Is Your Family Legacy Weighing You Down? How to Let Go and Heal

Mar 15, 2024

There are so many incredible aspects, from delightful foods to cherished traditions passed down through our history and backgrounds. These elements give us a profound sense of belonging and pride in our rich cultural heritage - whether tied to our country of origin, our American identity, or our diverse backgrounds.


In This Blog, You'll Learn:

  • Unveiling the karmic perspectives of our history.
  • Identifying ancestral layers and cultural wounds.
  • Understanding the challenges of individuation in diverse cultures.
  • Navigating the intricate dynamics of family finances and secrets.
  • A transformative client story - embracing self-worth and breaking free.


Now, let's dive into the wisdom and practical tips to release the old and embrace the new!


Unveiling Karmic Perspectives

Our history and background offer a treasure trove of beautiful things, and we can view it from a karmic perspective. When I say "karmic," I don't mean it punitively. Rather, it's the experiences and opportunities we get to learn in this lifetime. Let’s say in one lifetime you had power and privilege, while in another, you had poverty and oppression.


What if your ancestors are now guiding you to create equality for all humanity? As you take charge of your life, let's explore what your ancestors might want you to release in order to shape your own destiny, embracing the love and richness they've carved out for you in the present.


Through the decades generational experiences are passed down. Sometimes, we inherit beliefs or practices without questioning them. You know, we learn that a chair is a chair, and politeness and success look a different way depending on your family, circle, and cultural “rule book.” No judgment! But as you step into your power, think of your ancestors cheering on the evolution of your family line. This way, you can fully embrace the gifts they gave you, and heal and refine what no longer serves you.

Identifying Ancestral Layers

You've probably noticed various factors contributing to the layers of your ancestry. Everyone's culture has evolved, which means you can, too. The world and opportunities have changed throughout time. What was once not available as a lens of “success” has now changed. You may be the first to start a new tradition, which may trigger concerns of no longer fitting in, but you’re just a model for the next generation. Leading takes courage, and you can absolutely do it and still belong!


What family trauma still lives in you? 


All families come from the generations of healing something. Whether that’s from the cellular memory of famine from Ireland, the deep shock and disrespect of a lineage that was captured and enslaved, or the horrors of coming from a heritage of the holocaust. 


Maybe there's military service with PTSD in your lineage, religious beliefs you felt rejected by, or political differences that divided your family. When you think about it, everyone is walking through life bracing against the moment. 



Let Me Tell You About 1999…

In coaching school, (before grad school, I did a year of coaching school) we had this radical speaker, Bruce Lipton, who was revolutionary. He blew my mind talking about how cellular memory means ancestral trauma lives in us. Like when your grandmother was pregnant with your mom, and your mom was 4 months along - YOUR eggs were already in that fetus inside your grandmother! 

Remembering that my grandmother survived a war in Gaza, and that trauma she endured was also living within my whole family, it’s no wonder I’ve had to work on my default emotion of fear. See why I love the topic of healing trauma from the body?


Exploring Cultural Rules

I spent most of my life in liberal San Francisco California, but moved to conservative Southern California later in life. Same state, totally different mindset! Cultural agreements are the beliefs, attitudes, and identity of, "This is how we do life." We bond over shared values, status, and pain. And it can make us feel "right" without questioning the crowd's beliefs. If everyone is like us, we are blind to our own biases. Turns out most of the world is not like San Francisco. Culture shock for sure. 


Challenges of Individuation

In some cultures and groups, trying to be yourself or individuation is seen as betrayal! Your duty is to the collective. The idea of daring to be a separate person, moving out, establishing your own home, and crafting your unique identity might be seen as an insult, as whatever you do is believed to impact the collective. Remember that song from High School Musical? Stick to the Status Quo!

On the flip side, in many Western cultures, being your own person is a sign of success! Not leaving the nest on time means you failed. The weight of societal expectations can create pressure on either side.

Some East Coast clients I've worked with come from backgrounds where attending an Ivy League school is highly esteemed. However, upon moving to California, where many people don’t care about college status, my clients express rage that “they did it right and no one cares.”


Power Dynamics in Family Finances

Money is a huge thing with family vibes too. Who has it, who deserves it, who needs to share it? If someone in your family struggles financially and you don't, cue the guilt and obligation! 


Then we've got family secrets that complicate matters:

  • Abuse no one discusses
  • Neglect you feel but were told, "Nothing happened!"
  • Addictions that started as coping mechanisms
  • Poverty shame
  • Caretaking for sick relatives
  • Betrayals and affairs
  • Mental illness and suicide
  • Divorce making you question love forever


Even political differences can isolate you quickly.


This "life trance" web is so complex! It all affects our self-worth. The cultural and family rules about who to be really messed with self-esteem. 


A Client’s Story

Many cultures blame victims of abuse for "shaming the family." Back in 2004, there was a woman who really stood out to me. She was an exchange student from an Asian country - I won't say which one exactly to keep things vague. She was in the San Francisco area for a semester abroad. 

When she walked into a room, she had such a stunning, movie star-like presence. Yet she was very shy, always holding herself timidly and keeping her whole energy collapsed. She would wear big coats and enormous bows to cover herself up fully. She had a thoughtful kindness about her, and her skin was so smooth, she looked photoshopped even with no makeup on. Just lovely a soul. 

