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Orders of Love

There is great love and great pain in every family. Bert Hellinger suggests that love can flow more freely in a family when the orders of love are respected. The orders of love are not to be viewed as absolute rules but as guidelines that come from thousands of years of human experience.

Thus it is a natural order that parents give and children receive. When children receive well they, in their time, can move on and give to their children in return. Sometimes it happens that a child has to “mind” its parents. A child often willingly does so. But in a general way this can prove too great a burden for the child. He/she is being asked to carry too much. We see the effects of this burden in families where there is addiction or violence. The child has to grow up too soon.

Everybody has a place in the family – no matter what! If someone is excluded unfairly it has a negative effect on the system. There was a time when a girl who got pregnant outside of marriage was sent away never to return. This broke the rule of belonging. We all have our rightful place. Nobody should be unfairly excluded.

There needs to be a balance of giving and taking for love to flow freely. First of all between partners it is important that each of their families of origin is respected. If one partner gives all of the time and receives very little it is difficult for the relationship to last. It is good for parents to give and for children to receive.

Those who come first into the system have priority over those who come later. When we were children we had a phrase in our family that said “Age is honourable”.

In family constellations we look at the hidden dynamics in the family system. We try to see what’s really happening.

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