childhood abuse healing
Ronna Prince is a filmmaker and coach certified in many modalities. At the end of this article, is a special offer to participate in newest, life-changing process.
We all know that we are as adults, a product of many things including the impactful influence of our family of origin. As we grow and learn more about what makes us tick, many of us strive to detangle from dysfunctional family patterns to create a more conscious, empowered life. That’s been the crux of my work over the last 15 years and I call it, “conscious soul evolution”.
About 6 months ago, I had a number of my regular clients who were experiencing one of two things: 1) being stuck and/or 2) feeling regret or resentment over the past. If you’ve read my articles over the years, you will know that I have a number of tools to help with this: past life healing, Radical Forgiveness coaching, Brain Tek to rewire the brain’s neurological patterns, HeartMath coaching to de-stress and experience calm and better decision-making. So when all of these tools combined, were not facilitating the type of change I’m used to seeing in my clients, I interpreted this as the time to expand my work.
As it always happens, I had three different people mention a modality that I wasn’t familiar with: Family Constellation (FC) work. Like Radical Forgiveness, it’s not therapy. It’s a self-help process whereby a facilitator, on in this case, a “Constellator” guides a client to his/her own awareness about a new perspective relating to a current life issue. With this synchronistic confirmation, I dove into Family Constellation work for myself first, to get an inside experience for what it’s all about.
Much to my surprise and delight, FC encompasses a bigger, more comprehensive perspective than all my other systems training provided. In FC work, we take into consideration what can be called the “Family Soul”. And the family soul operates with what FC founder Bert Hellinger calls the Laws of Love.
According to Hellinger, the first law of love is Belonging. Simply put, all members of a family soul belong. Sounds simple right? But in actuality, what most of us have experienced on some level, is one or more members of a family (and maybe even ourselves) have been excluded. This exclusion can take make forms: being labeled a “black sheep”, disinheritance, a purposeful cut-off from a problematic family member, an untimely death, a disconnect from one or both parents in early childhood, an adoption and even a miscarriage.
When a family member has been excluded, what happens is that another person in the family, usually someone from a later generation, will unconsciously align with the fate of destiny of the excluded family member and will carry out some part of the other person’s fate. Whoa!
This might sound far-fetched and unbelievable. But bear with me for a minute and I’ll see if I can explain it.
First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that this all occurs on the unconscious level. No one assigns a family member this role but it happens in order to maintain equilibrium in the family system. Secondly, it’s important to know that relationships with family members (included and excluded), continue to develop even after death! Thirdly, the family soul encompasses a lot more than just blood relatives. It consists of people we bring in through marriage or other significant long-term roles. It includes the ex-partners of our current partners, and it includes generations of our ancestors, even ones we didn’t know. The family soul also includes individuals that have been harmed by our ancestors by acts of violence, theft of a fortune or other significant events that change the destiny of someone else.
Before I had wrapped my mind around all of these concepts, I had my first family constellation process facilitated by an experienced Constellator who has been involved with FC for many years. I’ll give you a personal example of what I experienced.
The issue I wanted help on from my coach was my youngest son’s migraine headaches. Nothing we have tried over the last four years has helped him overcome this debilitating condition. (I’ve tried everything- nutrition, food allergy testing, genetic testing, chiropractic, acupuncture, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, Reiki, pharmaceutical drugs, and even surgery to ablate the nerves in his head to name a few!)
As we went through the FC process, I was asked a simple question: Did anyone in your family or your parents’ families die early or out of order? My first response was, “No, I don’t think so”. My mother passed way at age 67 but this was not considered early or out of order (like a child dying before the parents.) Then my coach asked me to breathe and go deeper. Suddenly, I remembered that my dad’s older brother, the fourth of 4 boys, had died in in 1930 at age 5 from a head injury after falling out of a tree. Five years later, in 1935, my father was born as the “replacement son”. My dad was Son number 5. He was, according to my grandmother, the son who was never supposed to leave home. I still remember how my grandmother criticized my mom in front of all of us, for taking her youngest son away from her home. After all, my Grandmother would say, “I didn’t have him at age 40 for him to leave me!!”
To make matters even more interesting, my youngest son is my 5th child. Just like my dad was the 5th son in his family. In FC, I have five children, not four, because we have to count miscarriages. My first three children’s births were followed by a miscarriage. And Thomas was my fifth pregnancy and fourth live birth.
