Abortions and Miscarriages

This unedited assignment was submitted as part of Foundation Training in 2015, does not contain the opinions of Africa Constellations or its trainers, and is intended as a resource for trainees and facilitators:

 

Miscarriages, abortions, early death of children, death of mother in childbirth etc.

Systemic Family Constellations respond to the longing that is deeply imbedded in our souls to live in the wholeness of our ancestral line. The family soul is a highly sensitive energetic field in which all who belong to a family are connected in love, including those who are forgotten or not honored, were mentally ill, or miscarried, or who died prematurely or violently. Only when all these are looked at and honored, and receive their respected place in the family system, can there be peace. Until they are seen again, we are entangled in their fate and carry their burdens – in the form of physical illness, depression, eating disorders, panic attacks, or conflicts in our personal or professional relationships.

From Hella Neumann: Songs of the Ancestors http://www.songsoftheancestors.com

What are Family Constellations? a systemic approach to identifying and healing areas of trauma in the “family soul” which can embrace members from several generations back. If one of them has had a particularly difficult fate, the effects of this may continue to arise several generations later. We can carry the fate of others in our lives on an unconscious level where we are “entangled” or “identified” with those who experienced a heavy fate in previous generations. Their burdens become our burdens. Family Constellations allow that which wants to be resolved in the “knowing field” to be seen, so that a deep healing and acknowledgement can be offered to those who came before, releasing us from their burdens. The flow of Love is then beautifully restored to the family soul and we are free to live our lives with the blessings of our ancestors.
As it pertains to “the childbearing year” and the children who are born, this intergenerational transformational work can address sensitive and challenging reproductive issues such as infertility, adoption, miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, birth trauma & complications, early death of a child, as well as childhood challenges and divorce.
I have been particularly moved by the use of Family Constellation work with my clients to address intergenerational repeat C-sections and breech presentations. Also, I have been moved by how honoring children who died before they were born, i.e. vanishing twin syndrome, miscarriage and abortion, significantly paves the way for the next generation to be conceived and born without complications.
From Elizabeth Rose
http://mothersmandala.com

Abortions, miscarriages, stillborn
Unborn children are part of the family system too; children that were aborted or the mother was aware of she had miscarried. It is not unheard of that the other children within the family are not being told about (previous) abortions, miscarriages and stillborn children.

The decision to have an abortion is a difficult one and it is usually a rational decision along the lines of: “It is not the right time” or “The child was likely to be abnormal…” etc. Many people realize only later what they did and say that they ‘” have murdered their own child”. This can bring on strong feelings of quilt, or anger even outrage towards the person that in a way forced them or her, no matter how subtle, to make this particular decision.

Despite the fact that the child was never really born and lived, its energy ‘lives’ on within the family and this way can have an effect on generations to come. Energy in the form of the sense of something not being talked about, something not quite right. The couple are the parents of this child too, and the unborn child is entitled to its own place within the family.

The sexual energy between the partners can be disturbed after an abortion or miscarriage. The mother might have thoughts such as ‘Will I be able to still have children?’, or ‘If I get pregnant again, will it be a healthy child?’, ‘If not, that is my punishment for what I did…’ etc. If this is the case it is possible that the child conceived after the abortion or miscarriage carries some of this energy and therefore the burden.

During family constellations there is often a sigh of relief from ‘the living’ children when the unborn or stillborn child has been put in its rightful place, and this way is made visible. The family system is now complete and everybody is in the right place. Again it is important for the parents to realize that they are the mother and father of this child as well and that by not talking about it, the child is denied its rightful place.

You might be greatly influenced by being born after the ‘missing’ child. You might not feel ‘in your place’ due to not being in the right place in your family system.  This can lead to an unexplained uneasy feeling and can have its affect on your own family and at work. By putting (under guidance) you back in ‘the right place’ can end these kinds of feelings.

People often express themselves by saying: ‘I don’t feel like I belong here’, ‘I’m afraid to show myself’, ‘I have been asked for a better job, but am afraid to take it’,  ‘I hardly have any contact with my family’, etc.

