Anger and Generational Imprints

One of the more common generational imprints I’ve seen within my practice are those in which Rage is passed down generation to generation.  Most of us understand that anger in itself is not a “negative” emotion, although most of us are uncomfortable expressing that emotion.  We’ve all had anger directed at us that when expressed has been done in such a way that causes damage all around.
            Anger can be a force for good.  Most reform happens because someone and then a critical mass of people have become angry enough to stand up for themselves and enact change.  In fact, I tell my empathic clients not to be afraid of their anger for it is usually a signal that they have let their boundaries and limits be overrun by someone else.  Then we break down the incident so the empath can learn where her limits are so she does not have to become angry in similar situations.
            In this way, Anger can be seen as a survival mechanism.  It can be very protective and helpful.  However, when we are enraged, that is usually because we have old bottled up anger that is ready to explode and wipe out everyone around us.  If this anger is generational, then not only do we have our own old anger, we have our ancestors’ anger, too.  This sort of rage can be very hard to control, and we may need help understanding it, or we may need to understand why it became a part of the family contracts so we can rewrite those contracts in a way that serves us better.
            There is usually some hidden benefit to becoming that angry.  The benefit may be that it keeps us from being totally overwhelmed by life circumstances.  It may be that it prevents us from dealing with grief or sadness that underlies the original anger.  In my own life, I have a very strong anger streak that runs through my father’s side of the family.  We even call it the Moran family anger.  My great uncle, with humor and chagrin, told stories of how his aunts met in wagons at intersections out in Minnesota, and yelled, screamed, and insulted each other on the weekends.  My great aunt, this great uncle’s wife, told stories of him throwing food around the kitchen when he wasn’t satisfied with his dinner, and she also told stories of my grandmother angrily cutting off family members for tiny slights.  This was hard to picture, visiting their calm and tidy house with my great uncle’s beautiful garden during the holidays, but I had seen my own father, normally quiet and introverted, fly into similar rages.
            Needless to say, I was terrified of my own anger and that I, too, had inherited this curse.  I saw it play out with my father and my mother, and I did not want to have those outbursts myself.  But I did anway.  It took great practice to label my anger as my own responsiblity.  Each time I tried to say that that person “made” me angry, I had to very firmly take responsibility for my anger back to myself.  I had to ask myself, where did I allow my limit to be crossed?  Did I know my limits?  Was I inviting someone to fail so I could take a stab at them later?  Did they know what my expecations were, or was I expecting them to read my mind?
            I also journeyed to take a look at what the benefit for my family was in holding all this anger.  There was a strong sense of justice that came along with it—that ancestors had been wronged in the past.  The anger gave them the strength to survive.  I had Irish ancestors that weren’t well treated, and then later I had French Canadian and Native American ancestors that had continued that pattern.  But, the gift was clear—anger led to a sense of strength and endurance, and it also led to a sense of justice and fairness when it was not twisted into victimhood and blame.
            So, in understanding the benefits of the generational imprint, I was able to honor the gifts my angry ancestors had given me, and discard all the rest.  It is still a practice to honor my anger, and express it without insult and on time when it does arise, so it doesn’t blow into rages.
            If you are suffering from unresolved rage, it might be generational.  It probably is if as a child you had an angry parent.  Soul Retrieval and Extraction Work will probably help a great deal.  Becoming conscious of the benefit of the anger will also help.  But ultimately, taking responsiblity for the anger, owning it completely, reminding ourselves that we are the ones responsible for our anger and our expressions of it puts the power directly in our hands. 
            As we practice taking responsibility for our anger, at first we will discover to our horror how much damage we have done to the people around us.  We have probably been holding our loved ones hostage if we have been blaming them for our anger.  They might have stopped speaking to us their real needs, thinking that all they will invite is an angry outburst.  They probably have their own resentments brewing since they do not feel safe enough to express them to us.  Or, they might have left entirely just to get away from the constant sense of danger.  They could also be so beaten down and victimized by our anger that they have given up entirely and tip toe around us, and then we may be angry at them for being so weak and cowardly.
            The practice is, whenever we become angry, to step back and ask ourselves, where did this come from?  It is perfectly OK to say to the person with us, “I am so angry right now, I don’t know what to do!”  Refrain from blaming (i.e. You are making me angry!)  If we need to leave because we know we are about to fly out of control, we can tell that to our companion, and go for a breath of air or leave the room.  Then, we can look at what limit has been reached.  What happened to trigger the anger?  Is there a need that can be met?  Is this old anger, or is it really something new?
            With practice, we can move into conscious competence of this powerful emotion.  We no longer have to be frightened of the anger that lies within us, but can use it for self-discovery and personal power.

