Love is an invitation to travel to the past and back

Relationships help us to evolve, like a mirror shining a light back to us. Bert Hellinger used to say that "Life does not give you what you would like, but what is needed for you to evolve."


Patterns that originate in our childhood have the ability to sneak into our brand new relationship. If my mother was very sick, and I cared for her as a mother, I will probably feel attracted to a partner who is looking for a mother (he/she might have lost Mum as a child, and is still longing for her love). Now I am a mother to my partner. I bring my pattern to my new system. Repeating the pattern makes me feel that I still belong to my parents system. The same dynamic is true for my partner. Which might work for a while, until I feel frustrated and I blame my partner for not being a responsible adult. For behaving like a child.


Sometimes our relationship sends us back to an ancestral loyalty. If alcoholism has run for generations in my family, I may take the decision to never touch alcohol. Later, I might be unconsciously attracted by someone who is alcoholic. Every time my partner drinks, I feel closer to my ancestors.


So when we choose our partner, it is not only about love. There is a systemic force that impels us towards someone who will help us to complete a movement towards one of our parents. Or to heal something for our predecessors. And the same happens for them.


Through our relationship we reenact our childhood patterns. It is a call to revisit our childhood wounds. If we answer the call, we can look back as an adult and draw strength from our survival. Through our life, our ancestors are alive. We repeat their struggles and challenges… until we look at them with love, and then we feel the gratitude for passing life on to us and we honor their fate and let them be in peace.


A couple relationship is an invitation to travel. To travel to the past and back. It’s a call to do the work that it’s still unfinished with our family of origin. We can be grateful to our partner for keeping us close to our ancestors, for reminding us of old wounds we experienced with our parents. And for giving us the opportunity to catch up with our inner task to heal our pain and resentment towards our forebears.


When I take a closer look at the mirrors in my life, I realize that they speak more about me than I thought. We often choose a partner who connects us to someone or something in our family of origin. They are a wonderful catalyst for us to grow and to outgrow our inherited patterns. “Love is letting appear” says Humberto Maturana. Letting the unconscious appear. A relationship demands from us that we let our unconscious loyalties appear. That we acknowledge them and that we have the courage to do things differently from our ancestors. When we succeed, they all smile from a distance.




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