As Melanie and Jason answered her questions, the counselor drew a genogram of their families. The genogram revealed three generations of women who had been unfaithful to their husbands in the Jason’s family. In Melanie’s family, the eldest son for four generations were domestic violence abusers. By understanding the history in their families, the engaged couple minimized their chances of repeating the patterns of domestic violence and infidelity.
Evonne was going through her mother’s things after the funeral when she came across a sketch book of her mother’s drawings. Her mother never talked about drawing but as Evonne flipped through the pages she began to understand why her mother would get frustrated and depressed and complain about always being in the kitchen and never having time for herself. Art was her gift buried under the duties and expectations of a wife and mother. Evonne also had the artistic gift and she, too, gets frustrated and depressed about never having time for herself. She thought about the other women in her family and wondered if there were others like her mother. Was she seeing a pattern? If so, how could she not repeat it? Was it too late?
After people die, some leave a material inheritance of money, property, and possessions to family members, friends, and organizations. When doctors collect information on a new patient, they ask questions like: “Did anyone in your family ever have diabetes, high blood pressure, a stroke, heart trouble, obesity etc?” They are looking for a physical inheritance.
Family members also leave emotional and spiritual inheritances. Attitudes about work, life, religion, education, parenting, and health care are inherited. What it means to be a man, woman, husband, and wife is passed down from one generation to the next. In the same way some material and physical inheritances are beneficial and healthy and others harmful, so are emotional and spiritual inheritances.
Roots Matter helps you prune your family tree of trauma, secrets, and fractured stores that stunt the growth of your family. Tending to your family roots and fertilizing them with the recognition of the achievements, gifts, talents of your ancestors creates a healthier environment for future generations to flourish.