Family Trait Map: Understanding Effects on Your Spiritual Imprint

Families have traits that are passed down from generation to generation, affecting your spiritual imprint. Wanting to see how my relatives’ traits affected my spiritual imprint,I turned to my much-loved, unlined journal to map out my family traits.

Steps to Make a Family Trait Map:

  1. List yourself and two or three traits you believe best describe you. Some example traits are: strong, responsible, creative, giving, generous, angry, sad, abused, dominant, loving,

Note: If you don’t know a relative well but know their reputation within the family, list those traits. If they predeceased you or died when you were young, use their cause of death as one of the traits. This works well since physical ailments translate into traits (cancer = anger or unresolved issues, abuse = fear, heart disease = family or love issues, etc.).

  1. List your siblings and their two descriptive traits.
  2. Add your parents, grandparents, spouse, children and their traits.
  3. If you had or have exposure to them, add aunts, uncles, cousins, step-relations, etc. and their two or three traits.

Note: You don’t have to list everyone. I found it helpful to list only a couple of my more distant relations, especially if they had common, repeating traits. You can capture the repeating traits without having to build a cumbersome family tree.

  1. Sort the traits that repeat into two categories: traits to keep and traits to discard. Add non-repeating traits if they significantly affected you. (Examples of these might be abuse or alcoholism on the negative side, and nurturing, business-minded, or philanthropic on the positive side.)
  2. Redraw your Family Trait Map in color. For my Family Trait Map, I used red for the traits I most wanted to discard and purple (my favorite color) for those I most wanted to emulate. The addition of color makes it easy to map a trait to a specific person or persons.

Family_Trait_Map

Example Family Trait Map

Once your map is drawn, repetitive traits disclose what is being passed from generation to generation; the patterns are clear. If a person has a trait you admire, try putting forth the effort to spend more time with them or include the admired trait in your life some other way. If they have a trait you do not want, you may want to limit your time with them, guard yourself from allowing their negative traits to have an effect on you, or break ties with them completely. Whatever you decide, you have the power to choose what traits to keep and which not to perpetuate.

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