The right to belong

Every member of your family system has the right to belong and everyone has his/her very special own place.


Who belongs to your family system?

Everyone who was ever born or conceived in a family belongs to the family system and is equal in dignity. Also who shares a common fate with someone of a family from the moment of this event is part of the family system.

Blood relatives:

  • Children (means you and your siblings and half siblings, including all of them even those who were stillborn or aborted and often also miscarriages; siblings who were kept secret or given away)

  • Biological parents and their blood siblings (and half siblings, including all of them even those who were stillborn or aborted and often also miscarriages; siblings who were kept secret or given away)

  • Grandparents, great-grandparents and all the ancestors who came before us

Other members:

  • Former partners of parents or grandparents

  • People who experienced a loss (life or fortune) at the advantage of one or more of your family members

  • Victims of violence of any kind by the hands of one of your family members, especially the ones that have been murdered

  • Perpetrators – that caused victims of any kind in your family

          (for the last two points please see “Victims and perpetrators” at the end of the post)


How can the right to belong be broken?

In many families, there are those who remain ‘unseen’ because of loss or exclusion. This can happen for various reasons – here just some examples:

  • when babies are aborted or stillborn and not mourned or talked about any more

  • when children or young adults die and are not mourned or talked about any more

  • when children are given away for adoption and no longer talked about

  • when adoptive parents do not acknowledge the natural parents of their children

  • when previous partners or important relationships are not acknowledged and honoured between couples

  • when extra-marital relationships are kept secret

  • when the experiences of war are not remembered and the dead not honoured

  • when there are family secrets no one talks about

These “outsiders” can impact the whole family system and each individual in the system. What happens is, that often in descendants of the family (sometimes 2 or 3 generations later) these effects can manifest in the form of all kind of life problems through to mental or physical illness, addictions, depression, childlessness or even suicide. In this context we are speaking of invisible loyalties (e.g. a child’s unconscious loyal statement to a stillborn sibling not to deserve to have a better life than the sibling).

Unveiling these forgotten or excluded family members, restoring them to their places, acknowledging what happened and honouring their fate can then again have a positive impact on the descendant and his/her family.


The law of priority

Not only has everyone in the family his/her own place, but everyone must take the place that is appropriate according to his or her rank of belonging.

  • Those who belonged to the system earlier take precedence over those who came later. (e.g. parents take precedence over their children; the first child has precedence over the second; when a new child is born, the previously last in the order of precedence gains priority as soon as the new sibling enters the family system).

  • A newly founded family takes precedence over the family of origin (when a child gets married and forms a new family, eventually, in this new family will take the first place together with the partner)

  • New partnerships take precedence over former ones (even when during a marriage one parent starts another relationship and a child is born from this relationship, the thus newly founded family takes precedence over the earlier one).


Victims and perpetrators


At this point I also want to raise a subject that may be hard to digest.

There is another kind of belonging – the one between victims and perpetrators.

Family constellations show clearly that perpetrators are drawn to their victims just as victims are drawn to their perpetrators. The bond between them is stronger than the bond that holds them within their families of origin. Victims and perpetrators have to be reconciled – their relationship shows the futility of revenge. If we stay in the revenge energy later family members may become entangled.

 I would like to explain this point with an experience I had myself as representative in such a constellation. It was about a child that had died because of a medical error. After years the parents were still in the energy of revenge blaming the doctor for what had happened. They wanted the constellation because of a problem they had with their second daughter. So, I was representing the dead child and I can tell you honestly that there was not a sign of negative thoughts or feelings and not at all the energy of revenge. I wanted to tell my parents that I was ok where I was now, that it had been my fate to die so young, that they should stop to prosecute the doctor and instead of that take care of my sister who was showing them clearly that they had neglected her since my death. I think I do not have to tell how this changed completely the parents’ point of view and awareness for what had been going on.