Christmas is the time when we want to be close to the ones we love, our family. We like to get together to spend some quality time and to feast and talk. The family, that are the blood-related members as well as good friends and neighbors, the extended family.
In New Zealand we have a beautiful te reo maori term for the extended family: Whanau! In the whanau everyone is included who plays a vital role in the lives of the nuclear family members and therefore are considered to be part of the family. On high holidays the whole whanau gathers with good food and enjoys the warmth, security and comfort that we get in the present of our loved ones.
But what is it when one is resenting the family and hates the holidays?
When one aspires to be as far away from the family as possible during the Christmas Season?
We see this behaviour maybe in a member of our whanau or in the family of a friend. It can be the daughter or son, a cousin or uncle, sister or brother. Are these family members to be condemned for their behaviour, excluded from the family, not to be invited any more? The question here is: what went wrong, where is the source of this rejection of the family? And can they be helped?
In family constellations this behavior is visible as an ‘interrupted movement towards the mother’, translated from Bert Hellingers ‘unterbrochene Hinbewegung zur Mutter’, which happens when the baby who dependents on the nourishment and care from the mother is separated from her for a longer period of time. The most common cases are
- the mother or baby has to be hospitalised after giving birth
- the mother is suffering ppd (postpartum depression) and unable to look after the baby
- the mother is emotionally not available for the baby because of an addiction (alcohol, drugs)
- mother and baby are separated due to circumstances like war, refugees, natural catastrophe , death, …
In these cases the instinctive movement from the baby to the mother is suddenly interrupted and causes a severe trauma in the baby: it is in a state of fear of dying, even if the circumstances are providing all necessities for the baby: the instinct of the baby is telling her/him, that death is certain without the mother. In order to survive it has to separate itself from the mother completely to overcome the dependency on the mother. The natural movement towards the mother is now interrupted, the instinctive energies are blocked and the emotion of separation is trapped in the body. The child later subconsciously even dismisses the mother or other close family members in order not to feel the agony of the fear of dying again.
When the child has grown up and goes its own way, instinct tells this adult woman or man, that it is not safe to let a family member close, because it could cause a repetition of the trauma (the fear of dying) when it gets separated again. So the subconscious mind puts out the directive, not to let anyone close again, especially family members, and to stay away from events where this closeness is expected and celebrated, that is Christmas or other high holidays.
The way out of this trauma is to face the mother, represented by a workshop participant, in a family constellation ViRTUAL workshop. The morphogenetic field is taking the participants back in time to the moment when the movement towards the mother was interrupted and allows the love to flow from mother to child now, and the child to take all the mothers love and nourishment in the present.
We see this time and time again in family constellation ViRTUAL workshops: the wonder is how this flow of life forces allows the adult to find connection to the family again. And to look forward to the next Christmas Season, when he/she finally can enjoy the company of the whanau and the celebrating of family.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!