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Are You Ready to Heal Wounds That Have Been Passed Down for Generations?

Updated on January 9, 2016
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You May Be Participating in More Family Traditions Than You Think

If you are like most people, you probably have at least a few traditions you participate in that have been passed down from your family.

Some of these may be big holiday traditions that you do every year, and many of these are probably small thought patterns and behaviors you do on a regular basis without even realizing it.

It's likely that if you were able to meet a great grandparent today, you might discover that you have a lot of the same mannerisms and react to situations in very similar ways. This is because of teeny tiny traditions and thought patterns that have been passed down for generations.

Many of our family traditions are positive, but in most families there are fears, limiting beliefs, and undesirable behaviors that have been passed down as well.

These hereditary traits stem from wounds of the past that were never properly healed, and until these wounds are healed, it is likely that they will continue to pop up in the future.

Do you think it's possible that wounds, fears, limiting beliefs, and behaviors can be passed down for generations?

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How Do You Uncover the Wounds of the Past?

If you are like me, uncovering the wounds of the past might sound like a difficult feat. I know that when I started this project, I had no idea where to begin.

Fortunately, I wasn't alone. I bought myself the book, Healing Your Family History, and it turned out to be quite a treasure.

I highly recommend it, especially if you want to take on the journey of healing the wounds of the past. This book is so helpful as you go through the healing process. It's been a total game changer for me.

I don't want to steal all of the ideas from this book, but I will give you some basic tools to help you get started.

  1. The first thing you need to do is really dig deep and figure out what limiting beliefs you and your family members have. These are beliefs about yourself, others, or life in general that keep you from having joy, success, etc. Write down as many of these beliefs as you can. Be lovingly ruthless! By that I mean, withhold judgment of yourself and your family, and just realize that the more limiting beliefs (that often seem like flaws, but are sometimes disguised as strengths) you discover, the more healing you will be able to achieve.
  2. Make a list of everything that you have a tendency to be judgmental about. Again, be lovingly ruthless! This part was a bit painful for me, because I really felt like a jerk realizing how many behaviors I judged people for. Trust me, the pain will be worth it. Just don't give up without finishing this whole process.
  3. Ask yourself who else in your family has these limiting beliefs/judgments. If you have memories of when a limiting belief or judgment started for you, write down the exact situation that caused you to feel that way. This also can be a bit painful or scary, but I promise as you finish this process you won't be left in a scary place, so keep going.
  4. Go through your list of limiting beliefs/judgments, and look at them very objectively as if you were reading this list without knowing the people involved at all. Ask yourself what root fear a person might have that would cause him/her to believe/feel the way this person does. For example, someone with the limiting belief that people who are athletic/thin/attractive are more loved and valued might have a deep rooted fear that they have to prove themselves in order to be loved, accepted, or valued. You will likely notice a trend when it comes to root fears. I narrowed a long list of limiting beliefs and judgments down to two root fears that kept coming up over and over again.
  5. List limiting behaviors that you and your family members participate in that may help you to feel safe within your comfort zone. Often we are so used to being uncomfortable that this feeling of discomfort becomes our comfort zone. For example, you might desire greater wealth, but have a fear of being unsafe in the world. Maybe you have subconsciously decided that it's more comfortable to have less money, because you won't be able to do things like travel and have new experiences that may feel unsafe to you. A fear of the unfamiliar makes it nearly impossible for you to make your desire to have more money a reality.

Healing Your Family History goes into a lot more depth on this introspection process, giving you more soul searching questions and good examples to help you along the way, but the steps I gave you above can definitely help you get started.

When I made it about this far through the process, I was literally scared of the bitterness and anger I was feeling towards myself and my family members that had passed along some of these traditions, so again, make sure to go through this process with love, and do the best you can to release judgment of yourself and your ancestors.

Just assume that you and everyone else were doing the best you could and that there's no reason to judge people or get angry with them when they are doing their best.

PLEASE do yourself a favor by getting your hands on this book! This is such an amazing process, but you will be way better off doing it with the help of this bo

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Let the Healing Begin

Now that you've uncovered all of these frailties within yourself and your family history, you're probably desperate to heal these wounds and move forward.

