Back in May of this year, I sat down + streamed a live conversation with my dear friend Mimi of Shop Ceremonie. We are both mothers + had a lot to bring into this dialogue. Upon broadcasting this talk, I had a lot come up for me personally around my mom, being a woman and needed more time to process before sharing this talk. I’ve created a document to futher explore your relationship to the Mother Wound, click here to access.
So this is a subject that hits home. I’ve been working through my own mother wounds, especially since becoming a mother myself. The “mother wound” is something that is passed on through the generations, and we are experiencing the collective ripple effect of not having support for women, mothers, grandmothers, and the trauma that women have experienced over the generations.
I know this is something we’ve both been working through, our “mother stuff” and though of course different, we have the shared lived experience of now being mothers ourselves and, aiming to be an empowered mother for our children. So would just love to get into this mother wound that we speak of and how has it shown up, for you.
I think for me, there’s of course, the bare bone mother wound, the wound that has been sustained by the key female or the key maternal aspect present in any human being, most likely our biological mother, or it could be our key caregiver. So there’s those wounds. I think for me, as I became a mother and went through the process of birthing myself as a mother, I’ve also developed a new wound of realizing that this wound is intergenerational.
Before I had understood it more as not necessarily a personal attack, but just what went on between two people. But then I realized, wow, this is a thread and it continues from generation to generation and all the generation to generation, but within many mother-daughter lines. And so then the wound felt larger.
It felt more universal.
For me, it was that becoming a mother and observing myself in the relationship, to my daughter and the kind of future I want for our children, so there was a reflection of my own childhood and the mother I had.
I know that this conversation can be so loaded because of course, we love our mothers! I feel we have that understanding that our mothers did the best they could with the tools they had at the time. And now, what a gift to have, so much more information, resources, tools to actually, start to tend to ourselves emotionally in ways that perhaps our mothers were not equipped.
Having access to information and just kind of recognizing my inherited patterns, some conscious, some not… I started doing some research around how I wanted to show up as a good mom for my daughter and realized the intergenerational piece to this complex relationship.
The way that women, mothers in this case, have internalized this “less than” mindset, and just how that creates this ripple effect of disempowered human beings when we are just trying to tend to others, but never feel equipt.
My experience was growing up was with a mother who had so much potential, big dreams, a creative vision, and things like that, but then upon marrying her high school sweetheart, going along with the social societal program of the times; you stay home with your kids, you create a tidy household, housekeeping, and householding, those are what you are here to do, the only real way you will have value…except the social norm didn’t value those things, and I know my mom felt tired and unappreciated.
My mother’s self-concept was created through her not being valued in those ways, for her efforts or her nurturing. I think those imprints live on in my sister and I. So it’s interesting because that’s the patriarchal stronghold on how women are perceived, controlled, oppressed, and manipulated and held, and, yeah, it’s just, a lot, it’s a lot to carry.
It is a lot to carry. I don’t know about you, but I have also felt that I experienced not only a mother wound in my mother’s line, but also a wound from other mothers. To a certain degree, some of us may have consciously signed up for a role and all the social implications that come with “being a mom”.
Even if you did feel called to become a mother, you may not want to to be an over-functioning female, or to be seen as this pure goddess light-based goddess form. “Becoming a mother” As if you don’t exist anymore, as if your only needs are for the well-being of your children. And so for me that became another wound.
It was like a societal perception of what a mother should be added on to the wound that I had, because all of a sudden, not only was I navigating the imprints of perhaps my mother thought how or what “should or shouldn’t be done” as a mother, but I was also navigating the judgments that would take place at a playground or in the school, field or even in the school hallway when certain things are discussed. It really does compound.
I think that these are dense energies that are playing out. The intergenerational wounds and patterns as a result of patriarchy, control, deceit and pitting women against each other.
How that plays out in mothers, I feel like there just hasn’t been any real safe space. Historically safe spaces for mothers to express what’s really going on haven’t existed. Moms in society have had to keep up appearances, “this is how a mother looks” and complete self-sacrifice/ martyrdom. To be perfectly nurturing, always sweet and loving, a goddess in the kitchen and in the bedroom… it’s impossible to manage all these things forever! It takes a toll.
Yes! The Goddess is such a destructive force, in a good way. She’s never angry. She’s never impatient. And it’s just this 360 degrees of pressure and expectations. Where is that pressure supposed to go?
That’s where I think some of this wounding has been passed on is that, mothers that feel that sacred rage and anger for their situation, and the pressures that they’re facing, and then that gets directed onto their child.
And then the child grows up believing that there’s something wrong with them. So this is how it’s passed on, it’s not having a place to put that anger and it isn’t a mother’s intent to necessarily displace that anger on their children, as it’s the available outlet. When there isn’t a safe place to talk about those feelings, the children receive the brunt of it,
Becoming so internalized that like you had said, it affects your self-image.
I think that’s a really big piece for me; growing up having a mom who felt disempowered, the more I’ve meditated and just done my own work around it, the more I see what isn’t mine.
I know my mother loved us very much, but I also experienced her martyrdom mentality, this sacrifice that she made for her children. This learned pattern of sacrificing, shelving your own dreams and what you hope to become of your life.
I do feel like, also, the children are watching and are observing the mother not actualizing themselves, almost in resentment of being this all-nurturing caregiver.
