We cannot go forward without going back. Back means all the way to our family of origin. Sure we can convince ourselves that we’ve put our history behind us, but what’s really happening is that we’re not seeing history endlessly repeating. It just looks different. The issues you had with your father, for instance, are now manifesting with your husband, with your son with your boss. The ill-fit with you mother is playing out with ill-fitting friends, sisters, daughters. History will continue to repeat itself until we stop and start digging up our past.
Here’s the thing, we don’t go back to relive the pain or assign blame, we go back to understand it. That’s a huge and much more helpful distinction.