Healing the Mother Wound

Lady hugging herself

Mother’s Day has been and gone. Yet understanding your relationship to your mother and how it creates your core beliefs is really good for you.

You see, the relationship we have with our mother shapes who we are, what we deserve and how we relate to the world. It also affects the quality of intimacy we attract in our adult lives.

The mother energy we were exposed to in our formative years of development strongly influences our ability/inability to give and receive. It impacts our openness to love and be loved and our capacity to nurture and be nurtured. 

To experience a different quality of relating in these aspects of our lives as adults, we get to claim self-responsibility. There are three key steps to doing this - reflection, reparenting, healing and forgiveness.

The exercises below are designed to take you on an inner transformational journey to bring awareness to the limiting beliefs you've inherited from your mother (and your matriarchal line - that's your grandmother, your grandmother's mother and so on). By doing this, you can find your path to healing the
mother wound.

While you are reading this article, have a piece of paper or your journal close by  and at the end of each step, feel free to jot down any answers that come to mind. Or just sit comfortably in a private space, with your eyes closed and tune into observing how you feel. 

Come back to the reflection questions and practices at any time you feel called to or are experiencing emotional pressure. 

STEP ONEREFLECTION 

Transformation starts with awareness and awareness starts with reflection. 

It’s pertinent at this point to understand the frequency of the mother that you were exposed to - and whether we like it or not - how this same frequency of behaviour exists within you. 

The different types of mother energy, they include:

The ‘Over Attentive Mother’ - Martyr/Victim Profile 
This represents a frequency of ‘smothering’, laced with tendencies to self sacrifice and give excessively from a state of depletion. Over time this behaviour leads to a passive state of bitterness and resentment that subconsciously programs ‘guilt’ around a child being deserving of love. This type of mother has lost her sense of self and plays the victim card to reclaim the energy lost. This mothering typically looks ‘rosy’ from the outside… but is riddled with manipulative shadows.

The ‘Under Attentive Mother’ - Absent/Puritrator Profile
This represents a frequency of mothering laced with abandonment, rejection and hostility. This mother lacks the ability to nurture and leaves a child in a consistent state of ‘unmet need’. She is selfish and ‘takes’ a lot from the relationship. She doesn't know how to or is scared to open her heart and freely give love. The child then develops the tendency to over please to ‘be more worthy’. They also often shut down their voice to keep the peace. 

Reflection Questions:

To help reflect on your mother energy, answer the questions below:

  • What style of mothering did I receive predominantly as a child?
  • How does this style of mothering play out within myself?
  • How does this style of mothering occur in relating with women?
  • How does this style of mothering manifest in relationship with my partner?
  • Am I open to changing this aspect of myself?

  • Good Tip: Remember to go gently. Often as we start to uncover these aspects of ourselves, the voices of the mother wound begin to sabotage our progress. You might hear yourself say, “Who are you to do this? You couldn’t possibly get this right?" Sound familiar? Just simply listen and observe as these emotional blocks come up BUT don't become them. In these small moments, the muscle of awareness starts to grow.

    STEP TWO: REPARENTING 

    Once we get to know the characteristics of how we were mothered, we get to instead reparent ourselves. Reparenting (in my experience) is a devotional lifelong journey - it's something we always have to work on. To effectively start this part of the process, you will need to renounce the role of your mother in your life and fully claim it as your own.

    This starts with letting go of all expectations of her to save or fix you. Instead take the time to reconnect and rebuild the relationship with the youngest part of yourself, your inner child. 

    Reflection Practice: 

  • Sit in a quiet place - close your eyes and place your hand on your heart. 
  • Take five deep breaths to come into full presence with yourself. 
  • In your mind's eye, picture your four-year-old self and ask these questions:
  • Where is your little one? 
  • How are they feeling? 
  • What are they wearing? 
  • What do they need? 
  • What do they want to feel soothed in this moment?
  • How can I as an adult (my own mother) practically provide that for myself?

  • Good Tip: We don't know what we don't know. What’s supported me a lot in this aspect of my journey is surrounding myself with women who EMANATE the qualities of mother that I want to learn and cultivate more of in myself. 

    STEP THREE: HEALING & FORGIVENESS 

    Once we embark on this process of reparenting, repressed emotions from childhood begin to stir and it is important that they are validated and expressed.

    As part of opening the heart and authentically stepping into forgiveness, it's important to allow your inner child the freedom to fully express their anger, sadness, fear and creativity.

    Reflection Practice:

    Feeling angry? Scream into a pillow to move the energy.

    Want to express sadness and grief? Allow the tears to flow and keep your chest and heart open by lying back, propped up on pillows with a head support to free up the chest, head and neck area.

    Feeling fearful? Stand up or lie down and shake every part of your body. Make sound to release the stuck energy in the body.

    Good Tip: Write a letter of forgiveness to your mother and her foremothers that you burn or bury in the earth. Forgiving them for their imperfections and giving gratitude for the unique lessons you’ve experienced through them is the key to your liberation.

    Remember the journey into understanding your core wounds and limiting beliefs and then meeting these aspects of self is not for the faint-hearted. Yes, it's something that will liberate you and trigger the hell out of you. 

    Healing your relationship with your mother starts with healing your relationship to your self. I hope that through these practices, you are inspired to start or deepen your journey to understanding how to remove the emotional blocks and unleash your inner potential.