When I went to family constellation for the first time I had no clue what to expect. I had read about it before and was there for a reason. I wanted to change my negative feelings towards a member of my family, someone who had lost my trust and to whom my love had changed into hate.
My mom drove me to the healing center in the inner city since we were told that it’s better not to drive a car by ourselves after the session. I trusted the advice and later found out that the instructor was right about it.
So there I was, entering a big room with big crystals along the big windows, chairs standing at the sides. It was 10 AM and we – 10 to 15 people from all ages and backgrounds – were about to stay together in this room until 6 PM. We were all nervous, as it was the first time for each of us.
The instructor asked us to place ourselves in a circle. We were all strangers who were about to bond on an intimate level so we needed to trust each other.
It began with everyone saying two sentences about themselves, and then we walked through the room – forwards, backwards, and to the side, with closed eyes. This was our warm up and initiation into deep relaxation.
When we had formed the circle again, the first person was asked to tell her story, more precisely: the reason she was here. She hated her father and had the feeling that she could never satisfy him and was never enough for him. Someone was asked to represent her father, someone the mother and others her and her sibling. The people were not told how to act or where to place themselves, they did it intuitively.
The father was standing stiff looking straight ahead, the mother next to him was looking at three girls that were lying on the floor. They were right next to each other in embryo pose forming a circle. It was like they were bonding and needing each other, like they were in utero together.
The woman was surprised: why were there three girls? She only had one sister, not two. In the process of the representatives interacting with each other the truth was discovered: her father didn’t want to have daughters, he was wishing for a boy. He and his wife were from Iran, but his way of thinking hadn’t changed after they had come to the country. The first daughter wasn’t the wished-for son, but there was still hope that the second child would be a boy. When the mother was pregnant again he sent her to a physician to find out what gender the embryo was. It was a girl again and he forced his wife to abort the child. The third time she was pregnant he wanted her to abort again, but she refused and gave birth to a daughter – the woman who was there with us in the room.
It was emotional for her and the rest of us. We were stunned how memory and family constellation had reconstructed a hidden truth. Her mom had died when she was 12, she had had a good relationship with her and then was left alone with her emotionally absent father.
To find peace within her relationship with her father, she stood in front of his representative, looked into his eyes and told him that she forgave and loved him. The representative answered that he had been mistaken in his actions and was sorry for what he did, but that he loved and accepted her the way she was. When she heard that, the woman began to cry. It was tough for her and all of us.
Then she was asked to lay down and replace her own representative. She lied down in embryo pose as well and hugged her two sisters, the known and the unknown, all of them shaking and crying. She accepted both of them in her life, the dead and the alive, and felt a big relief.
What sounds like magic is reality. Even big companies hire therapists to do constellations with their employees. They want to find out which candidates fit into the company, which co-workers have a problem with each other, why the workflow isn’t ideal and how to solve it. And when I talk about big companies I mean really well known companies who’s products you are using every day. The only reason why they do it is because it works!
I then represented someone for a man in the group. He was there with his wife because they wanted to save their relationship. The instructor realized that his mother had a role in this story even though she wasn’t alive anymore. I represented his mother. Instead of looking to his wife and standing next to her, the man was standing next to me, looking to me. His mother hadn’t been happy with his father, so she made her son be the ideal man in her life – in a transferred, non sexual way. She didn’t want to let him go even when he married and so he accepted her as his equal woman. He gave his mother the role in his life that his wife should have had, which was to be his number one. Now it was time for him to say goodbye to his mother and accept his wife as his number one. He had to tell me, and therefore his mother, that I was his mother, no more, noo less, and that I had to let him go.
Meanwhile, his wife couldn’t see him as equal to herself because he never stood up for her in front of his mother. In order to become equal partners again, he was asked to climb onto a chair and she was asked to look up to him, but she couldn’t. There was such a big resistance inside of her that she couldn’t look up to him in a physical or metaphorical way. She looked down on him in real life. The instructor tried, but wasn’t able to help her see him as an equal and therefore true partner. I found it harsh and shocking when the instructor told them that she didn’t believe that they would make it as a couple. I believed that they could work on it and that they had a chance over time.
When I played role of the mother I did not feel like I was really his mother – different to when I’m playing a role as an actress and becoming that person. But I had sensed how to stand, how to move, how to react, like I was the medium.
When it was my turn, stones were representing my family members at first because I’ve got a big family. Then someone had to represent the person I hated. I had always felt guilty for having these feelings, like it wasn’t just, but I couldn’t change it. I didn’t want to hate that family member anymore, that’s why I was in this room.
The hardest part for me came when I had to kneel in front of the representative, look up to him and tell him that I was below him and looked up to him (in family constellation, family members that are older than you are above you and need to be respected for that). I then had to tell him that I accept him and love him. I did it without seeing him, the stranger, but the person he was representing. There was such a big resistance inside of me, I didn’t want to do it at all, I didn’t want to look up to that person, but finally I did while crying my eyes out. As a reaction, the representative touched my head with his hands and told me that he loved me. It felt so true. I had to stand up and hug him. And he was holding me, letting me cry, telling me that it was okay and that he accepted my feelings.
Representing, watching and being represented with your story is more than an experience. It’s eye opening. Just because the person that you have an inner conflict with is represented doesn’t mean that he will act differently after the session. It means that you will have a different understanding of the situation and feel differently towards him.
On the way home after the session I nearly vomited. I wouldn’t have been able to drive home by myself. I felt dizzy and nauseous. When I climbed into my bed I was so tired that I slept two days through.
After the initial recovery, I was relieved, and I felt good. I could see the good in this person again. My love and acceptance were back. I was full of energy and I was happy.