She described her history including her uncle who had molested her when she was younger. Like so many other victims, she thought this was her shame, and believed she had to pay the emotional debt of other people’s bad behavior. 

Even though nobody else in her family knew what happened, she believed she should “restore the family honor” by scheduling two surgeries. One was to have her hymen tissue put back, and another was surgery to make her eyes look more Caucasian. 

Now I understand that in some cultures, the hymen tissue is considered important. Even though I come from a background with similar conditioning, I don’t believe a woman’s worth is an intact hymen tissue. She said she wanted to bring honor back to her father, but to me, it was her father's responsibility to have protected her from his brother. She didn’t dishonor her family. 

There was also this belief in her country that Asian eyes weren't attractive - she had internalized a belief that Caucasian beauty is the center and standard. She didn’t understand that her beauty was exquisite and modifying her look was unwarranted. 

I’m human, so I struggle to keep a poker face when someone shares ideas to harm themselves that seem so incongruent with reality. I know developmental trauma runs deep, so externally I tried my best to have a neutral reaction, while inside I’m thinking, "You want to do what now?"

Throughout her semester in San Francisco, she consistently received trauma therapy to help restore her nervous system and explore cultural conditioning. Looking for a ride to visit a friend, she saw on a school message board that people were offering rideshares. She said she would go with these strangers, but first, they were stopping at an event - which she explained was something called Burning Man. 

This was back in 2004 when there wasn't a lot of info readily available about Burning Man. This young woman had been so scared of the world. So, I asked her, “Do you know what Burning Man is?” I imagine most people do know, but it's an event full of art, festivities, drugs, nakedness - all the things. 

When she returned, she was a completely different person. She had been immersed in a totally different culture at Burning Man - a culture about allowing yourself to be authentic and expressive.

It was incredibly heartwarming to hear how the experience at Burning Man played a transformative role in her life. Being embraced and included without judgment allowed her to shed the layers of shame and fear she had carried for so long. 

In this liberating environment, she began to recognize her inherent worth and felt the courage to connect with others romantically, something she hadn't done since the traumatic events with her uncle.

In addition to her internal mindset shifts, externally her appearance also changed. She was sporting flip-flops and an open-collared shirt in the typically cold San Francisco climate. The healing she experienced in this different and accepting environment showcased the profound impact of the spaces we inhabit on our well-being.



Tips and Tricks: How to Let Go of Ancestral and Family Agreements

  1. Self-Reflection: Identify qualifiers affecting your self-esteem—ancestral, cultural, or family. Reflect on their impact.
  2. Inner Work: Engage in healing practices to release negative patterns. Seek support through therapy, meditation, or self-help tools.
  3. Claim Your True Value: Recognize and embrace the beautiful gifts your lineage has given you. Release what holds you back to let your true essence shine.
  4. Define Your Future: Your history doesn't dictate your future. Break free from limiting beliefs and chart your path toward self-discovery.


Key Takeaway

Identify ancestral, cultural, and family qualifiers hurting your self-esteem. Then do the inner work to heal and let go of negative patterns so you can claim your true value!


Transform Your Story, Embrace Your Future

Embarking on a journey to heal the past and shape a vibrant future is a courageous step. The echoes of familial, cultural, and gender legacies may be painful, but you don't have to navigate this path alone. Is it time to take action?


Why Wait? Here's How You Can Begin:

  1. Seek Professional Guidance: You can't think your way out of developmental trauma. Connect with a trauma-trained psychotherapist who understands the intricacies of your journey.
  2. Empower Yourself with Invoke and Release®: A powerful tool like Invoke and Release® offers a transformative path. Use it to:
    • Release Ancestral Trauma: Free yourself from the weight of ancestral pain and historical imprints.
    • Dissolve Family Agreements: Unshackle yourself from unconscious family agreements and burdensome legacies.
    • Unravel Cultural Assumptions: Break free from restrictive cultural assumptions hindering your authenticity.
    • Challenge Gender Expectations: Liberate yourself from oppressive gender expectations and roles.


A Reminder for Your Legacy:

You are not just healing for yourself but contributing to the legacy of those who come after you. As the current ancestor, take the time to shed outdated clutter and noise from your nervous system. Illuminate your inner light, gaining the clarity and confidence to stride boldly towards your dreams unencumbered. This, my friend, is your public service for the generations to come. How wonderful is that?


Ready to Begin Your Healing Journey?

If you find yourself unsure where to start, the Invoke and Release® Healing Circle offers a comprehensive course, Reveal and Heal Obstacles to Your Success™. It provides a unique healing path, guiding you step by step towards transformative healing. Your journey of healing begins here.


You can find Letting Go of Old Ancestral and Family Agreements class in the Invoke and Release® Healing Circle

Don't let the past dictate your future. Seize this opportunity to rewrite your story and embrace the limitless possibilities that await you. Your healing journey starts now!

Important Links:

Bruce Lipton

Stick to the Status Quo song

Reveal and Heal Obstacles to Your Success™

Invoke and Release®

Invoke and Release® Healing Circle


Helpful Blogs:

Why is Healing Trauma Important


Stay connected and receive weekly emotional support tips and get notified about the latest blogs, news and updates!