Recently, I was watching a video about a first time meeting between a biological father and the daughter he did not know he had. After watching their heartwarming encounter, I was struck by how he acknowledged a new member of his family.

He used words to the effect of – I chose not to deny, dismiss, delete, ignore, or deflect but rather to explore, confirm, open up my arms, embrace and celebrate. I found those words especially meaningful give the work I do with family constellations and my own life experience.

In the world of constellations, exclusions include:

  • Individuals who died young or unexpectedly
  • Family members who remained in their country of origin, while others in their family moved away
  • Secrets that are not shared
  • Miscarriages that are not acknowledged

These exclusions may have impact in subsequent generations with:

  • Individuals who may want to follow the path of those who died young
  • Family division over disagreements
  • Illnesses that are included to represent an exclusion
  • People who cannot find their place in a community or organization

Exclusions also have an impact in organizations. Consider some examples and their consequences:

  • An employee is terminated suddenly and without explanation. Subsequent hires for that role never stay long.
  • A traumatic company event takes place. It is never discussed but other similar events continue to happen.
  • Layoffs target mainly older employees. Questions are raised externally about age-discrimination while internally that label is vehemently denied.

Ponder for a moment all the events, people, and circumstances in your life that you deny, dismiss, delete, ignore, or deflect. What would happen if you instead were to explore, confirm, open up to, embrace and celebrate them?

© 2018 Systems of Change, LLC