On top of this, I had purposefully excluded my father from my life when I was age 30. This is when I realized that he was not a safe person to have around my children. So I had a very good reason to exclude him. I excluded him from my life and from my heart. And the heart-part is where the family pattern unconsciously worked its way into the next generation, my own kids.
Sometimes we have good reasons for no longer staying in touch with a family member. Addiction, aggression, abuse, etc. But the problem comes in when we also decide to exclude them from our hearts and to feel disregard for them. I had blamed my dad, even though I had forgiven him, and thereby excluded him from my heart and excluded him from my family soul. And remember? If someone is excluded, a person in a future generation will unconsciously align with the excluded one to carry out their fate.
The reality is that I loved my dad very much but over the years, I had denied that love. My dad gave me the gift of life. And we also had many fun times together. But I didn’t have the knowledge or resources to understand how important it was to make room for him in my heart and in my Family Soul.
And thus, my fifth child may have unconsciously carried a hidden loyalty to my dad and my dad’s brother who died before my dad was even born. My son’s hidden loyalty showed up in a way that seems clear to me know, after having gone through the FC process: he has suffered with an unremitting pain on one side of his head, and this physical malady, if not resolved, will make it difficult if not impossible for him to leave home!
Pretty wild isn’t it? But it makes sense. With my FC Coach’s guidance, I went through the process of detangling the hidden loyalties and having a discussion, (energetically) with all of my family members involved, including my dad’s brother, my Uncle Wesley. After this process, I felt a tremendous sense of relief. A week or so later, without saying a word to anyone, my son started to perk up. He reported that his headaches were lessening. He was sleeping better. He needed less medication.
It’s been about 2 months now but he continues to improve. That’s enough evidence for me that FC is working.
- After creating a space in her heart for her partner’s ex-wife, the ex-wife called out of the blue and invited my client to an important family event.
- Another client had experienced a strained relationship with her daughter-in-law, but started to say healing sentences (part of FC) of support and gratitude for her being part of the family. (This process was done as part of the clients work, not face to face with the daughter-in-law). A week later, unsolicited, the daughter-in-law opened up to my client and shared that she had felt anxious and unaccepted by her mother-in-law. The two ended up sharing some deep feelings and are now on a new foundation for their relationship.
- A client who had suffered miscarriages and an abortion, was having conflicts with her husband because he just didn’t seem to have the same priorities as his wife. After we brought the unborn children back into my client’s heart, she was able to see that she had unconsciously turned away from her husband. He simply didn’t know how to help her with their losses. But she could see that he deeply loves her. So she began to say healing sentences to her husband (out loud and in person), and reports that they are now closer than ever before. She no longer feels discounted by him. Order was restored in her family.
These are just a few of the experiences I’ve had myself or witnessed in others through this amazing process. FC takes consciousness to another level. It untangles us from repeating the fate of past generations and shows us how to include all of our family members in our hearts.
If you are interested in this modality, I encourage you to seek out a FC Constellator in your area. Another opportunity is that you can help me as I become certified. Your case will be confidential but I will have the guidance and mentoring of one of my teachers to help. I am offering this service to three clients only, at a cost of 50% off my regular rate, or $75/hour for our time in sessions. All that is required is that you have a willingness to explore your family history for a brief time, and to be willing to interface in a different way with your past, in order to create a more conscious, empowered life today! If you are interested, email me: Ronna@sacredjourneyoftheheart.com
If you’ve met me in person, you may never know that I have a scar on my back. I have a scar that you most likely wouldn’t see because I don’t see it either. I don’t see it, because it’s on my back and you don’t see it because of how I, (like most of us) dress – with my midriff covered. We all have scars- and most of them are hidden… but they tell us something profound about healing if we are willing to share.
My scar is just right of the midline to my spine, between Lumber Disc# 3 and Lumbar Disc #4. There are 5 lumbar discs and they start at #1 on the top and #5 at the bottom. So you can see, from the image below, that my scar transects my midsection – and if we were to draw a straight line horizontally from back to front of my body, the scar would correlate to my navel on the front of my body.
So who cares? Why would I even mention this, much less on father’s day?
Because I have come to understand, integrate, and respect what this scar means to me, and in doing so, cultivate my ability to help others to heal at the deepest level of their being.
