The pathway was simple. We came here through our parents. As children of our parents, we are connected to something vast that extends backward in time, literally to the beginning of humanity itself. Through our parents, we are plugged into the very current of life, though we are not the source of that current. The spark has merely been forwarded to us—transmitted biologically, along with our family history. It’s also possible to experience how it lives inside us.
This spark is our life force. Maybe you can feel it pulsing inside you right now as you read this. If you’ve ever been with someone when he or she died, you can feel this force diminish. You can even feel the very instant of separation when that force leaves the body. Likewise, if you’ve ever witnessed a birth, you can feel the life force filling the room.
That life force doesn’t stop with birth. It continues to flow from your parents to you, even if you feel disconnected from them. I’ve observed, both in my clinical practice and in my own life, that when our connection to our parents flows freely, we experience ourselves as more open to receiving what life brings our way. When our connection to our parents is impaired in some way, the life force available to us can feel limited. We may feel blocked and constricted, or feel outside the flow of life, as if we’re swimming upstream against the current. Ultimately, we suffer and don’t know why. But we have the resources within us to heal. Let’s start by assessing the connection we feel to our parents in this very moment, regardless of whether they’re still alive or not.
Sense the Flow
Take a minute and feel the connection or disconnection you have with your parents. Regardless of the story you have about them, feel the relationship and how it affects your body physically.
Visualize your biological parents standing in front of you. If you have never met them or cannot visualize them, just let yourself sense their presence. Hold the image and ask yourself the following:
- Do I welcome them or do I shut them out?
- Do I sense them as welcoming me?
- Do I experience one differently from the other?
- Is my body relaxed or tight as I visualize them?
- If a life-giving force were flowing from them to me, how much of it would be getting through: 5 percent? 25 percent? 50 percent? 75 percent? Or a full 100 percent?
The life force that flows from our parents flows to us freely. There’s nothing we need to do. Our only job is to receive it.
Visualize the life force as the main wire that feeds electricity into your home. All the other wires that branch off into the various rooms depend on the main wire for power. No matter how successfully we wire our house, if our connection to the main wire is compromised, the flow will be impacted.
Now let’s look at how this “main wire” can be affected by the four unconscious themes.
Four Unconscious Themes That Interrupt the Flow of the Life Force
These themes are common to each of us, yet their effects are unconscious in us:
- We have merged with a parent.
- We have rejected a parent.
- We have experienced a break in the early bond with our mother.
- We have identified with a member of our family system other than our parents.
Any one of these themes can hinder our ability to flourish and to achieve the goals we set. They can limit our vitality, our health, and our success. They show up in our behavior and in our relationships. They appear in our words.
The four themes are relational, in that they describe aspects of how we relate to our parents and to others in our family system. If we understand the themes, and know how to look for them, we can identify which ones are operating in us and blocking us from having the fullness of our life experiences.
A disconnection from our mother or father underlies three of the four unconscious themes, and is the first place to consider when we are struggling.
There are other interruptions to the life force that can prevent us from living fully, but these interruptions aren’t always unconscious, and don’t necessarily involve a parent or another member of our family system. One such interruption comes about when we have experienced a personal trauma. Even if we are aware of the trauma’s effects on us, we might still be powerless to resolve it.
Another type of interruption occurs when we feel guilty for an action we have taken or a crime we have committed. Perhaps we made a decision that hurt someone, or left a relationship in a cruel way, or took something that didn’t belong to us, or purposely or accidentally took a life. Guilt can freeze up our life force in myriad ways. And, when not owned or resolved, it can extend to our children and even to their children.
Excerpted from It Didn't Start With You by Mark Wolynn. Copyright © 2016 by Mark Wolynn. Used with permission.