March 9, 2016

DSCN3285Context – noun: the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

Context makes all the difference in how we view something or someone. A word, a phrase, a picture taken out of context can drastically change the experience of the one listening or viewing.

Soon I will be giving a workshop titled “Our Mother, Our Father and Us”. In the flier I say that this is an opportunity to see these key relationships from a different perspective.

In the years I have been involved in Family and Systems Constellation work one of the ways in which I see its healing affect is that it can provide an expanded context.

In my family of origin I am an only child. My father was an only child and my mother the youngest of five. Within a year of my birth both my maternal grandparents died, my mother’s oldest brother died as did my paternal grandmother.

Growing up in a time when air travel was an expensive luxury the way we traveled from California to the Midwest to visit relatives was by car.  Visits were few and far between.

Neither of my parents talked much about their circumstances growing up and both had passed on before I thought to ask. It is only recently that I realized that not seeing my parents in interactions with their families, not asking about their lives in a way kept me from having a context for who they were as people.

In the Constellation work we look to the greater landscape of a life for context

  • When someone was born
  • Where they were born
  • Who went to war
  • Who emigrated to another country
  • Who lost parents or siblings early in life
  • What were the economic circumstances

The list could go on.

When we take that one step back. When we breathe into another time for context there can be a softening of the present moment that may allow the next moment to be lived with a new sense of freedom.