I am not going to cite other authors or well-known people in drawing conclusions about the significance of this area of the body that transects the human midsection at the navel. Why? Because we do not need “experts” to tell us what this area means. If we are on a conscious healing path of any kind, all we have to do is to close our eyes and FEEL into this area of our body that includes our navel in the front, and the spinal area of L3/L4 in the back.
Take a moment to stop reading, breathe into this area, and feel right into where the line on the diagram below, the “lumbar curvature”, is pointing to.
When we take a moment just to feel and breathe into this space, we will sense that we are connecting to our inner fortitude, and to our connection to life itself. Oriental traditions call this area the “ lower tan t’ien” (dantien) or the Sea of Qi. It is the area of the body where Essence and Spirit are stored, regenerated and/or stagnated. This is also the area of a “hidden” chakra, or energy center in the body. It is the gold chakra,also called the HARA chakra, between the yellow and orange centers. This energy center governs our sense of worthiness and ability to generate wealth.
Indeed, as we were nourished by the umbilical connection from our mother in utero, this area of the body took in and nourished our own life force energy or QI. All our nourishment and nutrition came from our mother’s body into our fetus’ body, right at the L3/L4 area.
And this area is related to our skeletal system that supports both flexibility and strength throughout life. When we tune into this area of our body, we can discern how we feel about the nature of life itself. Is life giving, nourishing and supportive? Or do we feel that life is disappointing, scarce and competitive?
Another way to put this this is: are we supported in life, by life itself and hence by people around us, OR, are we in it alone, and other people are potentially detracting at best, or destructive at worst?
My dad did NOT cause the scar on my back between L3/L4. At least not with a direct mechanism of injury. But he did, in fact, cut me off from my life source for a number of years. He told me that I was “bad” and that I was the CAUSE of the things that were happening to me as a young child. He cut me off from my truth at a very young age.
And the interesting part, is that I am not waving the victim flag today (or any other day) by blaming him for what happened. Because, in order for him to do the things he did to me, something horrible had to have happened to him. I know that. And I also know that his behavior towards me was inexcusable on a human, father-to-daughter level.
That being said, the scar on my back that resulted from the surgery to remove the tumor that grew there at age 13, has been a hidden, but motivating force in my own life to heal. And to heal on every level of my being… from the obvious (scar), to the less obvious (scared) and into the mystical (sacred). And the gift that I have cultivated through awareness of the deepest level of healing, has been to regain the sacred connection to my own life force, QI. In doing this deep personal work, I have had the privilege of being able to guide others on their unique healing pathways to become whole once again. I have been able to help others to reconnect to their inner source of energy, QI, to Life itself.
Many people get constricted from the natural flow of life source energy, or Qi. Because this is a subtle energy anatomy disorder vs a physical anatomy condition, it can be difficult to identify. Here are the major indications of a constricted flow of Qi:
feeling tired of life (burnout), an anxious feeling in the pit of the stomach, lack of direction and focus in general, pessimism, feeling that one can never do enough or “be” enough and difficulty with the emotions of happiness, joy and peace.
In order to restore the full flow of Qi, there are specific connections that need to be made on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. When this healing happens, our energy is restored and life is beautiful again. Truly! Our scars are no longer signs of our wounds, but they become proof of our strength.
So, you will not see my scar when you meet me. But now, because I have shared this with you, we will both know that it is there as a reminder of the potential and the CHOICE to heal. It reminds me each day, of the courage and dignity that I possess deep within, knowing that I have regained my QI, my life force. The point of this article is to let you know that I KNOW, … at some level, we all have scars.
My dad did not physically put my scar on my back. My dad gave me life. Then, he cut me off from my own truth. But by finding my way back from this disconnect, I reconnected to my own core. And with the gift of having healed, I now offer help to others to do the same thing. If this resonates with you, please reach out. I am here. You are not alone. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve ever faced an unexpected event that threatened to derail something you’ve worked on for a long time, you know, as I do, that it’s a good idea to have a strategy or two to in place in order to react quickly and effectively and, with your intellect functioning under full power. I was reminded of this last week, the day before our screening of Sacred Journey of the Heart to international distributors during the Cannes Film Festival. I’m very grateful I was able to tap into my “Presence-Peace-Power” equation, because I certainly needed it!
