Food Legacy Burdens

I work a lot with people who find they sometimes behave around food in some pretty strange ways.  And I can relate!  So did I.  One common behaviour is buying too much food and hoarding it.  With the cupboards stuffed full, you would think the feeling of fear that ‘there won’t be enough’ would lessen.  But somehow, this fear goes deeper than something a trip to Tesco can help relieve.

I believe that, for many of us, certain aspects of our issues with food don’t even belong to us.  What do I mean by this?  In Internal Family Systems Therapy we have a term: ‘Legacy Burdens’.  These are burdens we picked up from our parents, or even from our ancestors, through our blood-line.  Feelings and beliefs about food picked up during difficult times like wars and enforced rationing, or the deprivation of poverty, can sort of get ‘stuck’ if they haven’t been resolved by the generations that came before us.  They simply get passed down, and it may have fallen on us to do the important work of healing these burdens now.

If you are reading this, it is more than likely that you are lucky enough to have a computer or smart phone, and therefore undoubtedly access to enough food to survive.  It no longer makes sense to feel that there isn’t enough food… and yet a part of us may still hold this belief.

The burden of this belief can fuel over-eating – to help solve the problem – or under-eating – to repeat the problem and show it to us, so that it can be finally be solved.

There is so much hope.  When you are ready, legacy burdens can be released through a simple healing process.  Although we wouldn’t have chosen to have issues with food, it may well be that the healing path we now choose to engage in heals more than just ourselves.  It may well ripple out through time itself, healing both generations before us, and those to come.