“ We delude ourselves when we believe we can make our lives go exactly as we plan.  Too often, our intentions are at odds with our actions”.

“ Everything that happens to us has merit, whether we recognize the surface significance of it or not. Everything in our lives ultimately leads us somewhere”

“ To heal, our pacing must be in tune. If we arrive too quickly at an image, it might not take root.  If the words that comfort us arrive too early, we might not be ready to take them in. If the words aren’t precise, we might not hear them or resonate with them at all.”

These are a few passages that resonated with me from It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are And How To End the Cycle by Mark Wolynn. The book is interesting and thought provoking. Mark Wolynn is the director and founder of the Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco. 

The premise of the book claims that trauma passes in between generations (transgenerational trauma) by epigenetics.  Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression without alterations in the sequence of the DNA.  To learn more about the process of epigenetic inheritance in relation to trauma, scientists have referred to animal studies, which demonstrate promising results.  Scientists are hoping to illustrate similar results in human studies across multiple generations.

The book mostly focuses on the stories and the experiences of individuals with whom the author interacted. The later chapters are more of a self-help guide with exercises geared to examine your core language map.  The core language map consists of four steps: 1). The core complaint  2). The core descriptors 3). The core sentence 4). The core trauma.

Even though the science was young and premature at time of the book’s publication, the stories and experiences of individuals the author worked with, gives you pause.  It made me wonder if the author stumbled on a legitimate scientific theory or a compilation of personal experiences?

This book is not for everyone.  I would recommend this book to people who are interested in learning more about their own story or curious about their family history and how that history relates to them.  I definitely, would not read this book again, but I did gain few insights.

I will leave you with this passage:

“ What I failed to realize at the time is that when we try to resist feeling something painful, we often protract the very pain we’re trying to avoid.  Doing so is a prescription for continued suffering.  There’s also something about the action of searching that blocks us from what we seek.  The constant looking outside of ourselves can keep us from knowing when we hit the target.  Something valuable can be going on inside us, but if we’re not tuning in, we can miss it”.

Interested in this book? Click here to buy it on Amazon or find it at a book store near you!