I had lived through plenty of times where my default pattern was to go into what I now identify as Presumption-Panic-Impairment. As I revealed in the film, this pattern originated in my past of childhood abuse. All my HeartMath training and Radical Forgiveness work in the course of making the film gave me the healing tools I needed so that I would not: a) “presume the worst”, b) go into a panic and then c) make decisions and take actions that were “intellectually impaired”. We know now that the under stress and panic, the body marshals its reserves for a real battle, moving blood and oxygen supplies away from the higher cortical thinking centers of the brain and into the large muscles of the legs, arms and chest to prepare for action. This state does not facilitate good intellectual decision making!
It was Sunday morning and my distribution representative mentioned to me that I needed to bring my film’s blu-ray disk to the projection office for the screening the next day, Monday night at 8 pm. I was on my way out the door to attend a producers’ breakfast workshop and looking forward to an interesting day. When he told me this, my heart felt like it stopped for a moment, and I said, “Um, what do you mean me? I’m supposed to deliver a blu-ray disk? I don’t have one with me in France! I thought you had everything we needed for the screening!” He reminded me that we had emailed about this a few months ago — and then my heart felt like it actually dropped, when I had to admit, “OMG, I forgot! The blu-ray disks are in my office in Phoenix!”
I could feel my old panic pattern begin raise its head as my heart was gearing up to start pounding. The second I felt this sensation, I stopped and focused on my heart, and consciously slowed down my breathing and my heart rate itself as I internally told myself, “ease-up, take a minute, slow down”. I had learned HeartMath’s latest technique called “Inner Ease” when I completed my training last December and this was my immediate go-to technique. Instead of allowing my imagination to go down the road of seeing a room full of distribution professionals and no film for them to view, I focused on tapping into a feeling of easing up and staying in Presence – or the present moment. We had time, albeit not much, to find a solution!
I was able to consciously slow down my heart rate because I’ve practiced heart coherence for a few years now. As a result, I can prevent myself from going into a full physiological adrenal stress response when it’s not needed. I’m sure I had a small burst of adrenaline but this is not a bad thing when you know how to come back to balance quickly. As Dr. Deborah Rozman, President of HeartMath LLC, says in the film, “In a state of coherence, you learn to live from a place where your heart and brain are in balance, your decisions are better and you don’t wear out your body!”
If you’re interested in learning the specific techniques of how to do this too, I’ll be teaching a 3 hour online HeartMath webinar that you can attend from anywhere as long as you have a computer and the internet. The webinar will include specific instructions on the Inner Ease practice and a number of other effective HeartMath techniques to use in these types of situations as well as in ordinary day to day interactions. The webinar will take place on June 14 from 9 to noon, Pacific time. Click here for more details.
After a minute or so of going into presence and inner peace, I was able to take effective action. I got on the phone to Fed Ex in the USA to find out if they could move heaven and earth and get a DVD from Arizona to southern France in less than 48 hours, beginning on a Sunday (it turns out they could!) At the same, we asked our distribution rep to call the film screening office at the Palais in Cannes to find out if they could project a high quality replicated DVD, of which I had brought plenty with me to France. It took about 30 minutes to get it all sorted out, but the good news is that from this place of power, versus panic, we were able to get to a quick and easy solution. And I didn’t put myself into massive physiological stress in the time that it took for us find the best solution for the issue at hand.
We had a full theater for our film screening on Monday night and the film looked as beautiful as ever (thanks Skip and Scott, our director and editor!) I encourage you to give yourself the gift of learning some practical techniques that improve the quality of your life in every day situations as well as those unexpected occurrences that inevitably come up!
Have you ever thought about how the 5 major initiatives resulting from the Earth Day movement have a correlation in your personal life and your interactions with others? As a result of the first Earth Day celebration on 4-22-1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was founded and the first three major Acts were passed: The Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. A few decades later, towards the end of the 1990s, two additional major initiatives began: The Global Warming and the Clean Energy Initiatives.
It occurred to me that there is a very strong connection between our own personal interactions and the 5 acts and initiatives that have emerged over the 44 years of Earth Day celebrations. I’ll share these below and invite you to explore how they reflect on your personal contributions and interactions with people and the earth itself. The exciting thing is that this is not about soft, woo-woo concepts. The correlations I suggest below are based on scientific research and practical applications in our daily lives that can make a difference on a very large scale! Read the rest of this entry