The Orders of Love

“To gain insight into the Orders of Love is wisdom. To follow them in humility”. Bert Hellinger

In ‘Rising in Love’ Bert Hellinger refers to these Orders of Love as given conditions in human relationships. 

When the Orders of Love are not in order it is difficult for love to flow through the family system. Individuals get caught up in entanglements. With the personal conscience, it is done from a place of love and instinct.  The Collective Conscience (also referred to as the Systemic Conscience) creates the entanglements blindly, yet it is done for the good of all.

When the entanglements are removed and the Orders of Love are in their proper place, love can flow.


The first order of love is that everyone has the right to belong to the family system.  Anyone who is not included is considered to be excluded.  The exclusion could be from shame, fear, for protection, by force, to prevent pain in the remembering of that person, because it was felt that there was no other option.

For example, from a place of pain – not speaking of a stillborn child because it’s too painful. Or from a place of protection – a mother excluding a father who may have abused a child. The mother feels innocence because she is protecting the child. 

Who is in the family system? 

Your parents, your siblings – those born and unborn, all of those known and unknown.  Those born would include children given up for adoption.  Half siblings belong too.  (In my family system, the unknown are the siblings born of the sperm that my father donated when he was a student. )

Those unborn include aborted, miscarried and stillborn babies. Twins present for part of a pregnancy are also included. 

Any significant partners that your parents had before they met are included.  As well as any partners that may follow your parent’s meeting – especially if you have a half-sibling as a result of that meeting.  

Your aunts and uncles, your parent’s siblings, belong – including all of those born and unborn.  

Your grandparents belong.  And any significant partners that they had too.  

A family member who commits suicide belongs.

When you marry your partner belongs, and any significant partner of yours and his.  Your children belong – born and unborn.

If any member of this family was a victim – then their perpetrator belongs.  And if any of these family members was a perpetrator – then their victims belong too. This victim/perpetrator includes murder and large financial fraud.  Any situation where there was a significant unjust loss or gain.

As a facilitator, I take into my heart all of those that are excluded. 


When I first heard of this second Order of Love it was referred to as Hierarchy. Coming from a corporate environment this puzzled me until I understood that it is the hierarchy of birth.  

Simply put, those that were born first, come first in the hierarchy or order.  So your grandparents come before your parents, and you come after your parents.  

You come in the order of your conception as ‘Order’ takes into account ‘Belonging’ in the family system. If your mother had a miscarriage or abortion before you were born – those unborn children come before you.  So the so-called eldest child may be the 2nd or 3rd child if there were unborn children before the eldest living child.

The previous partner comes before the next partner – be it a husband, wife, life partner or meaningful relationship.  It does not matter how the relationship came to an end. This order requires that the next (later) partner recognise the previous partner had a place. Those previous partners had precedence, but the current partner has priority. 

When I work with a client, I am the last and the smallest.  This is why the facilitator sits on the left of the client.  


The third Order of Love is Balance.  It refers to giving and taking.  This order appealed to me as ‘Anyi’, or reciprocity is one of the fundamental laws of the Sacred Andean Tradition.  That we need to be able to both give and receive.  

When it comes to parents and children.  The parents give and the children take.  This taking is not only about taking what is needed for one’s survival. It’s also about taking or accepting one’s parents as they are – with the good, the bad and the ugly of growing up to become an adult with your parents as they were.  Knowing that they were doing their best with what they knew and with what they carried for their family system.

One day when the children become adults and have a family of their own, they will give to their children.  And if they do not have children they will find some other way of giving what they received from their parents.

The same applies to teachers and students – the teacher gives and the student receives.

In relationships – one partner gives and the other gives back a little more.  So the balance in the giving and receiving is maintained.  

A disorder happens when one partner keeps giving and the other is not able to give in return or receive. This relationship may come to an end.

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