Deceased children leave their mark within a family. The parents’ grieve can be so strong that the relationship between the partners comes under a lot of pressure and might even end. It is said that’ the loss of your partner will leave an empty space next to you, but with the loss of a child you will lose a piece of your heart’. Usually the parents are not the same anymore as before, resulting in different behaviour and therefore different dynamics within a family.

http://www.dare2bu.ca

Death of any family member may leave the living with unresolved emotions. This is also true when a child dies at birth or is miscarried or aborted. In the workshops, participants are volunteered to represent these children as well in the Family Constellations. Unresolved grief is often at the core of problematic issues in a family.
Hellinger: As a rule, an abortion is experienced deep in the soul as guilt. An abortion demands everything from the child, because the adults want to be free of the burden. It seems as though freedom is available, but the soul doesn’t agree to it and feels the guilt. Then, very often, the partners try to get rid of the guilt by atoning. They atone by letting themselves get into a bad place, and then often by not allowing later relationships to succeed. (p. 201)

Hellinger: Allow yourself to be looked at by this child, Then tell this aborted child, “Dear child,”
Martin: Dear child,
Hellinger: ‘Now I take you as my child,”
Martin: Now I take you as my child.
Hellinger: “I give you a place in my heart.”
Martin: I give you a place in my heart (Hellinger, p. 20).

One of the more fascinating aspects of Family Constellation work is that the actual members of the focus person’s family – who have no direct knowledge of what transpired in the workshop – may often experience changes in their relationships with the focus person. This is attributed to shifts that occur in the family field.

http://www.wholistichealingresearch.com/WHEE_and_Family_Constellation_Therapy.html

This is not a pro-life or pro-choice discussion on abortion. It is not a discussion of the right to have an abortion or not. This is about the emotional and energetic impact of an abortion on an individual and/or the greater family system. It’s a discussion about what happens when the emotional response to an abortion is suppressed in the body. I look at this topic without blame or judgment; however, I will not address this topic through energetic or emotional blinders.
Systemic Wellbeing
Each person has the right to hold whatever belief system they want around pregnancy and the act of abortion. They have the right to take whatever action they want with regard to abortion. However, in order to maintain wellbeing over the long-term, they need to also take responsibility for those belief systems and those actions or else someone in the family system may suffer until they do. Taking responsibility means not sweeping emotional responses under the carpet. Systemic healing requires a person to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and their own actions. You are asked to evaluate your belief systems to determine whether they serve your highest good and/or the greater good of your family system and humanity.
Energetic Entanglement
Children missing in the family system may create energetic entanglements with parents, siblings, or descendants of the family system until they are acknowledged and emotionally processed by the family system. Every child deserves a place in the family system. This includes aborted children, miscarried children, stillborn children, children put up for adoption or put into foster care, and children who die young or tragically. These children deserve to be counted in the family system.
An abortion that is emotionally unresolved and unprocessed may create an energetic entanglement. It may be the beginning of a transgenerational pattern that flows down through the family system until it is resolved. Mother ended the life of her child and the daughter loses a child when she gets pregnant. It may become a family pattern to lose a child until the abortion is acknowledged and processed. An abortion frequently creates an exclusion in the family system. Living children who experience being shunned and excluded are sometimes energetically entangled with the aborted child, the one who was excluded from the family system.
Abortions frequently arise along the journey of systemic healing. Abortions often show up in systemic constellations. As with any other action taken by a human being, there is an emotional response. The question to ask is whether the emotion was openly expressed and processed or whether the emotion was left unresolved and suppressed in the body? Suppressed emotion that lingers in the body creates unwellness and it can pass epigenetically to your children and grandchildren. For many individuals and family systems the aborted child is never openly acknowledged and/or accepted into the family system. The abortion may be held as a family secret.

