Recognizing Inherited Family Trauma

It seems that what’s occurring in the world is a result of social, political, and environmental imbalance. What’s happening isn’t new. Handed down from those who came before. It’s an architecture created on imbalance that has built up over generation upon generation of life.

Each new generation has an agenda and receives an update that the generation before them did not have.

Even if it didn’t start with us, we can be part of the reparation of this blocked, unprocessed energy in the family field. You have something your parents didn’t.


Each of us is unique. No one else can bring our distinctive, creative energy into the world. As individual as we are, we’re also interconnected to a long line of people who came before us. The family we are born into holds an important cellular blueprint of systemic patterns, beliefs and trends that each of us transmits at a deep soul level. These inherited beliefs are the fundamental agency moving us forward to re-enact unconscious desires and patterns requiring balance and systemic resolution for the family line.


Pain and trauma can survive in a family for generations. Ancestors, grandparents, and parents live on in our minds, bodies and experiences. Epigenetics has shown us how trauma can be transmitted through the genes and environment. 

Trauma is not only experienced by trauma survivors. Historically emotional, physical and spiritual trauma may find ways of expressing the trauma symptoms in present day life of individuals, families, and communities. Often an unconscious transfer.

What may have been a life-saving response in past generations, becomes life-depleting in this generation.

Our Body

Trauma is a story without words that our body holds and instructs us what is safe and what is not. We can experience a trauma response to anything; not just a perceived physical threat but to something we think, believe or even desire.

Our bodies live in the now. To your thinking, cognitive brain there is a past, present and future time. But to a traumatized body the only thing that exists is this moment. And this present moment is the home of intense survival energy.

Trauma is not a weakness nor an event: it is a highly attuned survival mechanism. Sometimes that threat is real and sometimes imagined, but the body cannot determine this, it only interprets intensity.

The higher the intensity the more imbedded the trauma becomes.


Transforming your inherited trauma requires healing at the heart of the matter. It takes courage to face and do repair, and it does not always feel easy or comfortable. Stepping out of our usual comfort zone and making different choices. It may mean the end of pretending or avoiding.

We move toward our true self, allowing more of our true nature forward. If we do start to unravel trauma on the ancestor line, we begin to balance the family field and change the trajectory of those who come after us. Some tools to explore:

  1. DISCOVERY: Look for patterns and any similar experiences, illness, death or emotional states such as depression, emotionally unavailable, anger or addictions. You may start to identify clues about the energy of the family line. Make note of any events that bring sadness or strength.

  2. QUESTIONS: What are you trying to create in your life? How do you want to feel? Your desires? Is there anything that feels stuck? Unreachable? Some of this is a reflection of your individual trauma and some will be legacy trauma. Let your thoughts and insights come. Thanking what comes.

Perhaps part of what you’re here to do is to shine a light outward so others find their own way. The wounding we experienced can dim the light we have. As we do the work of restoring the balance and healing, we begin to shine brighter. Allowing our radiance to move us forward.

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