By Aaliyah Moore
Have you ever had someone tell you, “Girl, you look just like your mama!”
Or, “I knew he had to be your daddy. You have his same mannerisms!”
I’m sure we have all been told a time or two that we resemble a parent or have inherited something from someone in our family. But let’s talk about the stuff that’s not physical that gets passed down through our bloodline. You know, stuff like divorce, alcoholism, physical/ mental sickness, financial hardship, along with other destructive behaviors.
I think it’s valid to say we all have either been the recipient of a negative trait that’s been passed down, or we can look around in our families and see how a curse has moved through the bloodline. And whether we like it or not, our families’ history and baggage impact who we are as people today.
I’ve seen this quote many times on social media, and it holds a lot of power. The quote reads:
“This ran in my family until it ran into me…”
This quote is speaking about a term known as a generational curse.
A generational curse is described as a cumulative effect on a person of things their ancestors did, believed, or practiced in the past and a consequence of an ancestor’s actions, beliefs, and sins being passed down.
While the term is spoken about in the Bible in Exodus 34:7, it seems like now more than ever; our generation is becoming aware of the ways dysfunctional patterns move through our families.
But what do I do with this awareness?
I’ll be the first to say that breaking familial patterns and cycles is not easy work. When something has been done a certain way for so long and passed down from generation to generation, it’s something that has become normalized. And the work will seem daunting at times because you’re the only one doing it– BUT DO IT ANYWAY!
If your family is up to it, I find it very healthy to sit down and engage in dialogue about where the curse started and how it has negatively affected the family lineage. But if your family isn’t at a place where they’re ready to discuss these issues, that’s okay too.
Seek counseling from someone who can help you recognize how these patterns affect you and provide you with tools to help you steer clear from this path.
Just because the work is difficult doesn’t mean that healing isn’t attainable. You owe it to yourself to heal and to create healthy relationships with others. Identify the ways you want your life and behaviors to be different. Be the one in your family who says you’re not going to do things the same way. The future generations are depending on you. Just because you share the same last name doesn’t mean you have to share the same trauma.
And remember, YOU may not have come from a healthy family, but a healthy family can come from YOU.
Aaliyah Moore is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC.