The holidays are upon us and there is so much to be thankful for. Yet, the holidays can also be stressful. For one, although getting together with family can be heartwarming for some, it can be very triggering for others.
It may also bring up questions about who we consider to be family. Is it your biological lineage or your chosen loved ones? The holidays can be the perfect time to reconnect with what family means to you and to identify any areas for reparation and healing within. Doing so can be the greatest gift you can give yourself and your loved ones and you don’t even have to tell them about it! Below is a simple but effective way to offer healing to your familial relationships whatever their makeup.
Your Divine Family Tree
To begin, it can be helpful to chart your family tree. Again, this can be your family of origin or a constellation of whoever constitutes your core soul connections today. Chart them out. In addition, in charting out your own tree, you can get creative with the ways in which you represent your family, externalizing any emotional wounding therein so that you no longer have to carry it around inside of you. Instead, you can observe it safely outside of yourself. Literally draw out what you feel is an accurate representation of your family makeup. Are there severed connections? These may look like broken branches on your family tree. Are there connections that are enmeshed that might be shown as two branches entwined? Or, perhaps there are relationships that are healthy and particularly supportive, which might be demonstrated as branches growing side by side in alignment.
Get clear about the gifts you inherit and perpetuate from your family line as well as those you can give yourself by identifying what no longer resonates. These outdated or undesired patterns or attributes are like energetic wrinkles and can be ironed into peace, healing, and alignment. Borrowing from a ritual in my book The Way of Inanna, the following exercise can help you to identify and own the strengths you wish to keep and release what is no longer serving you. Through this ritual we emulate Inanna and bring healing to our family line as she does in the myth Inanna and the God of Wisdom.
Heal Your Family Tree for the Holidays:
Sit down in a quite space with a notebook and pen. If you can light a candle nearby where you are sitting, do so as an alchemical tool, as well as an invitation to Spirit to assist you in this simple but deep process of gift giving. Surround yourself in protective light and feel yourself anchoring into the earth for safety and grounding. Insist that this ritual be done in alignment with and under the Law of Grace.
Use your family tree and look closely at each name. Begin by sitting in meditation and observe what comes up for you as you connect with each name on your tree. Ask yourself if what comes up feels like a gift this person has given you, a strength or attribute that you admire in them which you wish to emulate or wish to perpetuate. Note this attribute and speak it aloud. State, “Thank you, [enter name] for gifting me [strength, endurance, patience, drive, abundance, whatever the gift is]. I take this gift from you with deep appreciation.” While you do so, place your left hand over your heart as a way to integrate this gift into your heart center.
If, while connecting with a name on your tree you recognize a pattern or character trait that is not aligned with you, say the attribute aloud and state, “Thank you [enter name] for making me aware how [e.g. impatience, frustration, anger, addiction, anxiety, whatever it is] no longer resonates with me and I now realize it is no longer mine to carry. I ask the flame of my candle to transmute [name what it is, e.g., anger, frustration, anxiety] into pure love and in turn to shower the earth with this love and help restore her to balance.” Now in your mind’s eye, see the word being engulfed in the flame of the candle.
Once you have completed this process for all the names on your family tree, thank each person on your tree for giving you the gift to be in service of their healing in whatever way is supported under the Law of Grace. Finally, offer a prayer of healing for your larger family, the world.
Say aloud: “May all of humanity receive the healing that is aligned with their highest good.” Thank your beautiful self for being an agent of change during a stressful time of the year and for using the ambivalence many of us feel at this time of year to gift one of the most meaningful gifts you can give.
Allow this transformative process to help you move through the holidays with joy and openheartedness.
*Inspired by the wisdom of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, this blog is an invitation to live as she does, like an Unapologetic Heroine.
Seana Zelazo, LICSW is a psychotherapist, spiritual coach, and intuitive channel committed to helping us live unapologetically, by restoring balance within and without through the wisdom of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna. She is the author of The Way of Inanna: A Heroine’s Guide to Living Unapologetically. seanazelazo.com