The “mother wound”. It’s kind of taboo to even write that let alone admit that it resonates. Because the bond between a woman and her mother is often considered sacrosanct – too important to be interfered with. But it is precisely because it is so important that it must be interfered with. Or at least looked at, to see whether it is allowing both parties to live lives according to their fullest potential or whether it is holding both parties back in an unconscious contract that requires them to hide their light and act ‘small’ to fit in or be accepted by each other.
I have been exploring this concept having come across the amazing work of Bethany Webster who has made the mother wound the core part of her offering. It is both fascinating and challenging work which I hope to learn more about soon by following her online course. As a mother myself, I want to make sure that I can clear as much generational baggage as I can so that my children are in the best position they can be to become authentic, happy people. I believe this is the cornerstone to all female innerwork.
Generational baggage is even stronger for women because it is passed on physically as well as through the usual unconscious patterns of behaviour we inherit as children learning to navigate the world. It always amazes me when I reflect that I was already present in my grandmother’s womb. Yes, physically! As women we are born with a fully functioning set of ovaries and all the eggs we will ever produce throughout our lives. Thus I was already fully immersed into the matriarchal line as an egg in my mother’s womb as my grandmother was pregnant with her. Crazy, eh?!
And where does the wound come from? In a nutshell, historically women and feminine energies in both men and women have been oppressed. This has traditionally caused women to segregate and compete for available resources. The degree to which our female ancestors felt “less than” has dictated the depth of the wound that is unconsciously passed on through the generations. There is no blame in this because they simply did not have the tools to release the trauma this created. We do.
As part of a larger female collective awakening we are in a unique position to use our feminine energies and means of connection: movement, song, touch as well as meditation and reflection to clear this baggage. But it must start with the very difficult admission that on some level there IS a wound: our mothers may not have been there for us in all the ways we wanted her to be. Probably because they simply couldn’t be.
This acknowledgement alone allows us to free up the energy that was spent trying to fill the void in unconstructive ways – either through addictions, inappropriate relationships or work – and begin to give ourselves what we felt was lacking. Through parenting ourselves, we are free to become our authentic selves. We can begin to live our lives according to our own, unique set of beliefs rather than according to a book of beliefs we were handed as children by our parents, our culture, society as a whole.
This is necessary work. Because without a healthy relationship to our female ancestral line (however independent and modern we think we are!) we cannot have a healthy relationship to ourselves or to our children. We are the generation who can take an honest look at our inherited beliefs and take unprecedented steps to clear generational baggage by rejecting those that do not truly belong to us.
I therefore challenge you to ask yourself the following questions: Are you carrying negative stories passed down from before that are not truly yours to pass on? Are you caretaking inherited beliefs that do not actually resonate with your authentic self? Is the bond with your mother one that allows you both to flourish?
This is deep and scary work that goes to the core of how we see ourselves. But it is exciting too because it is liberating. It requires courage. I’m going to summon my Warrior to dive in – will you?
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