Mother wound is deep and profound, and experienced by most women. But many people have not been able to identify this wound, or even have an awareness of it. It's a wound that can be so deeply buried, because to face it is to acknowledge that the mom you still wish for, is never coming. A daughter’s need for her mother’s love is a primal driving force, and that need doesn't go away just because the mother isn't unconditionally available and loving.
In the healing work I do, the deepest pain often emerges when we reach the mother wound. But the great news is that amazing joy and happiness comes when it is healed. And my most joyful, successful clients are those who worked on it until it was healed. They are strong women who have self-worth, success (however they define that), and no longer stay in repressive, co-dependent, lackluster marriages or relationships.
But what is the mother wound?
Our Mother Wounds are traumas that pass down from generation to generation that have a profound impact on our lives. Your mother may have tried her best to nurture, support, protect and initiate you into adulthood, but your relationship with her may have be mixed with shame, guilt and obligation.
The work of Cindy Hazan and Philip Shaver found clear signs to how Mother Wound can manifest:
1. Self-Esteem is low. The unloved daughter doesn’t know that she is lovable or worthy of attention; she may have grown up feeling ignored or unheard or criticized at every turn. This results in constantly comparing yourself with, and competing against, other females.
2. Sabotaging yourself when you experience success, or get close to it.
3. Projecting your need for your mother's love onto other women in your life, in particular counsellors, teachers and some friends. And a consequential feeling of betrayal and blame when those women do not fill those gaping wounds. (They can't).
4. Co-dependency in relationships with men.
5. Minimizing yourself to be likable. And in turn, feeling jealous and even angry of women who have passionate marriages, financially successful careers, and other achievements.
6. Sacrificing your dreams for other people. Settling in many areas of your life.
7. Lack of trust in other women.
Hazan and Shaver report that the ambivalently attached daughter needs constant validation that trust is warranted. And, it's hard for these women to form great relationships with other women.
8. Difficult to set boundaries.
Many daughters, caught between their need for their mother’s attention and its absence, become “pleasers” in adult relationships, and are unable to set other boundaries.
There's a core belief underlying the mother wound that you are the cause of your mother's pain and angst, and that if you are a good enough girl or boy, you can fix her pain. But of course, you can't.
Her pain comes from being part of the patriarchal culture which told her she had to sacrifice her own dreams for the needs of her family and children. The culture that told her she was to be the domestic caretaker for her husband, often sacrificing her own needs for his. And, if she didn't do that, perhaps she chose a career that took her away from her family, there are profoundly painful feelings of incompetence as a mother and woman.
This cultural suffocation of women results in repressed anger, rage, and profound sadness. These buried feelings emerge as women who seek out opportunities to express their misplaced anger by engaging in vitriol and misdirected drama. You see it in Women criticizing other women's appearance, career choices, all manner of dress and makeup.
Connecting with the Divine Feminine is the ultimate goal, but with an unhealed mother wound, it can't happen. The wound is the delta that separates self-worth from a painful journey of acting out the pain.
The first step in healing it is in acknowledging its existence.
Some people find help through counseling and therapy, others use more spiritual processes such as soul retrieval, journeying, and other profoundly powerful energy healing and clearing techniques. Find a method that resonates with you. ❤️🙏