In the Shadbhava article, I talked about the 6 houses or influences we bring into this life: 3 from the bloodline, 3 from prior lives.
Yet I hadn’t quite put together that we can carry energetic burdens from both lines. Most discussions on karma relate only to prior lives.
Dorothy Rowe talks about ancestral healing of the family baggage passed down, sometimes for generations. You can recognize family “inheritances” through repeating life patterns and an excess sense of obligation about specific things.
For example, when browsing family stories, I discovered a financial pattern that happened to my great-grandfather, my grandfather, and myself, skipping my father only because he didn’t live long enough. In recognizing it, we can heal and not pass it on.
In past life karma, the unresolved experiences carry the “signature” of the soul and follow us forward. But people we’re close to share through energetic modelling. Our spouse and children get the greatest exposure.
As children, we try to align with our family to best adapt to the world we’re growing into. We learn many things, including how to be energetically. That’s largely unconscious for most of us. We pick up a copy of how to be, getting the baggage along with the quality stuff.
Our own past life baggage has a broad familiarity to it. It may not feel “mine” but it doesn’t feel alien either. This makes it easier to recognize, if we’re willing to look at our stuff.
Our family baggage has a different feel. It’s not “mine” at all, which can make it harder to recognize. It can have a powerful obligation in it (shoulds and musts) and can feel “ours,” shared. We may even find comfort in a collective burden.
Or inversely, we may balk and rebel, angering other family members who carry it. But neither rebelling nor carrying the burden heals it. Once taken on, the only recourse is healing. Otherwise we’ll pass it on to our children and carry it forward ourselves. We’re in this together.
It’s always curious how hard it is for us to see our own shadows.
It’s unnecessary to know where a burden came from. Mind likes to know, but that’s incidental. Healing is processing and releasing the emotional and energetic trauma. Sometimes healing comes with insight and sometimes not. A decade ago, I cleared a huge provider meme and only recently came to recognize its (now obvious) family source. There was deep compassion in that recognition.
The broader collective baggage is a larger version of this. These days, there is a lot of fear in the collective. We discussed some mantras to soothe the environment in comments on The Power of Mantra.
Most of us would rather disconnect from feeling than look at our unresolved junk. We’ve been habitually resisting to the point where it takes on the aura of a boogeyman; our fear of it can be greater than the trauma.
It’s like dealing with stuff that we had trouble with as children. Challenging perhaps, but not so hard as adults. While our child-selves put up a barrier to it, life events arise designed to surface those contractions. It wouldn’t be coming up if we were not ready for it. But our resistance can be deeply entrenched and unconscious.
I also observed how intertwined my past life karma was with the family baggage. This points to how we choose our birth for fit: both the benefits and challenges. Often we take on the family burden in exchange for our life.
I’ve noted how resolving major karma can be like taking a weight off your back. Yet it can also heal the past. Fully resolving old energy trauma resolves it completely, not just today going forward. More subtle is less bound by time.
In a similar way, healing family trauma can heal our ancestors too. Dorothy also speaks of this. I have noticed that others may be attached to their trauma and not so willingly let it go. But the entanglements with others fall away so it will resolve quickly when they’re ready.
All of this comes up as recent events brought an old drive to the surface. One I thought was resolved. It surprised me how strong it was and how willing I was to run with it. But when I stepped back and sat with it, the source revealed itself.
It was a whopper that has had an enormous influence for generations in my family. I had thought the influence was family expectations. It turned out to be old trauma they all carried forward, each responding in their own way. This brought a lot of insight into my father and grandfather, along with compassion. And it brought a lot of understanding to my life.
I can now see the running conflict between this drive and my dharma. A repeating pattern in this life, trying for something that was not mine to fulfil. It always fell apart. And I can now see how to complete this and honour my parents, helping them complete too. Whew!
The point of all this is to illustrate the weight many of us carry and illustrate that we can heal it all in time.
The content of your challenges will be different. But it will take the form of expectations and obligation, coming in the guise of duty. Dharma includes family responsibility. But our job is to heal rather than carry such burdens, then pass them on to our children and loved ones.