You may be passing down your fearful memories to your children without even telling them. At least that's what a recent study by two neurobiologists at Emory University is hypothesizing. Their findings are detailed in a recent article in Scientific American. They studied epigenetic inheritance in laboratory mice trained to fear the smell of the chemical acetophenone. They found that their children and grandchildren also feared the smell of the chemical even though they were not conditioned to fear it themselves. While humans were not studied, they suggest that a parent’s anxiety could influence later generations through epigenetic modifications to receptors for stress hormones. This is exciting new research that pertains to love and relationships!
More inspiration on dealing with a traumatic past:
- Watch Harville Hendrix, founder of Imago Therapy, take a man through Hell and back
- Imago therapy transformed our own marriage!
- More than just a communication technique, Imago is deeply healing
- Did you marry your Imago?
What does this mean for us? Regardless of how conclusive the research is, it reminds us that if we don't get our "house" in order, we will pass it on as an inheritance in our DNA. Let's work on becoming conscious of our own issues (for us and the next generation!) and achieve personal growth and healing.
What can you do if you know you were "passed down" some intense negativity? Does this new research on love and relationships mean that you are destined to fail?
Despite this new research on love and relationships saying that we genetically pass down trauma or strong emotional reactions to our offspring, even if those reactions didn't wind up in your DNA, you are still probably influenced by your parents views.
Let's say your parents had a negative view about money.
Did you hear them talk disparagingly about people who were successful?
Has that affected you in your career pursuits?
Have you held yourself back from advancing because you have a judgement about successful people?
Of course a more mature view would realize that there are many positive things that you can do with money besides spending it on frivolous items and fancy cars. You can support your family, give charity, and make the world a better place.
As with most things in life, any neutral object can be used both for good and for bad.
Begin to notice some of the messages that you received growing up and how that may be limiting your progress as a mature adult.
While you may be predisposed by nurture AND nature, we all have free will to choose how we act. Even if you are predisposed to view the world through a certain lens, we have free choice to determine our behavior and we can even work on changing our thoughts and feelings by seeing things from a more emotionally mature and conscious adult perspective.
When we are influenced by the strong emotional reactions of our parents towards a particular issues, we do not approach the topic as neutral, leading us often to self-sabotage and limiting beliefs that hold us back. The goal is to get to a place of neutrality about the issues, so that we can make a rational choice of how to proceed.
If you would like to learn how to fix the "traumatized" relationship that you may be in or even learn how to deal with the painful childhood experiences that you've experienced, please contact us here.
Be in touch,
Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin