5 ways to break ancestral trauma
What is Ancestral Trauma?
When a person experiences a traumatic event, which is a guarantee for a human being only differing by its perceived impact and type, they are changed forever. Trauma changes us on a cellular level, as well as behaviorally. So, while you may have never met or even seen a photo of great-great-great grandmother Mildred, that traumatic experience or incredibly challenging and harsh life she endured lives in you cellularly, energetically, behaviorally. Her genetic expression was altered and the emotional and mental coping mechanisms she adopted were also passed down through the lineage.
Family Disease Patterns
“It runs in the family,” isn’t a concretely sealed fate. Things run in the family until someone is brave enough to address the really old elephant in the room. Types of physical health challenges, addictions, behavioral characteristics, and more do run in families and they run in families because of ancestral trauma being passed through the lineage both genetically and behaviorally.
I see this a lot in the sensitive women I serve. “Women’s health issues” like breast health, reproductive challenges, hormonal imbalances, thyroid and adrenal issues, “mystery symptoms” and other diagnoses made by exclusion (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.) impact sensitive women at higher rates than non-sensitive women.
Feminine shame is a huge contributing factor in this legacy of ancestral trauma and ancestral disease. We’re programmed to mistrust and dislike that which is in flux, and as women, our very nature is in flux. Our cyclical nature, our propensity to feel deeply, makes us “weaker” and less preferred – even by ourselves.
Being courageous enough to address the legacy of dis-ease and strife is the biggest and most important first step in healing ancestral trauma. While we may not be able to know the epicenter of dysfunction, we are living with its impacts. That is to say, we may not be able to find out the source of the sounds we carry because we don’t know how far back the major event or experience took place that’s creating the dysfunction. That is fine and not entirely necessary.
Here are five ways to begin to break the legacy of ancestral trauma in your lineage:
• Receive your sacred vision
How do you most want your life to feel? What experiences do you crave? What depths of yourself do you wish to experience more? These things that feel “blocked” and “out of reach” are YOURS. You wouldn’t have these desires and visions if they weren’t for you. The great illusion (and result of these legacies of trauma) is that they’re not yours, unacceptable, shameful, etc. Receive these visions and just hold them.
• Seek support from seen and unseen realms
Call upon your ancestors, especially ones with whom you had great relationships. Call upon plant spirits and Nature (read more for working with Nature here). Seek support from mentors and divine space holders to help you in this process.
• Identify and confront what isn’t working
Is it a particular physical health challenge? Do addictions run in the family? Is there a propensity towards anger, lying, emotional unavailability? Let yourself lovingly observe within yourself the qualities that are getting in the way of your life.
• Let yourself dive deep
The subtle creates the gross. Allow yourself to really get to the root contributing factor within yourself that lies in your subtle body. Your emotions, beliefs, mindset, behaviors, and wounds from this lifetime are all compounding factors over which you have complete responsibility and sovereignty! How exciting! For example, that health issue isn’t just because your physical body decided to cease smooth function one day. Dig deeper.
• Consistently and ongoingly engage in energy healing practices, shadow work, shamanism, meditation, yoga, embodiment practices, and more.
Your ancestors want you to excel. You are their dream come true and the answer to their prayers. It can feel like some kind of betrayal sometimes when we choose a “new” way, a more nourishing way. Yet, this is the work they desperately wanted to begin and whether it was shame, a lack of access to resources, the time they lived in, or more, they didn’t get to actualize the wholeness that it is in your heart. Do this work for yourself and to have the greatest experience of life possible and do it for those that have come before you of whom you’re made.
By Devon Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT and I am Holistic Life Coach + Catalyst + Intuitive + Writer