no exclusions in your family.
- Order of precedence – those that come first are honored first.
- Parents hold a higher position of importance than children. We honor them by leaving what belongs to them, with them.
- Everyone must own their fate.
There are many more in the complete Orders of Love list, but these are the most profound, especially for addressing your Mother Wound.
As you read that list, are you drawn to any particular response or feeling in your body? If so, where does that feeling sit in your body, and what are you feeling? Pay attention to those body responses as you move through this. For more on understanding the role your body plays in all of this, read Becoming Body Aware.
Constellations Vary In Style
Family Constellations is an exercise that takes what is happening within the family system and brings it out into the open for resolution. Constellations can be done one on one and in groups. They can occur in person or virtually via platforms like Zoom or Skype. Most of my clients and groups are online, so I have gotten pretty creative in forming constellations in unconventional ways.
No matter how you experience a Family Constellation, you will experience a profound shift within your family system.
There are a few styles of Constellation work; I’m going to share the style from which I work in private, in-person and virtual sessions.
Forming The Constellation
After we complete your family map, I would ask you to show me how what we just uncovered sits in your heart, in the inner image you hold for your family members.
If we are on a virtual call, I would ask you to grab a few books to serve as representatives for the issues and people for which we are working. Inevitably, the books you choose are always somehow tied to the issue at hand. It’s like the energetic field guided you to those books and they fit into the story perfectly. Perhaps the title reminds you of your mom, or a large book represents the size and weight of the issue.
If we are working in an in-person session, I use foam mats that serve as place holders for the people and issues with which we are working.
Below is an example of a client session working through her Mother Wound.
We’ll call her Amy.
Keep in mind, the Orders of Love say that care flows from parent to child. When a child has to care for their parent, the order of love is disrupted, love doesn’t flow properly and the family system is out of wack. When the family system is out of wack, we experience issues in our life as a result.
During Amy’s mapping session, we saw that she was experiencing a Break In The Bond and Merge with her mother. This was due to her mother’s chronic depression. I asked Amy to place the mats in relation to how she viewed her relationship with her mom.
This is what she presented.
Mom is the blue mat, and Amy the yellow. The jagged edges represent the front of the person.
Imagine you were standing this close to anyone. Imagine, in your body, how that would feel to you. Would you feel crowded? Not able to breathe? Feel like your boundaries were violated or that you didn’t even have space to develop boundaries? Would you feel too close to this person’s essence, energy, and emotions? Would you want to move far, far away?
Yet, this represented the relationship between Amy and her mom to a tee. As she stood there looking at her mom, she felt the weight of the relationship. It’s like she saw it for the first time.
With the information from her family map, we knew that mom was rejected by her mom, who herself, was mothered by a deeply wounded woman. This mother wound was deep and generational. Amy’s mom caught all of her mom’s rage and anger, and that turned into a life long battle with depression. When she gave birth to Amy, she was an empty well with almost nothing to offer. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t show up emotionally prepared to parent Amy in the way that any little girl should be.
Mom locked herself away for hours a day. At a young age, Amy learned to be close to mom by taking care of her. Making sure she had everything she needed to feel happy. That’s a lot of weight to carry as a child. She learned that love meant overextending yourself to make sure everyone’s needs are met, even to your peril.
The weight of Amy’s childhood was manifesting in her life as an adult. After failed relationships, and extreme people-pleasing, she found herself depressed and leaning on her own children for comfort. She saw the cycle starting to repeat and wanted it to stop.
Amy’s core complaint was her own depression and that she didn’t understand why her relationships failed when she gave so much. Her core descriptors led us to her Mother Wound of having to care for an emotionally unavailable mom, where we discovered her core trauma of over giving to feel love and connection.
I asked her to move her mat back to a distance where she could start to feel her own feelings again and then to stand on the mat. As she found that place, we checked in on how her body was feeling, allowing time and space for processing what was coming up. This is an important part of this work.
Body check-ins and awareness are what help you resolve the body memory that fuels so many of these repeated patterns. Our core trauma lives in our bodies on a cellular level, and it has to be addressed and resolved, or this work is in vain. Yes, you have to feel your feelings.
As she stood there, looking at the mat that represented mom, she was able to start to separate her feelings from mom’s. She could see the way forward. Her Family Map and the initial placement of how she held the relationship, allowed us to know where the work needed to be done.
Over the next few sessions, we repeated her standing in that space, talking to her mom, experiencing visualization of her and mom bonding as a baby, rebuilding the bond that was broken.
Amy was able to switch places with her mom and stand in her energy.
She felt the heaviness that mom carried and was able to extend compassion to mom for not being available to her as a child. She understood the family system and how it affected her. With this deeper understanding, resentment didn’t serve her anymore. She didn’t need it to protect her. So was able to let it go.
Using healing sentences, she gave back what didn’t belong to her, allowing mom to carry her own fate. She gave back the need to be responsible for mom and vowed to take care of herself first.
She created inner boundaries that quickly manifested in their actual relationship. She met her inner child and vowed to care for and protect her in the ways she needed. This got rid of the expectation of mom giving what she was unable to provide. This made way for Amy to allow mom to love her in the ways she actually could.
The Way Forward
These sessions with Amy changed her profoundly. She still had to integrate the inner work she was doing with the outer relationship she had with her mom, but she was able to approach it from a stronger sense of self.
She didn’t need to disappear around mom anymore. She didn’t need to take care of mom’s emotional needs anymore . She could stand in her own strength. Most importantly, she wasn’t leaning on her children anymore; she broke the generational Mother Wound. The way she approached relationships shifted as she started to care for herself and understand emotional and energetic boundaries. She felt different, stronger, more resolved and clear about who she was and what she wanted. This was new for her. She had spent her whole life taking care of others. Now she understood it was time to take care of herself. From that space, her children felt a shift, they were no longer responsible for their mom, and the generational mother wound was healed.
The Orders of Love are the universal laws of the family system. When our family’s relationships do not follow the order, love does not flow, and the family system is interrupted. Family Constellations is the mechanism to set the systems in order.
If any of this resonates with you, I would love to talk with you..
If you no longer want to identify as the victim of your childhood and sincerely wish to resolve the unhealthy patterns and triggers within your relationship with your mother, even if she is no longer with you, let’s talk.
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