yesterday was the final day and graduation ceremony for an advanced family constellations training i've been participating in up in rhode island. this program taught me so much. . one major focus was the relationship between perpetrator and victim. this intimate bond is found all over family trees and these histories create all sorts of barriers for future generations. . over the course of this 6 month training, i was repeatedly pushed towards doing shadow work and reconciliation with the perpetrator within me. what do i mean by that? . well, to be a human living today means it's virtually a guarantee that your ancestry contains many of the 'winners' of war, oppression, sexual exploitation and all forms of trauma and perpetration. . for example, if you have deep roots in america, you're intertwined with perpetration against native americans. if you're a descendant of slaves in america, it's very likely you also have the genes of one or more slave owners in your bones as well. move outward from the history of america and similar stories emerge all over the globe. . in reality, no one can map their history back without running into direct connections to perpetration. . so what does that mean? that means we are actually deluding ourselves if we attempt to claim complete innocence. this is part of why we get into so much trouble when we get glued to a victim identity. . ever notice how individuals or groups of people who have hardened identities of victimhood act in selfish and dangerous ways? instead of being allies to victims, they tend to put their victimhood above everyone else and can actually pose a threat to the communities and families they belong to. . it's actually the people who have gone through victimization and found some form of self empowerment that have the capacity to help others. . i'm thankful for this training because it's gifted me with the deep understanding that when a person has been victimized, the movement toward healing is so much more nuanced than any process that simply reinforces the idea that perpetrators are evil and victims are innocent.