Bert Hellinger came up with the concept of “orders of love”. He suggests that love can flow more freely in a family when the orders of love are respected. These are certain laws that can be applied to a family system. Why love needs orders? Why love is not enough for relationships to succeed? I am talking here not only about a man-woman relationship but also about the parent-child relationship. What are the so-called orders of love, and what happens when you don’t abide by them?
1. Why love alone is not enough
If love were enough, we wouldn’t be having millions of couples having a difficult relationship, despite loving each other. People who have the most problems are people who love. So what is the cause of these problems? Sure, not love alone. As always, there is more to it. There exist orders of love, which help us to see our blockages and traumas locked in the body.
2. Every family is a system
We are born to a pre-existing order. Every family is a system. Inside the system, there are those, who came first and those, who came later. We are born into a system, a certain constellation. Some of us have an alcoholic father whereas others a dominant mother. Our environment when we grow up is unique. That’s why there are never two exactly the same people on this planet. A constellation determines who we are and what initial thought programs we have imputed into our minds.
Every system has some laws. Take nature. There is:
These are the laws of physics. Bert Hellinger discovered the laws of the soul. Although they are invisible, their consequences show what happens when you break such a law. Orders of love show how love can succeed, and they explain why the feeling of love is not enough to create a happy and successful relationship.
3. Orders of love – the law of precedence
Do you remember movies or books about indigenous people? The elderly in the tribe were always respected and they were the ones making key decisions for the tribe. They were the most experienced. They had something the youth lacks – life experience and knowledge coming out of it.
In the family, there are some who are higher and come first, and others who are lower and come after them.
Those who came first should be respected by those who came later. Example: every child should respect his or her parents. Actually, the fourth commandment in the Bible says the same. When you respect your parents, regardless of what they did, you respect yourself.
When you violate this order of love and you disrespect and hate your mother or father, at the same time you disrespect yourself. It is your parents that created you and your body. You come literally from their body (DNA) and soul. They are a part (and quite a big part!) of you.
This law is called the law of hierarchy or precedence. What happens when you disrespect this law? Let’s take an example.
What happens in a couple relationship when a woman pays more attention to her child than to her partner?
Her partner feels unseen and he backs off. Many women do this mistake. They forget about the husband as soon as they have a baby. They focus totally on the baby and baby’s needs forgetting about the husband, sex, themselves… Can such a relationship be successful? No. When a child takes over the role of the partner we deal with the breach of the hierarchy law. A couple relationship can only succeed when both man and woman are at the same eye level. With no child playing the partner role and taking the partner’s place in the family.
This law is about respect and giving place to those who came to this world before us.
The parents come first and then the children. An older brother or sister comes before his/her younger siblings. A first wife comes before a second. Each person is considered in their chronological appearance within the family system.