Systemic Abortion
I have come to understand that the frequency of abortion is immense and widespread. An emotional and energetic impact may occur whether there is one abortion or multiple abortions. Abortion impacts all cultures, religious dynamics, ethnicities, social and political realms, and financial strata. I realize that the women of some societies have relied on abortions as a means of controlling the number of children they had when there was no other effective birth control method available in their region of the world.
During my travels in Eastern Europe in May, I was told that the average number of abortions for women was very high. For many years under communist rule birth control options were limited or non-existent. Many countries did not import contraceptives. In fact, some countries paid women to have more children. The world witnessed the result of these laws in countries such as Romania. Many of these families could not support the additional children once they arrived and the extra support was limited. Many of these children ended up in orphanages. The emotional neglect within many orphanages, and the early separation and bonding wounds with biology mother, has created lifelong challenges for many of these children and their adoptive parents around the world.
Adoption Part 1, Adoption Part 2, Adoption Part 3
In other situations, women that knew they couldn’t support the children of many pregnancies, resorted to abortions as a means of birth control. Abortions that are not openly addressed emotionally can create many issues for the partners involved, for other children of the partnership, and for future generations. This can lead to the mother, father, or their offspring feeling stuck in life in some way unable to reach their full potential. It’s important to honestly acknowledge your own emotional response to an abortion so that the systemic healing journey can begin for everyone involved.
Unresolved Blame
If you hold the belief that someone else is to blame for the abortion occurring, that you were forced to have the abortion, then you need to shift that inner image you hold as a belief in your body. That belief system may be harming you, your children, and your grandchildren physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and relationally. Each woman and each man needs to take responsibility for aborting one of their children. In systemic healing we don’t use flowery language when communicating with the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind doesn’t respond to flowery language. Abortion is taking the life of your own child – it is energetically killing your own child. You may talk all you want about the viability of the fetus at various stages, and everyone has their right to their own belief system, but the fact remains that an abortion is energetically killing the child that is developing within you. It is the termination of a viable pregnancy. It is energetically a rejection of yourself and a rejection of your partner. If you have never consciously acknowledged this reality, it is time that you did. Something amazing may shift within you when you acknowledge and take responsibility for a past abortion.
System Wide Abortion
Some cultures favour the male child and the result can be millions of female babies being aborted. Sometimes infanticide occurs after birth and the female child is rejected. A few years ago I participated in a large systemic constellation that revealed the energetic, familial, and societal impact of the one-child rule in China. As the constellation progressed, there ended up being about 75 people participating in the constellation. One group represented the unsettled souls of the aborted children. One group represented the keening women in mourning for their aborted children. One group represented the impotent men feeling helpless to respond. Healing occurred with the acknowledgement of what is and what was. Healing occurred in honouring those who died without the opportunity to come to life.
Energetic Body
•            Date: 20 Oct 2014
•            Author: Patricia Robertson
•            Category: Abortion, Chronic Conditions, Epigenetics, Family Constellations, Family Relationships, Healing, Healing Ritual & Ceremony, Healing Techniques, Peaceful Possibilities, Relationships, Systemic Constellations, Where Healing Begins
•            Comments: 0

