Healing Inherited Emotional Wounds
This topic has been studied and acknowledged by science. There have been many studies showing the damage or chemical change in the DNA of traumatized individuals and how this gets passed on epigenetically, from generation to generation.
Whether the trauma is physical, emotional or passed down, it literally – meaning physically – changes us. There is a biochemical reaction that happens inside our bodies and this changes our internal chemistry and DNA.
This inherited trauma changes the way our genes function. There is no mutation or ‘damage’ so to speak, just that it now carries the emotional or chemical signature of the trauma which in turn can influence your thought patterns, behaviour, feelings and emotional responses to situations or circumstances.
This transference of unhealed emotional trauma gets passed down from generation to generation. No one really knows how far this goes, however, there were studies done on worms showing that inherited trauma can be passed down up to 14 generations!
Here are just some symptoms that can stem from Inherited Emotional Wounds:
- Inherited genetic diseases
- Abandonment fears & anxiety
- Negative thought patterns
- Fears & phobias
- PTSD / CPTSD
- Inexplicable behaviours
Emotional Imprinting Starts at Conception
This means that anything that your parents did not heal within themselves automatically gets passed on emotionally and is imprinted in your consciousness whether you are aware of this or not. This is an emotional transference that happens from their consciousness to yours – this is how we inherit our parents’ emotional wounds as an ’emotional imprint’ so to speak.
The emotional state of your parents at the moment of your conception is what you take on emotionally and is what gets imprinted in your consciousness.
Eventually, these inherited emotional wounds will affect your physical health, which I believe is the case with genetic health issues, play out in your relationships (you repeat your parent’s relationship patterns) and negatively influence all areas of your life if you don’t become aware of this and release these inherited ancestral traumas.
As children, our most primal need is to feel connected to our parents. This is how we KNOW we are safe. This is how we interpret that we belong, we are cared for, we are seen, part of a tribe and that we are loved. When we feel this connection, we feel valued, we feel cherished, we feel acknowledged and worthy of not only being alive but of true unconditional love for who we are!
When it comes to feeling connected, it all comes down to love. This is our most fundamental need as newborns into this dimension. However, connection to our parents on an emotional level can only happen heart to heart from a place of love. The heart is the realm of emotions and it is through the heart that we give and receive love.
What you need to understand is that love is an emotion. David Icke once said “only love is real, all else is an illusion” and I couldn’t agree more. A true connection can only happen through love, all other connections are based on wounded needs, emotional addictions and co-dependencies which in essence is an illusion. It’s a false sense of connection appearing real — and it can feel very real at times.
The problem is, if we are deeply wounded, these emotional wounds block our heart and we are unable to truly connect heart to heart on an emotional level to ourselves or others.
When we have this heart to heart connection with our parents as mentioned above, we feel loved, we feel safe, we feel seen and accepted for who we are. We feel good enough and so we have nothing to prove to anyone hence we feel worthy and have authentic self-esteem.
What most people don’t grasp is that it is through these inherited emotional wounds that they feel falsely connected to their parents. If you look at this logically you can clearly see that in essence, you are honouring your parent’s emotional wounds and this is NOT healing or empowering for either of you! Of course, I understand this starts before you even had an intellectual awareness of any of this, so you can cut yourself some slack.
When you create a connection through someone’s emotional wound, you are basically honouring their wound, disempowering them and validating their victimhood. This is not to dismiss their emotional wound, there is a fine line here as I am well aware this is also re-traumatizing, but you are only keeping them stuck in their wounded-ness by doing this.
Now, because it is your mother that carries you for nine months, I do believe this is one of the main reasons the mother wound, in general, goes much deeper than the father wound. You start receiving all her emotional wounds to the depth that she is suppressing, repressing and in denial. To add to this, if she experiences a feeling of not wanting the baby (you), you feel this emotion and at that moment, before you even have intellectual conscious awareness of existing, you feel rejected and unloved – this is imprinted emotionally.
Another example is if your mother is feeling regret or hatred towards your father, you will take this on emotionally and take on her emotions towards your father. All her unhealed emotional wounds, her beliefs, behaviours, attitudes, values get imprinted onto your consciousness. You basically start learning ’emotionally’ about yourself, your mother, father and even about life and what to believe, through your mother’s emotional experiences while you’re growing in her belly.
The intensity of your mother’s or father’s emotional reactions, feelings towards each other, suppression, repression and projection of their own emotional wounds is equivalent to the depth these patterns get imprinted.
I believe that health issues that are passed down from your parents or grandparents, now called genetically inherited disorders, are in fact emotional wounds (traumas), passed down from generation to generation, that have not been healed emotionally.
Here’s the catch though, you cannot process anyone else’s emotions! Emotions is the language of the Soul, it is how your Soul processes life experiences. Only you can process your emotions and the same goes with these inherited emotional wounds. Only your parents or their parents and grandparents can process their own emotional wounds.
So why do you take it on and how do you heal inherited emotional wounds you may be asking?
