Do you constantly compare yourself to others and not feel good enough?
Do you secretly carry around a vague, unrelenting sense that there’s something wrong with you?
Do you often give guilt-ridden yes’s to requests to things you don’t want to do and find it to hard to say no?
Do you go out of your way to not rock the boat within your social circle?
Do you persistently feel guilty for wanting more than what you currently have?
These feelings haunted my everyday reality and while getting to the root of them has been my life story, what I discovered shocked me: these feelings have their roots in the pain related to how I was mothered
Empowerment Lies In Bringing The Darkness To Light
Being that Mother’s Day is around the corner I’m giving attention to this important topic because I believe it lies at the heart of true empowerment for women all over the world and has been the guiding impetus of my self care journey for the last two decades.
Healing My Mother Wound
It was in reading about the mother wound that first initiated me into a commitment to self care, as a teenager, when I read Gabrielle Roth’s book Maps to Ecstasy: Teachings of an Urban Shaman. I deeply resonated with her description of the mother wound and was moved to heed her calling to begin the journey of learning to mother myself in ernest.
Unsupported Mothers Raise Unsupported Children
I strongly believe that the state of our global human family today, has its roots in how children have been injured, by injured mothers. Just taking into account my small privileged taste of this in remembering my first year after giving birth, brings this point home for me.
Shame For Running On Empty
There were days my husband had to go to work, my family couldn’t stop by and so it was just me and my infant son in our home all day. I remember feeling so ashamed for the moments I experienced feelings of callousness towards his cries because I was so terribly sleep deprived. I fought the instinct to sleep and eat along with all the ridiculous thoughts that came from that, to tend to him as lovingly as I could.
Mothering In The Crucible Of Our Tragic Human History
What then of women who:
Find themselves in domestic violence situations?
Were born into slavery?
Are told they have no say on how many children they want to give birth to or who they want to father their children?
Have no access to an education?
Who raise their children in times of war, famine and natural disasters?
For countless generations the oppression and abuse of women has resulted in the interruption of this delicate and organic process of a mother caring for her child as she wishes. This I believe has resulted in the birth of entire societies that create their lives around anesthetizing themselves from the deeply painful, nebulous and primal hunger of being insufficiently mothered.
In this light, mothering as one feels called to, is an act of great courage considering the obstacles at hand.
That said, how do we heal this mothering wound and prevent it from being passed to future generations?
Self Care = Growing Our Inner Mother
The specifics of healing such a wound need to be customized to each person’s situation yet, it all lies under the general umbrella of self care, whether that means psychotherapy, music therapy, water therapy, support groups, a meditation practice, intuitive eating, journaling, yoga, body work etc.
At the heart of healing this is to begin the journey of listening to our needs and responding to them as any fully present and attentive mother would.
My journey in healing has been in learning to be my own mother and included many different tools at different times such as meditation, exercise, creating healthy food habits, chanting, counseling, journaling, workshops and support groups. Each person must find what works for them.
Have you recently become aware of your mother wound? What does that look like for you and most importantly, what actions have you been taking in moving towards healing?
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Sending you love, a reminder to take care of yourself and a big thank you for stopping by!