07 Oct “The Lies You Inherit”
“Did you know that your great-great-grandmother may have an influence on your behavior and decision-making without you even knowing?
Not only do we carry with us beliefs from our childhood, but we also inherit beliefs from our parents, grandparents, and up to seven generations back! How do you know what belief is yours, what belongs to a relative who died long ago, or stems from childhood trauma? Every belief determines your perception, and every perception determines your behavior. Learn to discover the beliefs that are not yours and find your Truth.
According to the article, “Fearful Memories Passed Down to Mouse Descendants,” found in Scientific American magazine, excerpted from Nature Magazine, Kerry Ressler, a neurobiologist and psychiatrist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, conducted a study to see how epigenetics impacts cycles of addiction and mental illness in people living in the inner cities.3 She discovered anecdotal evidence that suggests a transfer of risk from one generation to another and how difficult it is to break that cycle.
She and her colleague Brian Dian studied genetic inheritance using lab mice. They wanted to see if mice passed on a fear reaction to their grandpups. Their research revealed that genetic imprints from traumatic experiences carry through at least two generations. Certain fears can be inherited through the generations. A chemical scent was introduced to the mouse environment, and every time the mice smelled it, they received an electric shock until they associated the smell with the shock. Ressler and Dian discovered that the same reaction was then passed on to their pups, even though the pups were never shocked and only smelled the chemical. The third generation of pups—grandchildren of the original mice—also shuddered in fear without being shocked.
According to the New York Times article by Carl Zimmer, “The Famine Ended Seventy Years Ago, but Dutch Genes Still Bear Scars,” a study was conducted during WWII on pregnant women in the Netherlands during a time of famine and the impact it had on their children.
In September of 1944, the Dutch railway workers decided to strike, hoping it would stop Nazi troops from using the rails and helping the Allied forces. The Nazis decided to retaliate and block food supplies causing the country to experience a terrible famine. More than 20,000 people starved to death.
Referred to as the Dutch Hunger Winter, pregnant women and their children in utero during the famine were studied throughout their lives to see how they were impacted. As adults, these children were heavier than average, had higher cholesterol levels and experienced higher levels of obesity, diabetes and schizophrenia. Those in utero during the famine also died earlier than those who were born before or after the Dutch Hunger Winter. They experienced a 10 percent increase in mortality after the age of sixty-eight, according to Dr. Lumey.
While your cells share the same genes, some are active, and some are silent. They discovered that the program on how the DNA would be expressed is largely locked into place before birth. This is why we can have issues around food if a grandparent experienced a famine or scarcity if they lived through a depression. We all inherit these programs from our ancestors. Before you condemn your great-great-grandparent for your money issues, you also inherited their courage, strength and ability to be resilient during difficult times.
“As Americans, we are almost all immigrants or children of immigrants. It’s important to thank them and know that they were doing the best they could with what they had at the time. We may carry their pain in our DNA, but we also carry their gifts.
A study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on in children’s genes.5 According to this study, they discovered that genetic changes stemming from the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors were capable of being passed on to their children and subsequent generations.
The conclusion from a research team at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital led by Rachel Yehuda studied thirty-two Jewish men and women who had either been interned in a Nazi concentration camp, witnessed or experienced torture or who had had to hide during the second world war.
They compared the genes of their children, who are known to have an increased likelihood of stress disorders, with Jewish families who were living outside of Europe during the war. “The gene changes in the children could only be attributed to Holocaust exposure in the parents,” said Yehuda.
The idea is controversial; however, our genes are modified by our environment all the switching genes on and off. This switching impacts how the DNA is expressed in future generations.
Here is an example of a client of mine who is of Brazilian descent. Her family was part of a long line of indigenous healers or what many people refer to as medicine men and women. She had a natural ability to heal people, but for some reason, she had a deep belief that she would never be able to make a living as a healer. It haunted her because it was something that she longed to do, but something was blocking her. Because of her desire to help people, she worked in the pharmaceutical industry, but she was very unhappy. She longed to express her gifts and her passion of being a full-time healer.
We decided to do a guided meditation that would take her back through her subconscious mind and travel through her DNA to find out the root cause of her belief that she could never support herself as an herbalist or healer. During the guided meditation, she went back to an ancestor who was living in Brazil during the time that the Portuguese arrived.
The Portuguese were Catholic and didn’t believe in working with the local healers. They thought of them as witch doctors. They knew that the belief in these native healers ran deep, so they came up with the idea that if they were truly healers, then their abilities must come from God. Therefore, if gifts came from God, the indigenous healers should not be allowed to charge for healings.
In my client’s meditation, she watched her ancestors starve; they had no other way to support themselves. They had to stop doing their work full time, and slowly through the generations, they stopped working as healers. Even though she had the gifts and desires, the belief that she could not charge for her healing services was so strong that it kept her from her dream. During the guided meditation, when she saw her ancestor in so much pain, she could talk to her ancestor and offer her a healing.
Once her ancestor was healed, that energetically switched the DNA expression in my client, and she ended up quitting her job and going into the healing profession. Her DNA was not altered. Her beliefs altered the way her DNA is expressed.
I recently spoke to a man who spent most of his first forty years of life wanting to die. He spoke about how painful it was to not want to be on this earth anymore but had never personally experienced any real trauma. He said that he repeatedly attempted suicide and had no idea why. I asked him if any family members had experienced any trauma, and he mentioned that he was Jewish and that his father had survived the Holocaust. He told me how his father was a survivor of the German occupation of Western Belorussia. German SS created Ghettos and would go in and liquidate most of the inhabitants. Those who survived left the ghettos and survived as nomads in the Naliboki Forest for several years.
Can I prove that this was the reason my friend didn’t want to live from the time of his earliest memories until the age of forty? No. We may never know the reason. It is hard to explain why a young boy would come into this world in so much pain, attempting suicide for so many years of his life without any explanation as to why.
Have you thought about how to discover the Lies you have inherited from your ancestors? Start by looking at beliefs, behaviors, or physical symptoms that don’t seem to make sense to you or are patterns in your family. You and your family members just might be taking on a Lie from your great-great-grandparent. If you want to know more about epigenetics, one of my favorite books on the subject is Mark Wolynn’s book, It didn’t Start With You, which discusses how inherited family trauma shapes who we are and how to end the cycle. Don’t forget, inherited beliefs aren’t always bad. It took a lot of courage to leave a country, language, and culture behind to come to a new land. It took certain skills that were learned over many years that may have been handed down to you. We often think that inherited beliefs we take on are Lies, but leadership, courage, love or art, and music could have come from an ancestor, too, and those could be part of your Truth.”
Excerpt From: Lisa B. Schermerhorn. “In Every Belief is a Lie.”