What We Resist Does Indeed Persist

Do you experience struggle in your life?

And how does that affect your children?
This past weekend, Oprah had clinical psychologist and conscious parenting expert Dr. Shefali Tsabary as her guest on her popular TV show, Lifeclass. In a segment on sibling rivalry, Dr. Shefali asked one of the parents who complained about the arguments between her boys what battles she had in her own life. Talk about cutting to the chase! This mother knew right away exactly what she meant. Instantly, we learned about her recent life and death battle with metastatic breast cancer. Her inner struggles were being reflected outwardly through the sibling rivalry between her children.

As Carl C. Jung says “What you resist, persists”, and those hurdles tend to show up in the lives of the people and environment closest to us.

Last December a study on the relationship between traumatic events and inheritance was reported by the BBC. The findings provide evidence of "transgenerational epigenetic inheritance" which means that the environment can affect an individual's genetics, which can in turn be passed on.” Now science is beginning to see that our unhealed wounds may be showing up in the future generations that are born from our genetic inheritance. Now that’s an eye-opener to me!

There is another scientific phenomenon that I have recently learned about called microchimerism. Microchimerism is when two genetically distinct cell populations are found in the same individual. It happens most often from pregnancy. Scientists have found that fetal cells can linger in the uterus years after the pregnancy is over, whether by pregnancy loss or birth. These cells can be found in the mothers, twins, or even siblings born many years later.  
To apply that theory into perspective to my life, my grandmother had an abortion prior to the birth of my mother. It is very possible that the cells from the aborted pregnancy were not only in my grandmother, but also shared with my mother, her next child. I have recently learned that I may have had a missing twin in utero that miscarried early in my mother’s pregnancy with me. Do I carry cells from my lost sister in my body? The possibilities are incredible to think about. This is a different situation than transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, but both ideas raise the same questions:
  • How much awareness do we have of our ancestors’ lives on a physical level?
  • Is it an accident that my grandmother had an abortion and I, her grandchild, did also?
  • Is there healing that I can do to minimize this possibility happening in my daughter or granddaughter or great grand-daughter's life down the road?

  • Plus how much of my ancestors’ stress and trauma do I carry in my body and how much of that, plus my own, am I passing down to my own children?  

I don’t know the answer to these questions… yet. But I do know that what I take charge of and heal myself from not only helps me be a happier and aligned human being, it also has the potential to do that for my descendents as well.
Wherever our pain lies, in secrets or shame from our past, I believe the greatest hope for the future lies in healing ourselves first. And then, finally, what does not persist, cannot exist.

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