Just so you know, you already have a great reason to celebrate. Recognizing your (and your family's) weaknesses, fears, and deepest hurts is half the battle. It's hard to give a wound the care it needs to heal if you're not aware that it's there in the first place.

For me, recognizing the root fears that created a lot of my family's limiting beliefs was half the battle. It helped me to realize that I didn't come from a line of people who were purposefully judgmental or harsh on themselves and others.

I came from a noble line of people who had trials and fears (just like everyone else), and didn't always receive the comforting, validation, and love necessary to help those wounds heal.

Not only that, but I realized that my family has done an incredible job moving forward considering some of the heavy burdens that they've carried. I bet you will discover the same thing about yourself and your family!

If you can get yourself to that point, you will be well on your way to healing, because the key to healing these wounds is validating yourself and your ancestors for feeling wounded and experiencing the emotions/fears you've uncovered

The next step is to learn to truly accept, love, and forgive yourself and your family members.

People who are hurt and fearful, are more likely to hurt and be fearful of others and themselves (you might be surprised to find out through this process that you are just as afraid of your strengths as you are your weaknesses and likely beat yourself up unnecessarily for both).

People who love themselves and recognize their own value are able to move forward with so much confidence in themselves that they have no need to judge others. They are able to accomplish their goals and help others accomplish their goals along the way.

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Some Steps to Help You Along the Path to Healing

Every person's journey is unique. For me, I felt like once I had uncovered a lot of my deep rooted fears, it was fairly easy to release them, but that might not be the case for you, and there's nothing wrong with that.

In the mean time, here are a few ideas to help you in your path to healing:

  • If you are a believer in God, prayer is absolutely key. Ask him to help you feel his love for you. Ask him for forgiveness and then trust that you have been forgiven. If necessary, ask for help forgiving yourself and others. Forgiveness of yourself and others will come much easier once you learn to truly love yourself. Pray that you will be able to see the strengths in yourself and others rather than being critical and judgmental.
  • Use positive affirmations to help reprogram your subconscious mind. It's often easier to change conscious thought patterns than subconscious ones, and positive affirmations are a good way to train the subconscious mind to think in a new way.
  • EFT tapping. See the video below for further details about this powerful tool for releasing trapped emotions.

Healing the Past and Healing the Future at the Same Time

The great thing about you finding personal healing by uncovering the wounds of the past, is that it gives you power to heal the future.

When you rid yourself of limiting beliefs and prejudices, you will no longer be passing them on to others.

As you learn to love yourself, you will be liberating others to do the same.

This healing process is a journey that can be challenging at times, but it will be a rewarding path both for you and everyone else that you encounter, particularly your family.

Jump right in with both feet. Don't be afraid to be lovingly ruthless with yourself, and then by all means, be absolutely lovingly merciful and forgiving as well! You will be so glad that you did!

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 16 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great lesson. I think more of us need this information more than we know. The tapping video is interesting and the topic would probably make a follow-up article. Thank you.

    • Becca Linn profile image
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      Rebecca Young 16 months ago from Renton, WA

      I've been thinking about doing an article about tapping for a while, but haven't gotten around to it. Thanks for the encouragement to get writing! I'm glad you liked this article too! Definitely read that book if you're really interested in this stuff. I felt like I realty couldn't do the topic justice after reading such a fantastic book on the same topic.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 16 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      I do believe that forgiving is an important aspect of family life. If I want God to forgive me, then I should forgive others. There were issues between one of my brothers in law and me for years. Then he came down with cancer and didn't have long to live. That woke me up and I decided that even though I didn't anything wrong, I had to be the one to end the dissention between us. I went to him in his hospital bed and kissed him on the forehead and told him I was sorry for what happened between us. He didn't say anything, but he had tears in his eyes. I knew he felt the same way. He was my husband's brother and it made him feel better too. Because of the issue between my brother in law and me, it caused hard feelings between them two also. Now it was all healed. This is an important topic you brought up. God bless you.

    • Becca Linn profile image
      Author

      Rebecca Young 16 months ago from Renton, WA

      Thank you for sharing your own personal story of forgiveness. It can certainly be difficult, and unfortunately I think it is often more difficult for people to forgive family members who have hurt their feelings than to forgive others.

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