How the traumas of our ancestors affect us

Categories: RelationshipsBy Published On: 9 January 20236 min read

Are my fears and thoughts really mine?

Do you seem to experience certain fears, beliefs or even traumas that you cannot link to your own life? Is your nervous system often in a survival mode, do you seem to fall back into certain patterns or do you experience moments of inexplicable feelings such as loneliness, melancholy or sadness?

Sometimes we can keep digging into our own past, but can’t seem to get to the heart of certain themes we experience. This is also one of the reasons that after studying psychology I wanted to continue on a holistic level. I myself experienced many fears and deep themes that didn’t seem to have a link with my own life and to which regular psychology could not give me an answer.

Acknowledging ancestral traumas can cause a breakthrough

It wasn’t until I found out that I carry the traumas of my ancestors on my shoulders that I was able to deeply transform themes within myself. Now that I have had my own practice for several years, I continue to encounter these ancestral traumas with every client. It is often a great enlightenment, but also a relief, to find out that not everything you experience is yours.

Moreover, there’s a reason that you experience the themes of your ancestors. This means that it is part of your life’s mission to clear these themes. Especially if these ancestors themselves were not able to heal their own traumas.

Some examples of the effect of ancestral traumas on your life

I will give you some examples of certain themes or beliefs that you can experience yourself and the possible link with an ancestral trauma.

“There is always a kind of feeling of melancholy in the background, I find it difficult to really enjoy life carefree.”

In this case, one of your grandparents may have experienced something that left a deep impression. Suppose your great-grandfather experienced war and saw an awful lot of human suffering. This experience may have led him to believe that life is hard and heavy and there is no room for enjoyment. Because of this he has started living from a survival mode and has built a solid wall around his heart.

“I feel a paralyzing fear whenever I try to speak my truth or show myself to the world.”

This is a theme that comes up for many people as soon as they want to express themselves more on a ‘spiritual’ or holistic level or start their own business.

Some people also literally describe it as a feeling of ‘I feel like they’re coming for me!’.

Just think about the times when you were arrested and/or killed as a woman if you were engaged in herbal medicine or if you had certain gifts.

This of course goes back quite a long way in time, but more recent ancestors may also have experienced this fear. Suppose a great-grandmother also had certain gifts, but never dared to show them to the world because of the fear of being declared crazy?

“I keep repeating self-sabotaging or self-destructive patterns and it feels like I can’t come out of it.”

In this case, for example, one of the grandparents may have developed a strong sense of guilt. This could even be misplaced guilt.

Suppose certain grandparents went to a very strict church that often spoke of “sin” and a punishing god. Suppose your great-great-grandmother became pregnant before she was married and was therefore expelled from the community because she was declared ‘sinful’.

But also more extreme cases, such as an ancestor who, for example, committed a murder out of desperation, may have occurred. Here too you see a strong link with the theme of ‘guilt’.

Or a grandfather lost all his money and could no longer provide for his family. As a result, he developed a strong sense of ‘failure’ and became addicted to alcohol (self-destructive pattern). In case you experience these feelings of (misplaced) guilt, there is a chance that you will also continue to fall into self-sabotaging patterns, without knowing why!

“I’m afraid of losing loved ones and sometimes it even feels as if I’m grieving, without knowing why.”

Suppose one of your grandparents lost a loved one or a child and never got over it. You then experience, as it were, that echo of this pain and can experience this fear as if it were yours. This can ensure that you never really dare to enjoy life and always keep thinking in worst-case scenarios.

Often these traumas are passed on from generation to generation and can therefore even be amplified if this remains unconscious and is not being healed. Consider the example of a grandparent with a strong sense of guilt.

If generation after generation experiences this (unconscious) guilt and falls into self-destructive patterns as a result, these patterns become increasingly reinforced. Sometimes I describe such an ancestral trauma as a kind of ‘entity’. Especially in the case of addictions, these energies can be very powerful.

You liberate the generation before and after you

The beauty is, once you heal the themes of your ancestors, you not only free yourself, but you also free your ancestors. In case you have children, or have children in the future, you also release them from these family traumas.

How can I transform ancestral traumas?

This is not something to be frightened of or to see as a big task. Just when we realize that the beliefs and fears we experience are not all our own, expansion already occurs. It is also not a good idea to ‘work very hard on it and solve it’. It may feel contradictory, but the solution lies in compassion, forgiveness and acceptance.

You could do some more research on your ancestors and be curious about their life experiences. Perhaps that will allow you to get clarity about certain themes in yourself. As soon as you can make a link with what you experience and the experiences of your ancestors, it is important to be non-judgemental towards that theme.

Don’t try to make all kinds of analyzes about it or diving into the details. Don’t try to put a label on it either. You just need to observe it. Because once you can SEE it, through the eyes of acceptance, compassion and love, it can transform.

This ancestral wound, which could not be healed at the time, only wants to be SEEN. And you are the one who can now look at those themes, without judgment. You can therefore very consciously say to this ancestor: “I see you, you may let go of…., you are now free.”

Finding and healing ancestral traumas energetically

Of course, it is not always possible to trace the experiences of your ancestors. During the sessions I do with my clients, we do this in an energetic way. I guide someone in a meditative process and then together we will feel into a certain emotion / fear / belief and then see if a certain ancestor emerges who has experienced this theme.

By feeling and witnessing the ancestral wound, we can make a breakthrough. It is beautiful to see how a client always indicates after the session that everything feels so much lighter and more expansive. This just shows how heavy the issues of our ancestors weigh on our shoulders.

If you are dealing with deep traumas that you suspect are related to ancestral lines, I would always advise you to work with a therapist / healer. Whether you do this with me or someone else, make sure you do this with someone you feel safe with.

In case you have been working with this for a while or are already quite aware of certain themes within yourself, you can also try my activation meditation ‘Activation of the Diamond body – Reclaim inner freedom (click on this button).

This one will help you make a breakthrough on ancestral issues and guides you through the process of freeing yourself and your ancestors. This is usually not something that is done in one go, so it is nice to repeat this process more often.

If you have any questions, or are not sure which next steps you can take now, you can always contact me, or book a private or small-scale group retreat in Sweden with me!