The Root Chakra and Your Family of Origin

An Excerpt from Becoming an Empowered Empath by Wendy DeRosa

While empathy is a wonderful trait to have, it’s also possible to have too much of a good thing.  Unless they have strong boundaries, extremely empathic individuals, or empaths, often end up feeling overwhelmed, disconnected from self, and overly emotional as a result of taking on the negative energy of others.

In Becoming an Empowered Empath: How to Clear Energy, Set Boundaries & Embody Your Intuition  (New World Library, March 30, 2021), Wendy DeRosa, a preeminent and pioneering expert on this subject, helps readers understand their empathetic nature and offers the practical tools they need to restore their energetic boundaries, honor their intuitive gifts, and fully express their personal power. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.

As a Soul, you are light. You go in and out of lifetimes, and in each lifetime you create and absolve karma. You overcome something. You grow and evolve. From a state of expanded consciousness, you were born into the human experience to do this.

The root, or first, chakra is located in the tailbone area of your body. It is the power center that holds the consciousness of our safety, survival, and attachment to our material existence. The root chakra is the doorway to your ability to ground your energy into the earth and represents the earth element in your body. It governs your physical health; physical structures, such as your bones; your central nervous system; and your home life, which includes both your physical home and a sense of belonging or attachment to this world. It also governs innate love, often experienced as fullness and abundance, and attachment to your family of origin or chosen family.

This is the power center that houses deeply subconscious programming and information about your patterns, belief systems, and how you are going to operate in this world. Much of the energy held in the root chakra is part of your hard wiring, formed from the time you’re in utero until the age of seven.

For empaths, it is crucial to understand the consciousness that’s held at the root chakra. It is the foundation for your entire energy system, the patterns you repeat, and what you are holding on a subconscious level. That consciousness affects your ability to be connected to yourself deeply and to have strong, clear boundaries.

We are going to take a journey into the root chakra consciousness to unpack what is held in this region of the body.

Before birth, we incarnate in the womb. Because we are sentient beings who feel energy and operate through feeling, our empathic intuition is the first sense that forms. In the womb, our bodily systems and senses begin developing after the empathic sense is already established. We are not able to see, but we can hear somewhat as the ears form. While we’re in the womb, the instinctual and sentient aspect of life is the primary state of being. With that comes a sensing of emotions as vibrations from our mother, father, family, and their history of beliefs and feelings.

Love and feeling wanted at deep levels are a primary form of bonding for an empathic or sensitive child, even while still in utero. Despite whatever emotions the mother experiences during pregnancy, the deeper bond of love for her child creates an attachment. After being born the empathic intuitive can feel what they have absorbed in the womb. If being unwanted is the deeper feeling here, this energy also forms part of a child’s attachment in the world.

When we are born, we meet our family of origin or our adoptive family. We’re awake in the world. In that experience, the empathic intuitive or sensitive child feels what is going on around them in a newfound, expanded space: being held, loved, fed, cleaned, and so on. Survival programming forms from how well we are attached to our family and feel the bonding. This attachment includes how we receive love, how safe we feel, whether there is peace, et cetera.

As we grow from infant to toddler to adolescent, we orient ourselves in our environment. We become attuned to our familial and cultural beliefs, whether they are spoken or enacted. If I am a sensitive child, I take that information in and bond to my family accordingly. As I internalize these beliefs, they become the beliefs I hold about myself. This is the foundation from which I will begin developing my belief systems.

In this environment, very sensitive beings can feel so much. The consciousness during a particular era influences familial and cultural beliefs. For example, fifty years ago, virtually no one was talking about how to nurture an intuitive child. Instead, parents were typically operating from beliefs and attitudes rooted in survival, social norms, and order, such as:

Children are to be seen, not heard.
We keep quiet in this house.
Don’t make noise.
It’s not okay to have feelings.
Don’t trust anyone.

These beliefs become part of the energy we marinate in as sensitive beings outside the womb. People in the household having beliefs and feelings is not unusual. What affects the sensitive child, though, is when an adult does not provide repair from trauma or upset, permission to be, or the sense of safety that comes from the child understanding that their feelings are warranted and true.

The child begins to lose a sense of belonging with the world — not always in the family, but in themselves. The energetic imprint is that the child, to survive, closes down to themselves in order to feel everyone else’s energy around them. The loss of connection to self and to a sense of belonging is deeply subconscious in the root chakra. It innately forms the beginning of the overly empathic experience that we will be unpacking in this book.

To be an empowered empath, you must reclaim the power that exists in your root chakra. No longer are you a victim to the universe and to energy around you. The protection mechanisms you developed in childhood kept you safe and were appropriate for the time in life when you were vulnerable. Thank those protection mechanisms! Thank the disassociation, thank the fight-or-flight response, thank the pattern of overeating or whatever other repetitive pattern you adopted. These coping mechanisms were helping you during a time when you lacked power and love in your root chakra. As a spiritually progressing Soul in a human body who is on this earth to continuously grow and evolve, you are safe now, and it’s absolutely okay for you to take back your power on behalf of your inner child.

Wendy De Rosa is the author of Becoming an Empowered Empath. The founder of The School of Intuitive Studies, she has been helping people develop intuition and experience personal transformation for over two decades. Visit her online at

Excerpted from the book from Becoming an Empowered Empath. Copyright ©2021 by Wendy De Rosa. Printed with permission from New World Library.