As I research all things connected to my life journey, such as adoption, PTSD, rape, self-worth, loss..well you know where it’s all going. The list is long, very long for all of us. One thing we never think about..in our thinking of our own pain is that we carry generational pain.
When I wrote the last post “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” I wanted to continue in posting how much our thoughts affect all aspects of self, physical, emotional, day-to-day function and more.
We are easily carried away by some overwhelming feeling in any given moment I just want to remind you to see that as an alarm clock of awakening to the idea, that you hooked. Picture the fishing hook and know you are hooked into believing the thought. It’s not real. You are living in a story that doesn’t belong to you if you feel depressed, fearful, unworthy, unlovable.
Before you had that particular thought…were you suffering? You have to stop and ask yourself if it’s really true. If you were to hold your hand over a candle…do you wait for a thought to tell you to move it? No, of course not. It’s automatic. The same thing will happen if you ask each time you are suffering because of some thought. Practice and soon it becomes automatic.
Ok, so they are my adoptive family but when I think how much pressure i felt as a child to live up to my namesake I shudder. She was the first female principal of a High School. Huge for Women’s Rights back in the day. While I was not genetically related I experienced generational pain just from being subjected to the daily brainwashing.
When we can think past our own ego and momentary thoughts and reflect on Generational Pain it creates a gap between ego and others. Eckhart Tolle explains it in a concrete way in A New Earth when he speaks about “our Pain Body”. I would encourage anyone suffering with pain to read his description of how we accumulate generations of pain in our body’s and with the least little trigger we explode, experiencing what we think is our pain but is in fact, negative, painful experiences handed down for generations.
Our minds and our bodies contain the blueprint of our heritage. In Buddhism, the belief is, that seven generations of our ancestors unfinished business is still alive in our cells. Can you imagine? Seven generations! That’s a lot of pain considering the earlier generations weren’t so “into” healing and self work.
This pain is cellular, alive, jumping at the chance to be triggered and allowed to take over and inhabit our souls, while we sit there, thinking it ours to bear. If we don’t acknowledge it objectively, it may lead us to fates that do not belong to us. For years we suffer confusion, anxiety, depression and pass it on unknowingly to the next generation.
For those of us who are dealing with Adoption Trauma, PTSD from rapes, abuse, violence, loss, the impact is monumental.
It’s not just in Buddhism that this belief stands strong but in Native American, First Nations, African traditions and general psychology beliefs, so it’s time we gave this some serious thought and start breaking the cycles of our past.
When things are not going right in our immediate life, we need to look deeply at the unmet needs of the past generations and it’s only when we are able to find and shine a light on the pain legacies we’ve been hauling around that we can become free and break the cycle. Can you think for a moment on the burden you’ve been carrying deep in your bones, in your cells of your nervous system that has survived generations…until you uncover the truths.
When I gave birth to my daughter was the moment I experienced full on, the pain my Birth Mother must have felt as “they” disappeared with her first-born. Her never having seen me, held me, named me. Her pain was mine now to carry in that instant. It was so profoundly clear it rattled me for days. I couldn’t bear to not have my daughter in my sight and back then, babies were kept in the nursery. She had to undergo light treatment for jaundice and I parked a chair outside the window and refused to move, much to the nurses angst. When she cried, I cried. It broke my heart wide open every time they took her from my arms to return her to the room full of babies. I thought a great deal about the woman who gave birth to me. I cried for her a million tears and a piece of my heart became hers because I now understood.
Later, I learned that her father had died when she was a child. More pain, not just for her but for her mother as well. The pain, the shame, the raw emotion of everything negative was now mine to carry. I vowed to break the cycle so my daughter won’t have to carry this burden of suffering. It’s not easy, as you know because it’s at a cellular level and needs deep insight and work to unravel the threads of suffering and heal them.
The amazing thing is..
If we do the work. If we can step outside of ourselves long enough to really see our suffering for what it is. If we can challenge the beliefs behind our thoughts…If we can honour the unresolved pain legacies of our ancestors instead of viewing with anger..
We can put to rest what is already behind us. We can break free from the strong arms of the loyalty to suffering and become free.
Our bodies, our minds will be free, powerful, creative.
The cycle will be broken.