This is not a pro-life or pro-choice discussion on abortion. It is not a discussion of the right to have an abortion or not. This is about the emotional and energetic impact of an abortion on an individual and/or the greater family system. It’s a discussion about what happens when the emotional response to an abortion is suppressed in the body. I look at this topic without blame or judgment; however, I will not address this topic through energetic or emotional blinders.
Systemic Wellbeing
Each person has the right to hold whatever belief system they want around pregnancy and the act of abortion. They have the right to take whatever action they want with regard to abortion. However, in order to maintain wellbeing over the long-term, they need to also take responsibility for those belief systems and those actions or else someone in the family system may suffer until they do. Taking responsibility means not sweeping emotional responses under the carpet. Systemic healing requires a person to take responsibility for their own wellbeing and their own actions. You are asked to evaluate your belief systems to determine whether they serve your highest good and/or the greater good of your family system and humanity.
Energetic Entanglement
Children missing in the family system may create energetic entanglements with parents, siblings, or descendants of the family system until they are acknowledged and emotionally processed by the family system. Every child deserves a place in the family system. This includes aborted children, miscarried children, stillborn children, children put up for adoption or put into foster care, and children who die young or tragically. These children deserve to be counted in the family system.
An abortion that is emotionally unresolved and unprocessed may create an energetic entanglement. It may be the beginning of a transgenerational pattern that flows down through the family system until it is resolved. Mother ended the life of her child and the daughter loses a child when she gets pregnant. It may become a family pattern to lose a child until the abortion is acknowledged and processed. An abortion frequently creates an exclusion in the family system. Living children who experience being shunned and excluded are sometimes energetically entangled with the aborted child, the one who was excluded from the family system.
Abortions frequently arise along the journey of systemic healing. Abortions often show up in systemic constellations. As with any other action taken by a human being, there is an emotional response. The question to ask is whether the emotion was openly expressed and processed or whether the emotion was left unresolved and suppressed in the body? Suppressed emotion that lingers in the body creates unwellness and it can pass epigenetically to your children and grandchildren. For many individuals and family systems the aborted child is never openly acknowledged and/or accepted into the family system. The abortion may be held as a family secret.
Systemic Abortion
I have come to understand that the frequency of abortion is immense and widespread. An emotional and energetic impact may occur whether there is one abortion or multiple abortions. Abortion impacts all cultures, religious dynamics, ethnicities, social and political realms, and financial strata. I realize that the women of some societies have relied on abortions as a means of controlling the number of children they had when there was no other effective birth control method available in their region of the world.
During my travels in Eastern Europe in May, I was told that the average number of abortions for women was very high. For many years under communist rule birth control options were limited or non-existent. Many countries did not import contraceptives. In fact, some countries paid women to have more children. The world witnessed the result of these laws in countries such as Romania. Many of these families could not support the additional children once they arrived and the extra support was limited. Many of these children ended up in orphanages. The emotional neglect within many orphanages, and the early separation and bonding wounds with biology mother, has created lifelong challenges for many of these children and their adoptive parents around the world.
Adoption Part 1, Adoption Part 2, Adoption Part 3
In other situations, women that knew they couldn’t support the children of many pregnancies, resorted to abortions as a means of birth control. Abortions that are not openly addressed emotionally can create many issues for the partners involved, for other children of the partnership, and for future generations. This can lead to the mother, father, or their offspring feeling stuck in life in some way unable to reach their full potential. It’s important to honestly acknowledge your own emotional response to an abortion so that the systemic healing journey can begin for everyone involved.
Unresolved Blame
If you hold the belief that someone else is to blame for the abortion occurring, that you were forced to have the abortion, then you need to shift that inner image you hold as a belief in your body. That belief system may be harming you, your children, and your grandchildren physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and relationally. Each woman and each man needs to take responsibility for aborting one of their children. In systemic healing we don’t use flowery language when communicating with the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind doesn’t respond to flowery language. Abortion is taking the life of your own child – it is energetically killing your own child. You may talk all you want about the viability of the fetus at various stages, and everyone has their right to their own belief system, but the fact remains that an abortion is energetically killing the child that is developing within you. It is the termination of a viable pregnancy. It is energetically a rejection of yourself and a rejection of your partner. If you have never consciously acknowledged this reality, it is time that you did. Something amazing may shift within you when you acknowledge and take responsibility for a past abortion.
System Wide Abortion
Some cultures favour the male child and the result can be millions of female babies being aborted. Sometimes infanticide occurs after birth and the female child is rejected. A few years ago I participated in a large systemic constellation that revealed the energetic, familial, and societal impact of the one-child rule in China. As the constellation progressed, there ended up being about 75 people participating in the constellation. One group represented the unsettled souls of the aborted children. One group represented the keening women in mourning for their aborted children. One group represented the impotent men feeling helpless to respond. Healing occurred with the acknowledgement of what is and what was. Healing occurred in honouring those who died without the opportunity to come to life.
