Learning from the Systemic Field

I Am Your Daughter

I am your daughter, but I wish you were not my father.

In Family Constellations, we acknowledge that we have the family system of our father and the family system of our mother running in our veins.  We have also understood that we belong to both family systems in working with family constellations.  When one system, either the father or the mother, is negated in the child’s life, adult life appears to be difficult for the child. 

I will work with an example that I came across this week.  The child believes that she cannot repeat the mistakes of her father.  She finds herself in a situation where the balance of life is lost, and work has become the primary focus.  Life is a struggle.  As the coach, it appeared that even the work bucket had too many holes to plug.  Where to start?

As a Family Constellations Facilitator, one of my starting points within this overwhelm is to look at the relationship between child and parent/s.  Yes, every adult once was a child.  Early childhood experiences play a massive role in perceiving the world as adults.  Add to this the entanglements of affairs within the family systems.  We are born with a particular makeup that is innate.  It does not define our future.  Our future is determined by choices that are despite these entanglements and early childhood experiences or because of these entanglements and early childhood experiences.  When we take more of the wholeness in each family system, the more the fullness and flow of life are experienced.  When we experience more brokenness from the family systems, our flow in life’s energy is experienced as burdensome.

I am your daughter, but I wish you were not my father.

My client had a problematic relationship with her father before his passing.  She is currently working in a similar industry as her father.

In the world of wholeness, the relationship between a child to her parents would be whole and connected.  Life feels easy and supported.

When the connection is broken, the child is disappointed and struggles to bring meaning and a sense of wholeness back into life.  It takes effort to fix the mistakes of the past.

Is my life predetermined because I am my father’s daughter?  The entanglement in this concept becomes unsurmountable. 

When we acknowledge that the world of wholeness exists, then connect to this world wants to be restored.  It is our innate longing.

How can the connection between daughter to father be restored? 

This is my challenge as a coach and family constellations facilitator.

The client chooses the disconnection from her father.  It is a pain that is easier to bear than facing the hurt and pain that lead to the disconnection.  Her focus is not repeating her father’s mistakes and living differently with different beliefs from her father. 

Do the questions arise whether the father had a perfect childhood with his parents?  What were his beliefs on how he would manage his life better than his parents?  What were his struggles in life resulting in the views with which he tried to control his life?  What were his goals in life? 

The most important question is whether he set out to create a better life for himself and his children or whether he intended to be the loser father that his daughter perceived him to be?  What were the circumstances that led to his failures?  What in him led him to make the decisions he made for himself? 

Instead of following the questions above, I thought of proposing a different question: “What can the daughter learn from the father’s mistakes?” 

This question seemed to open a new space between the daughter about her father.  Instead of negating his existence by avoiding the pain, she could review her learnings from her life experiences.  By acknowledging that her father’s mistakes offered her a learning platform, she could embrace her complex relationship with her father in a new way.  She could recognize her father’s life journey for what it was for him and develop her new journey forward because of the life lessons she could take from that. 

Instead of negating her father, she could see him as the human he was and see herself as his daughter with the blessings the learnings could now provide.  She felt strengthened and supported.  She felt a sense of wholeness in her relationship of herself with her father. 

She felt a sense of warmth towards her father.  She felt a sense of compassion for the child.  The sacred love from the daughter to her father felt restored.  She thought she could allow herself to acknowledge the imperfections that she was trying to overcome.  She felt free to make different life choices that would bring her closer to her life’s goals despite the struggles she perceived she needed to challenge. 

I am my father’s daughter.  The child within was now willing to let go of the pain and rise from it in with new and different goals.

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