How Healing Generational Trauma Can Take You From Surviving To Truly Thriving

Is there a part of you that feels painful or incomplete?

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I just returned home from leading a healing retreat in Sedona, Arizona. It got me thinking a lot about generational trauma and what healing generational trauma really entails. 

While I was traveling, a baby quail hatched just outside my home. While unpacking, I observed the parent quail teaching each fluffy little bird about the world.

I wondered if the lessons are focused only on survival. My thoughts expanded.


How often do we, humans, practice sharing only survival tips because of past ancestral experiences?

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Is it possible to shift our approach in life, from survival focus to flourishing focus, by healing generational trauma?

Generational trauma can happen when a traumatic event of our ancestors affects the following generations.


A great example is the Great Depression.

Many of the survivors of this very challenging time raised their children through poverty and scarcity. The Great Depression was a collective experience that was felt by many generations.

Individual traumas might be losing a loved one, experiencing a significant illness, or surviving physical or emotional abuse. A person’s reaction to these challenges, if not healed, can be passed along to other generations.

If you have inherited generational trauma you may have a general lack of trust in the world. You may even find yourself anticipating the worst.

Some victims of generation trauma suffer from poor self-image or low self-esteem.


Generational trauma can cause anxiety.

You may even feel hopeless because the past generation’s wound did not heal. The previous generation passed on the feeling of hopelessness.

Do you feel like you need to run for safety or fight to protect yourself? This is the fight-or-flight response, and a past generation might have experienced a very traumatic time of flight-or-fight, passing their trauma on to you.

A previous generation may also have suffered physical pain from trauma.

In return, they taught you that everyone will suffer painful experiences in life. This might show up in the form of a backache, digestive issues, heartache, bad relationships — the list is endless.


RELATED: What Is Past Life Traumatic Stress Disorder + Signs You Have Unhealed Emotional Wounds

Is there a part of you that feels painful or incomplete?

Can you determine what story your pain is connected to? Did a parent or grandparent experience a painful tragedy?

Was the story shared in the words they use? Have you been raised to expect that pain to show up in your life?

Figure out what story is showing up in your life. This can be an individual’s story or a collective experience.

Once you determine whose story you are living, send love to the origin of the pain.

Visualize the pain and suffering connected to that event being released. See the story as having a clear and positive ending. Resolve the issues in the story.


As you let go of the story, allow your thoughts to clear and allow yourself to heal.

See yourself as healed. This healing may be instant or it may take many prayers and meditation sessions, but everyone can be healed.

At the Sedona retreat, several people discovered that they were carrying the unhealed energy from previous generations.

These women located the origin of pain in their emotions and beliefs. They followed the trail to the person that it began with.


Collectively, we held space for them to release pain and discover new forms of themselves. 

RELATED: How To Overcome Past Trauma So It Doesn't Destroy Your Current Relationship

Polly Wirum is an intuitive, life coach, and writer. If you are ready to discover more about your deepest self, contact her for an intuitive astrological reading, psychic reading, or spiritual life coaching.