Energetic Body
A pregnancy is not something that can be energetically reversed. It may be terminated in the physical realm; however, energetically and emotionally there is continuation. There are at least four options for a pregnancy: There may be a live birth which is full term or premature, there may be a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage, there may be a stillborn child, or there may be an intentional abortion where the life of the child is taken to benefit the mother and her wellbeing.   The woman and man are energetically parents within their family systems in all these situations.
Impact on Siblings
An abortion is the business of the mother and father of the child, not the siblings of the child. However, an unresolved abortion in the family system may impact other siblings in some way. One of the siblings of the aborted child, or a grandchild in the family system, may be drawn to the dead in some way. They may feel something is missing in their life. They may feel unable to fully take in their life force energy. They may feel unable to take in nourishment in a healthy way. They may experience a condition or symptom that seems to linger without responding to treatment. A sibling may be bringing awareness about the unresolved emotional trauma following an aborted child. It is up to the parents to do their own emotional healing work to lift the energetic burden from their other children.
Emotional Response
What is carried energetically in the body? This may be the individual’s body or the body of the greater family system. Whenever someone is excluded from the family system, an imbalance may occur that seeks to be balanced. The excluded or forgotten person needs to be welcomed into the family system. What was the emotional response to the abortion? Was the emotional response to the act of abortion sorrow, grief, indifference, pain, shame, guilt, anger, resentment, regret, or some other response? I know some people think about their aborted child or children every day of their lives, whereas, others never consciously look back. It really doesn’t matter what the conscious rational mind does, it’s the unconscious mind, as it is imprinted on the cells of the body, that holds the cellular memory of the abortion.
Intimate Relationship
The abortion effectively ends the intimate partner relationship as it was. Since the child holds the energy and cellular structure of the mother 50% and the father 50%, the act of abortion has created an energetic rejection of self and a rejection of the partner. That doesn’t mean that the relationship necessarily has to end, although it may. The relationship may continue, however it may show up in a different way, depending on how the abortion was emotionally processed by the woman and the man. The woman and the man need to acknowledge that they were mothers and fathers from the moment of conception, whether the child comes to life or not. Even in situations of multiple miscarriages or spontaneous abortions, the woman and the man are parents together even if no children come to life. The woman is a mother and the man is a father. Each miscarried child or aborted child is energetically a child of the family system.
If the abortion was energetically and emotionally suppressed, it may have immediately impacted the live of the mother of the child and/or the father of the aborted child and/or any grandparents. Sometimes the father and his family never consciously learn about the child. There doesn’t have to be conscious knowledge of this child to have an energetic impact. Quite often the father of the aborted child is missing from the family system of the mother of the child. Most significant relationships tend to bring the partners into the family system of the other.   A pregnancy may shift even a one-night stand into a significant energetic relationship.
The parents of the aborted child may go on to have other relationships or other children, however, they may struggle with intimacy issues because they are not emotionally available. They may be physically present but tend to be emotionally distant or turned away from others close to them. They may be drawn to the energy of their dead child or children. If there is animosity directed toward the father of the child, that animosity or rejection may transfer to any new relationship and/or any future children or grandchildren. The father of the aborted child has a right to belong to the family system. This becomes energetically complex when the pregnancy is the result of an act of violence or sexual abuse. Energetically the father is recognized regardless of whether the child was conceived through love or hate. For many, it is unimaginable to welcome the perpetrator into the family system. Sometimes the perpetrator is already recognized as a significant member of the family system. If you wish to read more about the relationship between victims and perpetrators or the inclusion of perpetrators in the family system, please go to my blog posts on radical inclusion.
Radical Inclusion Part 1, Radical Inclusion Part 2, Radical Inclusion Part 3, Radical Inclusion Part 4
Symptoms
In the situation of abortion, immune issues may arise if the abortion has never been openly processed. Immune issues are the body rejecting some aspect of self, just as the act of abortion is a rejection of self when understood energetically and systemically.
Who may be struggling today as a result of the abortion?
•            The mother
•            The father
•            Grandparents
•            Children of the mother
•            Children of the father
•            Grandchildren of the mother or father
Let’s review some of the energetic aspects of an abortion. The woman may go on to have other children in life but carry the fear she will harm her children in some way. This fear may be transgenerationally transferred epigenetically to her children while she carries them in the womb. A daughter of the family may carry fear around motherhood or giving birth. She may carry the unconscious or conscious fear of harming her children if she has any, or she may carry the fear that she will be a terrible mother. A son of the family may have difficulty committing in relationships because of an unconscious fear of harming others.
