Healing intergenerational trauma
Updated: Aug 20
Are we responsible for “the sins of our fathers” (or, more accurately, for the events that happened before our time)? No. But are we affected by them? Yes, and in more ways than we know. Contrary to the popular belief, we do not come into this life as blank slates. Those that have been around very small children know that little kids have distinct personalities. And if we come in with a personality, what else do we bring with us?
All life events leave an energetic imprint on our psyche, and what we know about energy is that it cannot be destroyed; it can only be changed. Throughout history, generation after generation, human beings have been imprinted positively and negatively, individually and collectively, and those imprints do not disappear; they hang around within the recesses of our soul memories. When we are born, we bring with us very deep (often subconscious) memories of the traumas as well as the triumphs that made those energetic imprints. We are truly a collection of our individual and collective past – all the way from our personal singular experiences to the experiences of our families, communities, cultures, countries, and ultimately, the entire planet. But what does this really mean for us today?
Our subconscious mind has access to the “library” of all our experiences, but until recently it’s been the emotionally-charged negative experiences that would come to the surface more often. So it is the traumatic events of the past that have been affecting us the most. When we tap into an individual past memory of a very traumatic event, it may manifest as a phobia for which we can find no explanation (for example, a fear of water or of open spaces). When we tap into the collective subconscious of the people that have experienced oppression or discrimination for generations, we tap into what is called intergenerational trauma, and this may manifest as low self-esteem, fear of failure, self-doubt, lack of boundaries, poverty consciousness, co-dependency, and a host of other issues.
Because energy does not disappear, unless these subconsciously-absorbed beliefs and fears are transmuted (changed), they can continue to exhort negative influence over our lives even when the life circumstances appear to be in our favor. For example, a person with low self-esteem can sabotage a very loving relationship to assert a subconscious belief that she deserves to be alone. A person with poverty consciousness can find a way to waste a multi-million lottery winning to assert a subconscious belief that he has nothing. Many spiritually-awakening people face self-doubt and a fear of being seen because they carry the wounds of the lightworkers who for centuries have been discredited and often killed. And as we affirm that black lives matter, it is important to realize that the time of enslavement and economic disenfranchisement has caused deep intergenerational trauma, which can hold people back subconsciously even when they have the best conscious intentions.
Recognizing that most of us are influenced by some type of intergenerational trauma is the first step in creating a powerful transformation. Transmuting it frees up the energy to create the life we choose today.