Heal Your Heritage
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Heal Your HeritageLetting go of negative history.
There are numerous case histories that suggest that the power of a belief can be “inherited” if it’s accepted and held by others. The studies show that beliefs can even be passed on from one generation to the next. If they’re positive and life affirming, the ability to perpetuate them for many generations is a good thing. If, on the other hand, they’re limiting and life denying, they can cut short the one experience that we cherish so deeply yet often take for granted: that of life itself.
All it takes is one person, however, in any generation to heal the limiting beliefs. In doing so, such an individual will have healed them not only for him- or herself, but also for countless generations to come . . . as the following example illustrates.
In the late 1970s, during the tremendous tension and uncertainty of the Cold War, I had just been hired by a large energy corporation to use their new state-of-the-art, high-speed, room-sized computers (miniaturization was still a few years away) to explore the ocean’s floor for undiscovered “wrinkles” and faults—indications of possible new energy sources. For both the nation in general and the corporate culture in which I found myself immersed, the last thing on anyone’s mind was the possibility that our beliefs could influence reality.
Within a few days of beginning my new job, I met a woman hired at about the same time. She would describe the situation of a life-and-death belief so powerful that she and her family accepted it as an “inherited” fact.
As new employees, we’d just completed the customary orientation process earlier in the day. The seemingly endless stream of presentations included a dizzying array of insurance policies and packages. Following the orientation, my new colleague and I found ourselves engaged in conversation about the policies with an intensity that surprised us both.
While I certainly agreed that it was a responsible thing for everyone to have the best insurance possible, after a full day of presentations, all of the packages began to look the same. I was ready to choose one and move on. I didn’t understand why my friend was so concerned about even the smallest details of precisely how the benefits actually worked—that is, until she shared her story.
“None of the men on my husband’s side of the family live beyond the age of 35,” she told me.
“Really?” I answered, probably looking as baffled as I sounded.
“Oh yeah,” she said. She’d obviously had this conversation before.
“There’s nothing we can do, you know. It’s all genetic. My husband’s grandfather died at the age of 35. His father died when he was 35. A couple of years ago, his brother died at 35. My husband is 33 now, and he’s next, so we have to plan now,” she explained.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. While I didn’t know my coworker’s husband, I learned that they’d known each other for a long time and had two beautiful children together. If she really expected that he’d follow the pattern of the men in his family, then her interest in the insurance suddenly made tremendous sense to me. She honestly felt that she’d be using it soon.
At the same time, a part of me just couldn’t accept the whole story. It’s not that I don’t feel that the kinds of things my co-worker was describing can happen. It’s just that I believe they don’t have to. The idea of being the victim of a limited life span because it runs in the family didn’t ring true for me. I couldn’t help but think that maybe their story could have another ending; perhaps something would change in their lives and her husband would be the first one to break the cycle that had plagued his family for as long as anyone could remember. Now that she’d told me about the “curse” and we were to work together, the door was open for the deep, often-emotional conversations that were to follow.
Although the research has shown an unmistakable correlation between our core beliefs and the health, vitality, and longevity of our bodies, it’s also easy to misinterpret this kind of connection. It’s all about the way that information is shared.
On the one hand, I believe that no one wakes up one morning and consciously chooses to manifest a physical condition that will bring pain into their life and suffering to their loved ones. On the other hand, I also know beyond any reasonable doubt that by changing a belief, we can renew the health and vitality of our bodies. The key is to find a way to share such miraculous possibilities without sounding judgmental or in any way suggesting that a life-threatening condition is someone’s “fault.”
And this is what I did my very best to offer my friend. Soon we found ourselves immersed in lunchtime conversations exploring the world as quantum possibilities and the power of belief to choose among them in life.
I can’t tell you for sure how this story ended, because I left the company a few years later. It’s been more than 20 years since I’ve spoken to my former office mate. What I can tell you with certainty, however, is this: By the time I did leave, my friend’s husband had reached, and passed, his 35th birthday. At the time of my farewell lunch, he was in good health and definitely alive! To his family’s surprise and relief, he’d broken what they saw as their family’s multigenerational “genetic curse.” Because he’d transcended the limits that others had held for him in their beliefs, he gave himself a reason to think of his life differently, as well as offering his family and friends grounds to do the same.
Sometimes that’s all it takes: one person doing the seemingly impossible in the presence of others. In witnessing the limits broken, they can then hold the new possibility in their minds, because they’ve personally experienced it.