Women of the family may have fertility difficulties if there is an unresolved abortion in the family system. There may be a child of the family unable to take in their life force energy or nourishment. This includes, but is not limited to, children with eating disorders, children with conditions impacting the digestive system, children with tumours that represent or point to the aborted child, and any child that may show symptoms of depression or anxiety for no obvious reason. The child may be drawn to the energy of the dead child. A child of the family may feel like something is missing in their life. They may unconsciously fear the same fate or fear they will die. Also, many children struggle if they live an inaccurate birth order because a miscarried child or an aborted child is not acknowledged by the family system.
I met one woman who had to wear a cervical neck collar half the time. We determined that it might be related to an abortion when she was younger. She had never looked back to acknowledge and heal her unresolved emotional trauma about having the abortion, even though she often thought about the aborted child. The neck is meant to turn or swivel the head in each direction – right, left, up, or down – to look at what needs to be seen. Don’t be afraid to turn your neck to look back at what desires to be acknowledged and accepted.
The Aborted Child
In numerous systemic family constellations, I have witnessed aborted children wanting to be acknowledged, seen, and heard by the family system. They energetically want to feel like a welcomed member of the family system. In systemic constellations, the aborted children will often sit on the floor snuggled to their mother’s legs. Some of them lie down on the floor with their eyes open, unable to settle calmly into death. Everyone has a right to belong to the family system whether they are alive or deceased. Aborted children tend to want their fate or their sacrifice to be acknowledged and honoured by the family system, and then their spirit is able to be calm.
Mourning the Dead
Abortions, miscarriages, stillborn children, infant deaths, children who die too young, and children who are given away want to be mourned or grieved or remembered in an appropriate and heartfelt manner. In many situations it is their sacrifice or fate that needs acknowledgement. Frequently, they energetically deliver a message for the balance of the greater family system. If these children were not formally named, they tend to be missing from the family system. Even if they were named, they may still be energetically and emotionally impacting current living members of the family system, waiting for an unhealthy relationship to shift into a healthy relationship. Exclusion creates an unhealthy relationship. There is frequently an unhealthy relationship left unresolved when an abortion has taken place.
If this is difficult to understand, you might want to think of it as an energetic debt. The aborted child has sacrificed their life for the desires of the mother, the father, and the greater family system. What are you going to do to honour that debt or to pay back that debt? What can be done to open the flow of love in the family system where it is currently blocked in this way?
Healing this emotional trauma comes in looking back long enough to honestly acknowledge what was. Healing comes in honouring the fate of the aborted child. Healing comes in sorting out and expressing your feelings and emotions around the abortion. Healing comes in commemorating the life of the aborted child and welcoming them into the family system. The physical and spiritual demonstration of commemoration will differ for each individual. Energetically, an old inner image held in the body needs to be shifted.
The Ritual or Ceremony
Whether you have experienced a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) or an intentional abortion, there are certain healing actions that can be taken. You may want to sit in a quiet place and light a candle to represent the energy of the aborted child. You might want to ponder whether the child was a boy or a girl if you don’t know for certain. You might want to picture what the child would look like today and consider their age. You might want to say things to the aborted child that you have always wanted to say, or perhaps take the time to journal your thoughts. You might want to honour the sacrifice the child made so that your life could move forward differently. If there were multiple miscarriages or multiple abortions, light a candle for each child to welcome them into the family system.
Constellation as Ritual and Ceremony
A constellation ritual or ceremony may be set up to commemorate the life of the aborted child or any miscarried children. It becomes an energetic and emotional process. Set up your family system with markers on the floor to show you and your intimate partner(s) and all your children together.  Begin at the left with the father (may be a woman in same gender relationships or other circumstances), the mother, and the children going down in age from oldest to youngest to the right.  This can be accomplished with pieces of paper or pieces of felt or cushions. Take the time to label each piece of paper or marker or draw a meaningful symbol on the paper that represents that family member.
Whether this is you personally or a client, place a marker on the floor for each of the miscarried and/or aborted children in line with any living children. Feel into your body whether the child was a boy or a girl. This connects you with the energy of the child at a deeper level. This gets you into your body and out of your head. A lighted candle is placed on the marker of each family member. You or the client (the mother, father, or a grandparent) would then say what they have longed to say to the excluded child or children, and this will vary for each individual. For example, “I am your mother (father or grandparent). You are my child (grandchild). I am able to see you now. I chose to end your life. I acknowledge that I took your life to benefit my own. I honour your sacrifice and your fate. Now I take you with love into my heart. I give you a place in my heart.”
Take your time to breathe in this new dynamic energetically and emotionally.  This is the opportunity to shift the old inner image to a new image, to shift an unhealthy relationship into a healthy relationship.  You (or the client) step upon your own marker to feel the energy of your complete family system.
http://www.peacefulpossibilities.ca/family-constellations-calgary-abortion/

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