By Melody Allen, MA, PMA, LPC-S
My healing journey started from my own outpouring of grief and misunderstanding about being a single woman older than 30.
When I talked with friends and family about this matter, I met responses ranging from “Have you prayed?” to “How are you sabotaging yourself?” and “Look who you’re picking!” I later realized that these unsupported comments arose from people’s inability to handle the anxiety of not having an answer for me. I decided to stop complaining and accept singledom as my present state. There was nothing I could do about it until the time came for “IT” to change.
Just bringing up the topic of being single used to give me a visceral reaction, rooted in the shame and blame that society puts on unmarried, childless young women. In alignment with our 2017 North American Systemic Constellations Conference theme “Bridging the Divide: Healing the Personal and Collective Soul,” I have seen so many divides when it come to finding love and lasting partnership.
Some of these divides – to name a few – are the social push to devalue monogamy and marriage, implicit rules for woman to be married and bear children, career versus family life, as well as bouts between blended families in committed unions.
It wasn’t until I found Family and Systemic Constellations that I understood one part of partner selection that was directly related to epigenetics. Epigenetics is the science behind how humans replicate behaviors of previous generations – consciously or unconsciously. This can only be healed by exploring the family tree and healing old traumas and misunderstandings.
Commonly seen themes in Family Constellations sessions that affect romantic relationships include what is called the “interrupted reaching out movement,” which refers to difficulties with attachment, as well as parentification of a child, where the child takes adult responsibilities, and unhealthy family entanglements, which prevent the adult from moving forward into his or her own fulfilling life.
The books that most fueled my inquiry were Love's Hidden Symmetry by Bert Hellinger, the German family therapist who developed Family Constellations, and his colleagues Gunthard Weber and Hunter Beaumont, and The Healing Power of the Past by Bertold Ulsamer.
Both texts helped me see how we replicate knowingly and unknowingly the relationships we have experienced with our biological family, including the family of origin, extended family and ancestral family. Systemic and Family Constellations quiets the argument of nature versus nurture by connecting each participant with his or her behavioral inheritance.
I also realized that the unsupported comments from friends and family arose from their inability to handle the anxiety of not having an answer for me. I decided to stop complaining and accept singledom as my present state. There was nothing I could do about it until the time came for “it” to change.
Now, after years of schooling and attaining skills necessary for self-reflection, I have found that, simply put, “It is what it is.”
“It” is a temporary state of being that will shift when the time is right. Now I can share my story with people and I can recognize others' grief, a particular type of grief and another divide that is not widely acknowledged — the loneliness and social separation of singledom.
The goal of this article is to encourage singles who would like to have a relationship to use Family Constellations for inquiry and investigation. Or if you are already in a relationship, use constellations to further differentiate from your family origin and bond more deeply with your spouse or partner.
Family Constellations sessions prove helpful in discovering how our actions are a help or a hindrance to our dream of being happily coupled. While we are single, it is so important to raise our consciousness about the need for compassion and patience for ourselves.
For singles, it is so important to raise our consciousness, compassion, and patience for different stages of life.
To date, I would say I am a Family Constellations success story. My healed coupled heart smiles at a trek already traveled and revealed.
Join us for the 2017 North American Systemic Constellations Conference Oct. 5-8 in Virginia Beach, Va., for health professionals, educators, business and life coaches, consultants, clergy, community activists, change makers and others interested in alternative health and innovative practices. A pre-conference is also available. More info here. We'd love to have you subscribe to our e-letter here.
Welcome to our blog, which explores what people are doing with Family and Systemic Constellations here, there and everywhere throughout North America.