Here’s a translation by the famous Bert Hellinger in which I’ve deliberately replaced the expression “black sheep” with “scapegoat.” I’m convinced that this expression was devoid of any racist connotations on the part of the author, but this correction is a representative example of how a scapegoat can upset the status quo.
“The So-called ‘scapegoat’ of the family are, in fact, seekers of liberation roads for the family tree. Those members of the tree who do not adapt to the rules or traditions of the family system, those who were constantly seeking to revolutionize beliefs, going in contrast to roads marked by family traditions, those criticized, tried and even rejected, those, by General, they are called to release the tree of repetitive stories that frustrate entire generations.
The ‘scapegoat’, those who do not adapt, those who scream rebel, repair, detoxify and create a new and blooming branch… countless unfulfilled desires, unfulfilled dreams, frustrated talents of our ancestors manifest themselves in their rebellion looking to take place .
The family tree, by inertia, will want to continue to maintain the castrating and toxic course of its trunk, which makes its task difficult and conflicting… that no one makes you doubt, take care of your ‘rarity’ as the most precious flower of Your Tree. You are the dream of all your ancestors” ~ Bert Hellinger
Like my parents, I’ve always felt like the scapegoat of the family, the one who says out loud what everyone else is thinking. The one who likes to bring to light the things that are left unsaid, the things that are hidden, the one who likes to dig for buried skeletons. It hurts to be considered a troublemaker or to feel rejected for being who you are.
But the time for burning at the stake is over, and the time has come for a good shake in the anthill to wake us from our collective amnesia, individualism, consumerism, and our lack of understanding of the world. The American dream, which has led us to believe that everything is owed to us, is a lure into which generations have sunk and has fostered the decadence that is leading us to our downfall. It’s a situation that imposes a burdensome task on my generation, and above all on those that follow, to awaken us from our unnatural, destructive, and individualistic lifestyles.
The planet’s resources are dwindling, conflicts are multiplying, the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, and the natural world is disappearing before our very eyes. We have reached the edge of a precipice that forces us to stop in our frantic race; a void that calls us to look back and face our history to understand the paths we have missed. A past that holds the countless treasures of our distant ancestors, essential for building a bridge to a more sustainable world.
This is where we, the rebels, the rebellious, the marginalized, and the scapegoats, are called! We are called to join forces to break toxic patterns, change trends, and weave a new world, beyond the personal and the familial.
While all healing work begins with oneself, true liberation work addresses the systemic and collective wounds that affect us all. A therapeutic approach that omits our self-destructive collective patterns and fails to recognize our rupture with the natural world as the root cause of humanity’s malaise misses the point. It keeps us separate, blind, and perpetuates the very patterns we hope to break.
We’ve lost our way, and until our species remembers where it came from and returns to its true nature, no form of well-being or harmony can be achieved. The real work of healing invites us to remember humanity’s place on Earth, to rekindle our connection to the Living and to our roots.