Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Happiness Factor

“Your happiness is a gift because it literally brings out the best in you.”
-Robert Holden

When the sun shines we almost can’t stop from smiling. May is a month when the sun begins casting its warm rays throughout this part of the world. It just plain feels good and makes us happy.

We look outside of us and see our world waking up out of its winter dormancy. We begin to see a riot of beautiful colors and life in front of us. As we work with both our life and our family’s influence on us, we unravel the threads holding us back, which propels us into this riot of happiness.

I was using the Family Constellation work with a woman who was very aware of the dysfunction of her family.  She was also aware of the residual anger and loss she sometimes felt from old feelings and memories, which were evoked during an event or meeting with a family member. We had done work together before. This time it was necessary to go way back to the beginning of the thread of this dysfunction that she was so fully was aware of.

This woman was disconnected from her mother and set apart or thrown away from her family. She felt like she was a black sheep. Her mother felt that way too and in fact was sent away from the family when she married her husband, my client’s father. Grandmother was an alcoholic, unavailable, and a weak woman. I asked my client if she knew how far this went back. I kept putting women out, in figurines, behind her grandmother until she felt that she was at the generation where this feeling of anger and disconnection began. We went back about seven generations, back literally to the Mayflower. Her relative was about twelve years old when she crossed the ocean on the Mayflower. The rulers of England had thrown out this young woman and another family member. She had left knowing she couldn’t go back. This left her feeling not good enough. She was a very religious Protestant and a very didactic, mean person. She hid in her religion because she couldn’t look or go back to her country or her family

As my client saw and felt this thread of connection to the original trauma and how it affected the women subsequently and that there was always one woman in each family who was thrown out, she was amazed. This thread still lived in her, and kept her from living in her happiness and balance at times. She does very well. But, when certain family members are talked about or are involved with her in her life, these old feelings come back to her. As she understood what was happening inside of her without her realizing it, she was able to unravel the old, distant, family connection which does not serve her. The old trauma of being thrown out of a country still lived in her family through her, and with this awareness, it doesn’t have to anymore. In fact, energetically, all members, going back to the Mayflower are glad to have the thread  broken. It was bad enough it happened at all. It is time to put it at rest.
This is the happiness factor; the ability to see a larger picture and to let go of what does not serve us for us to live and be happy, whole, and vital people.

A Guided Exercise/Visualization

Let’s do an exercise together. Take out a bunch of manipulatives like pencils, pens, crayons, salt and pepper shakers, play school figurines, etc. Think of a place, an issue inside of you which is unresolved. Even if you don’t know the actual history, as you have the issue clearly in your mind, something that keeps you from being happy, put out the figures one by one until something tells you to stop, that you are at the right place. Take a look and see how many generations you have represented. Maybe it is only one or two generations, and maybe it is seven like with my client. It doesn’t matter. Imagine what happened back there, or think about what it must have been like for your ancestor. Imagine you cutting or unraveling the cord that has connected you to this old trauma. You see, it happened to them, and not to you. You can be the best of the future, and not have to carry the residue of the past. You are always connected to the family members, although separate from them!

Now feel how that feels inside of you. Is there a change?
This is your happiness factor.