Generational Pain

In older generations there was a belief that if we pretend something painful doesn’t exist, it will simply go away. There was a belief that dredging up the past had no merit and sweeping things under the carpet was for the best.

Deep down we know pretending doesn't work. Numbing out by escaping into work, alcohol, shopping, drugs, social media or TV only makes things worse. Armouring ourselves to be intolerant of 'weakness' is not a solution either and we know that too.

There are hidden truths behind our behaviour. We are often unaware of why we behave the way we do with our boss or colleague, or what the fight with our partner or children is really about. The unconscious mind influences every aspect of our lives. 

We are all either repeating or running from our parent's lives and dumping our unconscious wounds on the generation that follows.

Pain moves through families until someone is ready to feel it and heal it.  Philip Larkin's poem This Be the Verse was so accurate:  man passes on misery to man.

Contemporary generations of parents might say, I don’t want to screw up my kids the way I was screwed up by my parents and think that is enough to stop the cycle. Just knowing that you don’t want to pass along generational pain is not enough. 

To heal we must feel.

Feeling pain means being vulnerable. It means overcoming the shame and fear that comes from a betrayal of trust often from a very early age. It isn't easy. Much of our trauma is buried so deep we aren't aware of it.#

The way out it to take responsibility for your own generational pain.

To say 'this ends with me' is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself and future generations whether you are a parent or not.  It takes years of focused inner work to stop cycles of generational pain. And yet nothing is more important or fulfilling for yourself, your family and society as a whole.

How many people do you know who are taking their generational pain seriously? Are you? 

For more listen to my podcast 16: Healing the Trauma of Identity with Vivian Broughton.

Posted on

Back to list of posts