Blessings or Curses? © Martyn Carruthers
Does “curse” conjure up images of witchcraft, black magic and horror movies?
Some people say that they or their family seems to be cursed and describe inexplicable events that happen in families – generation after generation.
Family Blessings or Family Curses
Some families seem especially lucky – or unlucky. The idea of family blessings and curses being passed down from generation to generation may sound medieval, although you can check its relevance in your own family.
It’s common knowledge that the behavior, emotions and personalities of parents influence the behavior, emotions and personalities of their children. Its commonly known that children, as they become adults, either become like their parents or react against them … and sometimes both.
Some families seem to enjoy more good luck, while other families suffer more tragedies. While every family must cope with diseases, accidents and deaths these and similar occurrences may not only impact the daily life of a family, they seem to influence a family for generations.
The Greek mythology underlying Western culture suggests that blessings and curses were inflicted by deities. Nowadays, few people think in terms of families being blessed or cursed although in most families, habits and attitudes can cross generations, bringing good fortune or misfortune.
Families include feelings, emotions and rules as well as people. Families are strongly affected by pleasures, pains and perceptions of justice. A common curse is criticism.
Family Psyche … Family Karma
The exclusion of one or more family members may not only hurt and humiliate those being rejected. Other members of a family, perhaps in the next generation, often try to “bring back” missing family members, sometimes by adoption, marriage, or more often by expressing the emotions and feelings of the missing members.
Some families seem plagued by repeating consistent patterns of broken marriages, addictions, suicide and disease. In ‘Planetary Threads’ Lynn Bell describes how attitudes and experiences may be embedded in a family psyche.
These attitudes can affect generations, often emerging when each family member reaches the age at which his or her predecessors themselves re-enacted an older story. (Some family therapists call this “an anniversary syndrome”).
We help people explore and change how family events affect their physical and emotional health; how disease, deaths, accidents or loss seem to be repeated in each generation. We offer opportunities to understand themselves as well as their families.
You can prevent unpleasant events and tragedies being repeated by your children – and by their children. You can end and prevent cross-generational family entanglements.
Ancient Greek myths about family blessings and curses show consistent features.
Families are systems – following systemic rules. People not only inherit their ancestors’ genetic blueprints, they also bond to deep (often unstated) beliefs, attitudes and values.
It is difficult for children, even as adults, to liberate themselves from their ancestors’ entanglements. Such liberation may mean:
- attempting to break free of their generational heritage
- emotional separating themselves from one or both parents
- struggling with guilt of turning against or abandoning a parent
- coming to terms with their anger about injustices they experienced
- the unrequited longing for a love they never had and will probably never have
While alcoholism or depression may cross generations, becoming alcoholic or depressed because is more than DNA. Whether the means of inheritance is physical, cognitive, emotional, something seems to pass down the generations – something that appears to follow rules.
For us, family blessings and curses are sets of rules about behaviors which people can explore and change. Identifying and changing family rules is part of our everyday work.
Dissolve Family Secrets
Family curses and family blessings are embedded in family secrets. People do seem to receive and transmit intergenerational conflicts. While family curses may seem to be imposed on innocent children, family curses are usually opportunities to redeem something wonderful which was abused through arrogance, stupidity or ignorance.
When patterns from the past motivate us to compulsively shape our futures, we solve nothing by passively anticipating disaster nor by pretending to be exempt. You can consciously separate from your family psyche, emerging as an individual – lonely, unique and attuned to the needs of your own soul.
Identification with a family is rarely an intelligent option. There is little room for naivety or arrogance with family ghosts. Reflect on the past carefully, for you are a medium for your family’s psyche and a vessel for life that was denied or abused.
Most remedial approaches deal only with symptoms, and not with systemic roots. Following such interventions, the system renews the symptom or creates another, continuing to express the dysfunction. People can be ill from the same illness repetitively, or from successive similar diseases. Martyn’s systemic coaching resolves fundamental imbalances; until symptoms spontaneously disappear. Rooted in relationships are: physical illnesses, compulsive-addictive behavior, mental blocks and repetitive life crises. Ana Pejcinova, PhD
Soulwork for Families
Most human behavior is influenced and maintained by the way people communicate. We help individual people, couples or whole families change.
- How close are your family members now?
- What do you want your family to do together?
- How do you want to improve family happiness?
- What could stop you being happy together?
- What would empower all family members?
Exploring these questions allows you and your family to re-evaluate the situation. The questions may seem one-dimensional and simple … yet your answers to these questions will likely be multi-dimensional and profound.
Soulwork Systemic Coaching
To change family behavior, first perceive all family problems and resources as aspects of family relationships. Avoid blaming anybody. Create opportunities for shared responsibility. Develop self-esteem and healthy relationship skills.
The effects are immediate – and unfold over generations.