Guilt, shame and a sense of 'lack' are heavy burdens to carry. If you have felt these low frequency emotions, even when life was seemingly abundant, you are not alone. I was speaking to a high-profile journalist from New York recently and while she seemed to have it all, she admitted to having felt a 'lack mentality' most of her life, until a certain therapy helped break the cycle of self-sabotage. So it was, I sat in conversation with Edward Stopler of Family Constellations UK to get an understanding of the root cause of misplaced emotions.
Family Constellations is a therapeutic method which helps draw out previously unrecognised modes of behaviour that span multiple generations of suffering, in a given family. Bert Hellinger, the founder of this work, observed that many of us unconsciously 'take on' destructive patterns in a bid to belong to our families. Bonded by a deep love, a child will often sacrifice his own best interests in a vain attempt to ease the suffering of a parent or other family member. These systemic entanglements, as Hellinger called them, are referred to as Invisible Loyalties.
While some therapies can be rather ridged in their approach, Edward Stopler brings a myriad of disciplines to his work. As well has having trained in Family Constellations under Bert Hillinger, he has studied Advanced Vipassana Meditation and Yoga over 20 years, as well as training at The College of Psychic Studies where he specialised in seeing where both personal issues and energetic blocks are held within the body and forging pathways towards wellness. Edwards is deeply compassionate and yet highly efficient in getting to the root cause of that which stops his clients living their full potential.
When Edward explained that our warped sense of loyalty goes far deeper than the immediate generation, it made perfect sense. Have you noticed the way siblings brought up in the same household will have different viewpoints on their upbringing - one feels loved and cherished and another isolated and unsupported. Perhaps the reality is one is ready to receive and the other feels less willing. I can relate to this as I spent most my childhood rebuffing any positive affection. Fortunately I met Bittu and no matter how much I tested his love, he would simply give more, until I began to accept my worth, all be it on a surface level. Then the children came along and my heart was broken open. Yet, every now and then and mostly when life is abundant and the Universe is calling me to take all it offers, my ability to receive is tested. At these times, I have learned to seek greater awareness within. For me the little things like daily meditation, a long soak and disconnection from the phone help to align with my inner beauty, as does a greater understanding of the way in which our minds are wired.
In conversation with Edward, I was reminded that while we are part of the generations that walked before us, we don't need to remain unconsciously loyal to family traditions of sadness or trauma. Indeed in giving ourselves permission to be happier, we create a new legacy. Dare to be happy for the next generation, for all those who walked a harder path before you and above all, for yourself. As my daughter wrote and articulated so beautifully on a painting she made for me in early 2012 - I Love You Happy.
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