The simple answer is that you take it on in order to survive. When we incarnate into this world, we are completely dependent on our parents for survival, in our early years in particular. Throughout our childhood, we rely on adults (if not our parents) to look after us. As a baby, we are incapable of looking after ourselves so this makes us completely vulnerable (dependent) when it comes to our survival. This means that if they don’t look after us, we die – we NEED our parents to survive. On an emotional level, this translates as a love-based connection. Hence, if there is no love being offered and instead only emotional wounds, we latch on to it because our ’emotional’ survival depends on it. We literally don’t have a choice since it is what is being projected emotionally onto us. In some ways, by taking on the ‘inherited emotional wound’, you feel safe, connected and like you belong to the tribe.
So in order to heal these inherited emotional wounds, you can start to give it back emotionally and consciously. This can only be done when you first become aware of this concept and start to see some of your parent’s emotional wounds or patterns within you.
Take a moment to check in with yourself now and perhaps journal on the following questions:
- How are you like your mother in behaviour, attitude, beliefs, values etc?
- How are you similar to your father in behaviour, attitude, beliefs, values etc?
- Do you carry health issues either of your parents have/had?
- Are you repeating similar addictions or life patterns to your parents?
- When you look at your maternal lineage (mother, grandmother from mother’s side, great grandmother from mother’s side) what consistent emotional pattern of behaviour or attitude do you see?
- When you look at your paternal lineage (father, grandfather from father’s side, great grandfather from father’s side) what consistent emotional pattern or attitude do you see?
You inherit your ancestor’s traumas and emotional wounds just as much as you inherit their emotional wisdom.
To add to all the inherited wounds we pick up before we are even born, we have emotional wounds throughout childhood to deal with.
The way to unhook yourself and start releasing these inherited emotional wounds is to start with healing your childhood traumas and emotional wounds. I have found on my own healing journey, the more I heal myself, meaning my own childhood traumas and emotional wounds, the easier it has become to give back naturally what is not mine to heal or the emotions projected or transferred onto me. I feel (this is purely based on my personal experience) that because the wounded inner child is seeking love and connection, she (or he) doesn’t feel safe is letting go of this wounded connection (inherited emotional wounds) because what will she have to hold on to? This lack of emotional connection is very scary to a little child, it almost feels like death, so the more you heal your childhood traumas the safer you will feel in letting go and releasing these wounded connections and what is not your emotional baggage to carry.
I believe the core of emotional trauma is a lack of true connection, which starts with our parents, and the essence of connection is love. This can only take place heart to heart, soul to soul. However, if someone is deeply emotionally wounded, they are not capable of this level of a true connection — which is the case for most of our parents. So until they and we heal our emotional wounds, you will continue to create wounded connections, feeding each other’s emotional addictions which are simply emotional needs that were not met in childhood, which are your emotional wounds from childhood.
Having said that, I do believe that through humility and sincerity there can be moments of love connection but it’s not sustainable 100% because of all the emotional wounds most of us carry. It takes a lot of conscientiousness, a lot of conscious awareness and being constantly diligent without motives, actions and intention behind every action.
Healing yourself starts with becoming aware of yourself — your emotional patterns, negative behaviours, limiting beliefs, addictions etc. — so learning about your inherited emotional wounds can give you more awareness of some of your patterns. You can start to see what you have emotionally inherited from your parents and what doesn’t belong to you. By having this awareness, you can start to consciously unhook yourself from these inherited emotional wounds when they show up in your life.
After reflecting on the questions I shared previously, and if you have become aware of some emotional wounding you have inherited, take a moment to close your eyes, center yourself and take some nice deep breaths. Take your awareness into your heart center. Develop an emotional desire to release an ancestral wound you have become aware of. It’s best to do this one emotional wound at a time. You must do this from a place of sincerity and humility rather than anger, resentment or blame. From your heart space, imagine one of your parents standing in front of you, look them in the eye and gently desire (emotionally) to give back this emotional transference (emotional wound) you took on. Be very conscious and fully present throughout the exercise. I often make statements as I do this or share a little of how I feel about this pattern and the effects it had on me before gently transferring the emotion back to them with a lot of love, compassion and respect.
You should feel lighter after you have done this, like a heavy load has been lifted from your energy field. Know that if you feel guilty or if any other form of resistance comes up, such as feeling sorry for your mother/father, this is partly due to childhood wounds keeping you hooked on as well as your desire to remain connected to them. However, remember that wounded connections are not REAL connections, they are an illusion of love and safety you feel by honouring their emotional wounds. A real connection can only be heart to heart and based on love. It does not require you to sacrifice yourself for anyone, let alone carry their emotional baggage. You will need to work through those childhood traumas and resistance before you can feel safe and comfortable giving back these ancestral wounds that are most certainly not your burden to carry. If this is the case and if this blog resonates with you, let me support you on your healing journey…
If you need support on your healing journey and my work resonates with you, I love to guide you! If you’re ready to dive deep check out my Heart & Soul Coaching packages and let’s get you started on getting your life back.
All techniques and information I share are considered coaching, self-help or complementary therapies. I am not a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist or medical doctor, I have a degree in Health Sciences in Complementary Therapies. Everything I write and talk about comes mainly from my own experience in healing myself and the tools, techniques and resources I learned throughout my own inner journey.