What Brings Joy?

"Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”
                                                                                           -Langston Hughes

Spring is often known as a happy time. We can shed our winter clothes as the weather warms, feel the sun’s warmth on our faces and witness the birth and regeneration of nature. The month of April, in particular, gives us a hope for rebirth.

While we were in the seemingly never ending throws of winter, we get stuck wondering when this ever present cold will going away. Instinctively we are aware that the seasons will change bringing April and its beauty and warmth of the spring season.

Life is often like the transition from winter to spring. Traumatic events happen in our lives capturing parts of us and keeping it stuck in the past. So we must ask ourselves about joy. What is joy? As sad as it is, we forget about joy or worse we either haven’t experienced joy much or even at all. This begs the question, what brings joy to us?

Part of my BodyPresencing work that I do is to help people recognize joy and find it for themselves again. A good example of this occurred during my Family Constellation work with one woman. Family Constellations helps each of us to know our purpose in life un-entwined with our family over generations. It awakens us to the unconscious of forces, we have been blind to, that often live within us.

On the surface, this woman appeared happy and joyful. Although she was putting on a good façade, in many ways she was happy. Underneath the surface, she was carrying a lot of pressure and responsibility. She is a hard worker that feels personally responsible for both everything at work and at home. Since her husband lost his job, due to company downsizing, she alone felt the weight of their finances. After listening, I asked her what she would really like help with. The words she chose in her response showed she felt like a victim with great anger at life. This internal anger was robbing her of her joy.

After work we transitioned into the relationship she had with her parents. Although nothing in particular happened, she felt distant from her mother and was much closer to her father. She remembered, as a child, her mother was not really available to her because she worked a lot even though her father worked too, she felt she wans’t seen by her mother. Because of this dynamic she had unconsciously rejected her mother creating a much closer relationship with her father. We call that being a father’s girl. As the session developed she mentioned her father had been in World War 2 and hadn’t married her mother until after the war. She went on to remember that during the war her father had a relationship with a woman and they had a child together. This child, her half brother, was not recognized until much later in life after her father had died. In fact, it wasn’t until a few years ago that her brother had contacted her looking for his ‘other family’. She met him for the first time in Europe soon after that. Yet, she doesn’t consciously remember him enough to even speak of him. She unconsciously was still keeping her father’s secret. The energy revealed, during the Constellation, that her mother was deeply affected by her father’s other relationship and child. By the mother feeling not good enough for her husband she was unable to see her daughter clearly. Once this other woman and child were acknowledged, she became more confident, closer to her husband, and available for her daughter.

Through Family Constellation work, I have found that when anyone in the family is not remembered or acknowledged, it affects everyone in his or her future. This woman’s mother was not happy or joyful, and so in turn neither was her daughter. For those of you who haven’t experienced Family Constellation work individuals, in a group setting, stand up to represent a family member. Even though they don’t know the person they are representing, their bodies seem to somehow know something or some dynamic about this person.

One important thing I had this client do during our session was tell the other woman, of her father’s earlier relationship, ‘thank you for leaving’ or ‘thank you for allowing my father to leave so that I could live’. She wouldn’t even be here unless her father had left the first woman and married her mother. Her mother unconsciously felt the first woman and child’s existence without consciously knowing it.

As all her family members were remembered, my client felt better with less anger and great relief. It is also possible that the anger of having to carry the financial weight of her family really belonged to the unexpressed anger the first woman and her son might have felt at not being acknowledged. What we do know is that after the session my client’s façade faded and she actually felt joy that she had previously pretended to feel.

Recommended Resources:

Family Constellation work can be a great tool and resource for understanding dynamics in the family, for seeing belief systems held in the family, and for gaining a greater perspective on family members which helps to separate us from other’s feelings and traumas. As we work on ourselves to gain greater consciousness, understanding, and compassion towards us we can then extend the same consciousness towards our families and the greater community and world.

I will also offer another Afternoon of Constellations on Sunday, June 23rd. This is a great opportunity to be introduced to this powerful body of work. To learn more about this work, check out Family Constellations on my website, www.bodypresencing.com.

There are other websites which describe this work with beautiful depth and beauty. One of them is, www.suzitucker.com.

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