This entry was posted in Boundaries, Emotions, Empathy, Energy Healing, Generational Imprints, Relationships, Soul Retrieval. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Anger and Generational Imprints

  1. Julie Plenty says:

    Hi Elaine

    Something just occurred to me. How do you detach without numbing yourself? Because that feels like a real issue for a lot of empaths.

  2. Administrator says:

    Hi Julie,

    Great question!! There’s a big difference between detachment and numbing ourselves. Numbing ourselves I associate with repressing feelings or dissociating, which is never healthy. Detachment is holding two perceptual states at once—looking out through our 2nd chakras, which are very emotionally driven, versus looking out through our 6th chakra, which in simplified terms, we can think of as the observer. When we are locked into that 2nd chakra (jaguar in shamanic terms) state, we tend to emotionally react. If we can check into that Eagle state, we can usually see the soul’s perspective of what is going on, while still feeling everything.

    This is a big practice, switching between the two. I find it very helpful to watch myself closely with what triggers my emotional responses. I still have all my emotional reactions, but I give myself time to choose how I want to react in any situation.

    Hope that helps answer your question!

  3. Julie Plenty says:


    Thank you. Now you write about it, it reminds me of the difference between “clean” and “dirty” anger. And I ALWAYS know the difference. The clean anger is about anger in that moment and it has an ease and clarity and “rightness” of using that mode of expression and there’s a real sense of release, relief and resolution (the alternative 3Rs!) about it. The dirty anger feels quite different, as if it belongs somewhere else because the root cause of the anger hasn’t been quite recognized and after the outburst it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth because it hasn’t been resolved.

    Today I had an argument with my mother. I haven’t had a good argument with her for a while,, but what happens as I approach my period is that stuff comes up for clearing. Yesterday, I also had a steam and massage and slept really well and that released a whole load of toxins, lots of tears before the angry outburst, over something “innocuous” to my mother, but very explosive to me.

    I was also angry at my deceased father, who had a real anger problem (and angry at my mother for marrying him!) He was very quiet and introverted and brooded for ages before this explosive temper which scared the hell out of a sensitive child like me.

    I was always a little scared of him, vigilant and not really close to him. Actually I just feel angry and disappointed and resentful at him. My mother then said “oh God, don’t act like your father on me”, which echoes what you said in your posting about not wanting to take on the anger of the angry parent really resonated with me.

    She also said that I wasn’t right emotionally or mentally (she’s said that before), but it didn’t effect me the way it used to.

    And I can see that part of me in my father, the so called inability or fear to express my emotions (my mother thinks that sensitive people are “weak”, despite the fact my father, brother and I are all sensitive people), although she’s’ never had any difficulty with expressing her emotions, grumbling and muttering all of time, which is incredibly draining to be around (and I’ve said so).

    It’s hard to come to a resolution about. I guess deep down that I don’t want to own this anger. What also came up is that I really want to transform this angry energy, but am finding different channels of doing so blocked at the moment. Maybe they’ll become clearer once the anger and resentments have been cleared. Because I haven’t felt truly alive for ages.

    So I went to the gym for a Pilates class and another steam, noticed that a house (we’re looking to move) that we wanted to move to is now under offer and we’re having difficulty selling our house because of something my father did to the house years ago. And I can feel my anger at him again coming through me.

    I can feel all of this energy coursing through me and I can’t seem work all of it off, there’s also the not inconsequential matter of never feeling accepted for who I am around family and feeling blocked (although I’ve made great strides in the past year in this, it feels as if I’ve got a long way to go). I find it hard to stay still because then I start to cry, which is a good release, unfortunately I then have my mother being the Grand Inquisitor; it feels as though my feelings are not my own and that they’ll be judged, yet again.

    In other words, I found your article highly enlightening and good to know that I’m not alone!

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