“Success has the face of the mother.”
– Bert Hellinger (from Topics of Business Consultancy)
I was sitting having breakfast with my instructor Carl Buchheit about 1 year ago in Melbourne, Australia. That morning, Carl facilitated a day of business workshops using his unique extension of Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellations work. As Carl was reviewing his notes and I was drinking my coffee, he said “Read this Jon. This is classical Hellinger.” Of course I read it. The line was: “Success has the face of the mother.”
I was floored with awe. The statement was so direct. It spoke to the heart of my struggles with sustaining success in business and life. And the struggles of many of my friends, peers, and clients. What Bert and Carl were referring to is our relationship with our primary life-giver, as an incredible proxy for our relationship with success and life.
A “non-relationship” relationship with mother similarly mirrors a non-relationship relationship with life and success. That is to say, it becomes difficult for someone to excel at any venture they know is worthy of their human spirit if deep inside, they have a disrupted bond with mother (primary life-giver).
If you grew up in a household where you didn’t fully trust your caregiver for example, it is likely you grow up not trusting success and life. To illustrate in a more specific context, imagine a brilliant job opportunity arises and an employer approaches you with a very attractive offer for your skill.
While some part of you will rejoice with “Yes! this is amazing!”–Another part of you may be suspicious and respond internally and energetically with “Hm. What’s the catch? Sounds too good to be true.” Just notice how that second communication is received by others in life. In this particular instance, it makes the other person wonder if they offended you with their offering of good will and opportunity.
Another example–if mother was never around, and absent to your needs for very very good reason–it is hard to feel like life ever gave any attention to you. The child will feel separate to life and all that life has to offer. Perhapshe or she will communicate energetically, “I have no place in the world. If mother wasn’t there for me, life isn’t there for me, and neither is success.”
If you know of someone who struggles to be motivated in life, who others would typically label as disconnected and apathetic, you might begin to appreciate that person as truly doing the best he or she could.
These are overly simplified generalizations of course. Relationships with any aspect of life are more sophisticated. I present what I have so you can deduce the trajectory of your relationship with mother, life, and success. But you can now appreciate and observe how the relationship (or lack of) we have with our primary life-giver, can richly inform us about the stance we take with regards to success and life.
“In our relationship with our mother we come into harmony with the creative spirit that brought all things into life, and still creates everything now–as it is.”
– Bert Hellinger
“Crap!” So there I was at breakfast, realizing that some aspect of me has yet to been “initiated” fully into life, success, and with mother. Especially since I never had much connection with my mother until I was 12 years of age. I was raised by a nanny till then. And even today, I’m not so certain as to how to be in relationship with my mother. Especially since I had spent decades being over-parentified.
Bummer. But alas, it provided hope. The realization that Carl helped catalyze greatly informed my past year of exploration, as I continued to deepen my alliance with Life itself. For me, that involved noticing the ways the younger versions of me (up to 4 years of age especially) related to mother. That was the first step.
Secondly, to then rekindle that relationship with deep respect. Slowly and surely. This has been trickier business than meets the eye. The adult version of me intellectually understood. However, the younger version of me, who resides in me–and from whom the more adult aspects of my personality were built upon, did not necessarily know. And to give the younger one updated knowledge requires a communicating in a way a little one understands.
As we learn in Marin-style NLP, I is a collective pronoun, and people are never just one age. We are a culmination of ages. We can see it on someone’s face when they think about their favorite toy they had as a child. Their face, light, and expression is one of a child.
To rekindle, renew, and reinform our relationship with mother, is a practice. And for some, the journey can be a lot smoother and easier. For others, not so. Especially if their mother’s behavior was physically and psychically torturous. For example, if their mother had alcoholic tendencies, demonstrated habitual unpredictable acts of denigration, and was barely consciously aware of her own actions (yet alone the implications of those actions to others).
It is almost unavoidable that in this illustrative example, the child will have to find ways to manipulate and coerce situations in life in order to feel a sense of safety and stability. Rather than relishing in the experience of and with life, his or her attention will be on ways to control life to their liking. Notice how much energy this takes.
The maneuvre towards a stance of trusting life, and respecting the ways Life perfectly mirrors us our many intentions and desires–is different for everybody. However, as Carla Camou taught me some three years ago, a good start is to hold our parents in equal respect. This is an important movement towards rapport with self, and rapport with those from whom we came.
Every child is an equal product of their parents. And, if neither parent had showed up, then the person in question would not be here. Similarly, if our parents’ parents didn’t show up, they and us wouldn’t be here today. If someone can’t respect both their parents equally, they can’t have respect for themselves equally.
So if you have difficulty respecting your parents, a good start is to distinguish their behavior from the Self that generates it (if you can). We can respect our life-givers and caregivers without necessarily promoting or condoning their behavior. Because OMG …. a lot of their behavior is far from okay.
But whatever has occurred, as Carl says, to that we must find a way to say, “Okay.” With little to no charge. Or as Bert Hellinger’s constellations teaches us–inclusion and acknowledging what is and has been, is important. The field of Love does not discriminate. All actions, all occurrences–horrific or tremendously hopeful–must be included. Or there will be a blockage to the proper flow of Love in the family and those entwined.
We belong to our family and a world of families.
We are housed by their Love so that we may present our Light.
Finding and sustaining a proper stance with life and those whom gave us life is a practice. One that is encouraged to be repeatedly exercized as we grow and continue in our sacred journey called Life. This is a choice enabling maneuvre.
It empowers us to choose again what we would like without the attachment or distortions to what has been. Yet with full respect that our parents did “good enough” to secure us a seat to participate and co-create in this human epoch.
Human by Choice,