It’s a well-known truth that when we heal ourselves, others are also healed even without direct action. The importance of personal healing is undeniable. It’s a centerpiece. It’s a responsibility. If you’re alive on the planet in a human body, then you must participate in healing yourself. The post Healing Up and Healing Down goes into quite some detail about this.

Personal healing  is precious. How deep it goes for you, and whoever it touches is merit enough. Stop and think for a minute. Just how far-reaching can healing be? Can it travel to the past? Can healing flow to future generations before they are here?

When you engage a healing process, your entire life is included. You may have recent or persistent symptoms that bring you to healing, but how did they get here? They got here from your life. Your entire life is healing, not only the symptoms you’re presenting with at the time. There may be a concentration on what’s most painful, what causes the most suffering, and while those are being addressed, the whole of you is being healed.

That’s how healing works. It heals the whole through the parts. All parts are linked to each other, and the whole. The whole is linked to other wholes.

You’re linked to your parents, and your children. That’s the shortest distance and most direct line of wholes that are connected to other wholes. Healing can indeed travel to the past, it’s called forgiveness. Healing can travel to the future, it’s called being responsible with your own healing now.

When you take care of your own healing, you journey to your parents and through them your complete lineage. Each generation passes on dynamics that need to be healed. There’s familial karma as well. It may sound daunting, but the power of healing is such that when one family member shows up for it, healing snowballs. Your mother and father live inside you. You’re a whole connected to these other wholes. When you find inner peace, so do the wholes connected to you in ever-widening circles.

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.


— Thich Nhat Hanh

Just as physical traits, even propensity to certain diseases can be passed down the line, so do internal dynamics.  The only way to prevent generational wounding is to stand up and say, “This ends with me.” When you take that stand, healing becomes bidirectional. It reaches down into the past, and takes a foothold out in the future. It does this just with you working on yourself. And if you earnestly understand the solemnity of the opportunity, your ability to create healing in generations past and future broadens greatly.

You’re the starting point for the next generation. You’re in a place of power to stem generational wounding. This not only helps you tremendously, it has an exponential benefit to those who come after you. These don’t even have to be your own children necessarily. What you heal within today, heals the same in society.

Just as the members of your lineage live within you, you live within your own children. If you don’t heal, then anything unhealed passed down generations continues to live in your progeny. Why let that happen when it can be prevented?

Through dedication to your own healing, you can ensure that your descendants inherit peace, empowerment, wisdom and compassion. Suffering is already inherent to living. So is the way out of it. There’s no good reason to compound inherent suffering with a familial or ethnic blueprint of painful tendencies.

You’re the gateway to the past and the model for the future. What you participate in today has a ripple effect in both directions. Be choosy and courageous. Be present and aware of where you stand. Be aware of the power you have to heal.

All tempest has,
like a navel,
a hole in its middle,
through which
a gull can fly,
in silence.

— 14th century Japanese, anonymous

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Generational Wounding and Healing

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