by Dr. Alberto Villoldo: Just as we’ve inherited psychological wounds from our ancestors, we’ve also inherited many of their soul contracts…
The children of Holocaust survivors, for instance, often suffer deep depression that relates directly to an ancestral contract that’s limited their trust and hopefulness in the goodness of the world. Economic fear and a sense of scarcity can also be passed from generation to generation when even one member of a family has suffered through severe hardship, such as the Great Depression. And an inability to trust men can be passed on to a child when a mother is abandoned by her husband.
In such cases, as long as these agreements are in play, present generations get to spend their lives repaying a debt that they know nothing about. Even the Bible speaks of these intergenerational contracts when it teaches that it takes seven generations to repay the sins of the father.
I’d like to share an example of an ancestral contract within my own family. When my brother was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 47, I took him to see a renowned healer, who said, “I’m working on your luminous energy field. Within three days you’re going to have drainage coming out of the side of your head. Don’t take any x-rays, and don’t disturb this drainage for ten days.” Three days later, like clockwork, a small opening appeared in the side of my brother’s head (which was bald from chemotherapy), and a yellow fluid began to drain out. Nobody could tell what it was.
My father, who was always a skeptic, was quite disconcerted. He panicked and insisted that the doctor order an MRI scan to see what was going on. I begged them to wait out the period requested by the healer. Even the doctor said, “Wait another week—it’s not going to hurt you. Medicine can’t do anything for you anymore.”
Although my brother had exhausted all of his Western-medical options, my father’s concern won out. When the MRI was done, the drainage stopped—and my brother died two weeks later.
It’s true that my brother had to make a choice to reevaluate his soul contract that said, “If I disobey my father, he won’t love me.” But given his weakened state, he didn’t have the energy to do so, even though he’d been struggling his entire life to break free of this pledge. My brother ended up protecting his soul contract with his life because he didn’t want to betray or disappoint our father—it was easier to accept death than to change his beliefs.
Reluctantly, I had to accept my brother’s choice and help him as best I could, but I always felt that it didn’t have to end this way. Rewriting or tearing up a soul contract is a liberating force that allows us to develop open-ended belief systems that lead us to new life experiences and new agreements, possibly even saving our lives in the process.
Here’s a different example from one if my clients: Bonnie received a call out of the blue from a daughter she had been estranged from for a number of years. Doctors had found a lump in her breast, and she was scheduled for a biopsy. Rather surprisingly, it seemed that the young woman wanted her mother to be with her.
Bonnie called me to say that she’d been crying uncontrollably since speaking with her daughter. “It’s not sadness; I don’t know what it’s about,” she said. She was to accompany her daughter to the biopsy on Monday and had a grueling day of meetings at work afterwards, but was so overwhelmed with emotion she feared she would not be much good in either situation.
We met before the biopsy, and journeyed together. In the Chamber of Wounds, she found herself as a young mother living in a medieval cottage with her two babies. They were being terrorized by marauders who had knocked down one of the support beams of the house and trapped them under the fallen timbers. It was wintertime and the sun was setting—she knew they would all freeze to death. She was in terrible pain, but kept reassuring her little ones, “It’s okay. Mommy’s here.”
In the Chamber of Soul Contracts, Bonnie found herself asking God to take her children before she died so they could hear her comforting them. This soul contract (“Let my children die before I do”) was centuries old, but it was still in force. It was a terribly worded contract with horrifying results—but in times of crisis, we do the best we can.
Bonnie’s ancient soul contract was affecting her response to her daughter’s biopsy. During our soul retrieval, she was able to renegotiate this agreement, changing the wording to: “Let my children know that their mother will always be there to comfort them.”
My client stopped being emotionally shaken as soon as she understood the events that were causing her grief. She realized that she’d pushed her daughter away because she couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. Within days, the biopsy showed the lump in her daughter’s breast to be benign, and Bonnie’s relationship with her began to mend. This case shows how a soul contract can be carried from one lifetime to the next and activated by a crisis.
Next week we’ll journey to the Chamber of Contracts.