Yesterday was Mother’s Day in the US. How was the day for you?
Like the old saying goes: whatever we bring focus to in our lives expands. But when it comes to national holidays (or national events or big headlines in general), the focus of the collective is directed by forces that go way beyond our own personal will or preference. It’s a bit like wandering into a riptide and finding oneself at the other end of the beach without necessarily having intended to go there.
Rumi wrote: Love is our Mother. This rings deep and true, doesn’t it?
At a certain point in my own personal reckoning with the Mother Wound, I realized that the human mother assigned to us in this incarnation, while an incredibly important, foundational relationship, is not the only source of "mothering" available to us.
When we’re able to mentally and emotionally open to transcend our understanding of "Mother" as an energy, not a specific person, we can find examples of motherly support, love and healing all over the place in our lives. Starting within our very own Souls.
I made a special post on Instagram yesterday in honor of anyone out there who struggles with the Mother Wound. I’m sharing it here as well because I think it warrants repeating. When we’re able to connect the dots between the cause and effect of our suffering, it empowers us to stop blaming ourselves. We can contextualize our experiences in ways that often lead to deeper self compassion and ultimately self forgiveness - which is the key to all personal transformation.
So below is a reshare from my IG post @marywelchofficial yesterday of list of common “imprints” which are specific to the Mother Wound. You may recognize some within yourself or within someone close to you, whom you love. If you do, give a little extra kindness to yourself or to that person in your life who is carrying a heavy invisible burden. Witnessing and resonating are two of the most healing offerings we can extend to ourselves and to one another.
Common Imprints of the Mother Wound
Low self worth/self love:
"If you didn't love me properly, I must not be worth loving."
Lack of "mirroring" in childhood, which leads to chronic self doubt:
"Am I ok?", “Am I doing it right?", "Are you happy with me?" Never feeling sure we're doing it right makes us suspect we're doing it wrong.
Fear of intimacy:
If we didn't get to practice being well received, feeling deeply wanted and ACCEPTED, this can lead to conflictedness in adult relationships; the desire to connect and the fear it will hurt or fall apart.
Wobbly self confidence:
If we grew up without the steady presence of a parent believing in us, it's very difficult to believe in ourselves. Especially during big moments/transitions where we're trying something scary and new.
Struggles with food (nurturance):
Lack of proper mothering can feel like living off of empty calories. This feeling can manifest in our physical lives in the form of eating disorders. It's another way we internalize a feeling of not being worthy of what we need/crave most.
Self destructive behaviors and choices:
Sabotaging ourselves because we're afraid of betraying our mother by being more successful/healthy than she was able to be. Hurting ourselves as a demonstration of the emotional hurt we feel inside from growing up without the level of support, safety and love we longed for from our caretakers. Coming close to a goal and then wiping out because we don't believe we're allowed to actually succeed and thrive.
Difficulty forgiving, self and others:
If we grew up in an environment where forgiveness and kindness were often withheld, or we didn't get to experience the dance of making mistakes, being forgiven and resetting, this muscle will not kick in easily for us in adult life. We may find it "safer" to hold a grudge. even with our own selves. Because what is familiar feels safest of all.
Difficulty believing it's possible to authentically heal because of how deep the negative influence of the mother wound runs in us. The size of the pain seems to correlate with the impossibleness of the task. This is also compounded by the other deficits already mentioned - like low self worth or self confidence. The belief we can't handle the healing work our Souls call us to do.
This newsletter is a reminder for you today, regardless of where your experience may land on the spectrum of all things mothering/nurturing and self loving. We don't have to allow our wounds and heartbreaks to define us. We can find all sorts of creative and powerful ways to show up for ourselves. We can find inspiration and fulfillment along our paths. We can collaborate with Life, the Great Mother. She will show us the way.
Have a beautiful week and thank you, as always, for reading.