I would have to say it’s in progress and the needs do differ each day and they are constantly in flux. But a big one for me is really around the theme of rest. Focusing more on the idea of fruitfulness rather than productivity. And I think the reason why I am approaching it that way is because that tends to be a bit of my shadow.
I tend to overwork and over-function, and it’s like what you had said before. It’s all for the kids. It’s all about managing the home and, in our case’s managing our businesses. And so there are all these layers of expectations and for me is just realizing that these can be defied and they can be re-established and re-defined through that act of defiance, we can redefine what it is that makes more sense.
And for me, what is going to be ultimately effective and fruitful is different than the quantity of production.
Absolutely, I feel like rest is such a key component to this conversation. I feel like in this reharmonization of our planetary energies, the universal energies, there is a part that does have to do with the lunar energy and restoring harmony.. shifting out of the doing, the extraction and productivity, the capitalist nature of how our society has been functioning. We are waking up to the very real need for restoration, right?
The root need for that time of rest to regenerate so that, the earth can provide and it’s mirrored in our bodies, when we don’t have that rest, we’re just withdrawing resources that aren’t really there, until we’re fully depleted.
I’ve had a few conversations lately around prioritizing rest.
I think this is a real important piece in, in healing this collective mother wound and, bringing ourselves into a greater balance on the planet. It is prioritizing rest, and even structuring in rest. It’s challenging, but also necessary.
We were talking about being in the workplace and how, there’s still really not a lot of support for mothers to take mat leave, or even rest around our cycle. Truly a sacred time where we shouldn’t be expected to be as productive and switched on.
I overrode that in myself for so long. I just was completely unattuned to my body, and just overworked and pressed on. Working over and through any signals to rest or slow down because I wasn’t taught what that could look like or that it was important. I’m not sure about what your initiations into motherhood or womanhood looked like. I feel there are some fundamental pieces of what it is to be a mother, is to be nurturing, to protect, to empower and to initiate.
My mom personally definitely tried to impart those pieces, but the initiation piece was missing. And actually it was you, Mimi, that I think that I finally had that initiation with and then at the New Moon temple that we did at Dharma Temple, the menarche ceremony.
Happy to hear that shifted your approach of how to manage your time, how to listen to your body.
There are so many gifts in becoming a woman. There is a gift in the potentiality to be able to birth children or not, and/or the ability to choose to use that immense creative energy for your art or activism.
But you have to claim it. Initate + start. When a mother herself does not feel initiated or self-actualized, then it’s really hard to rally and inspire. You can’t teach what you don’t know. I think that piece has been missing for a few generations in my family anyway.
And hopefully now knowledge is power, and I think more and more people are talking about that.
I love how you linked initiation with activism because that was something else I wanted to add to that discussion of healing the mother wound. I’ve had the opportunity to show up for my boys by advocating for them particularly in the school environment, which is not something that my mother did for us.
And it’s not because she didn’t care, that because to a certain degree, even though she spoke English and still speaks English, sorry. When I say spoken, I’m referencing the past she lacked the pedagogical, buzzwords and lingo. She lacked the vocabulary of the climate to be able to properly advocate for my brother and I.
And then of course there’s the racial lens of it, where my mother felt that you keep your head down and never make a scene. Even if what you have to say is important, You just swallow and hide. For me, by me showing up for my boys, sometimes in a racial context, and advocating for them and the different ways they learn, that has been so helpful for them.
And in doing so it signaled to me that I didn’t have to be invisible and I can change that the pattern that occurred for my brother and I. In a sense I am re-mothering and tending to that old wound.
Yes, absolutely. And it’s been so inspiring to hear you advocating for your boys in that way. I know that we’ve exchanged personal messages on that, and I come from a different experience in that capacity.
My partner had some difficulties as a kid and he was put on Ritalin, at a young age. His mother really went to bat for him in school and advocated for him in big ways that shaped the man he is today.
He has so much respect for his mother – seeing her take a stand for him. It is so impactful on a child to have a parent or caregiver be there for them. It’s like giving a voice to the voiceless, especially in situations adults are found dismissing a child.
There’s just so much opportunity to learn from our children.
As a mother, we can learn to humble ourselves, to be able to be receptive and hear/see into the subtle way that our children are communicating. Especially when there are authority figures in our schools who tend to bypass the emotions of our children.
I want to acknowledge what you have been facing with schools.
Dismissing cultural heritage or personal needs in the learning space.
It shouldn’t be a one size fits all system and there’s so much more room for improvement. I think listening to the voices of the children and, parents, or caregivers who have been ignored when creating those systems, it’s important now, to make space for everyone.
Time to take the space, make the time for rest.
In my journey rest was not something that was valued in our home growing up. My mom received a lot of backlash for it.
I mean, my mother wasn’t allowed to rest, neither was I really.
So much focus was placed on productivity, it’s been a challenge to find the middle ground – because there is such a strong, internalized narrative that if you rest, you’re lazy. “You can rest when you’re dead” mentality. There’s no acknowledging burnout or mental health. Just go go go!
What about your mom?
Yeah. It’s hard to know what is really happening in others’ hearts and minds. Also, knowing that the tools that we have, sometimes others don’t even know about these tools, let alone that they are available to them. My mother is a Protestant, an evangelical Christian, who is very devoted to her faith and practice. My spiritual practice is viewed as sinful in her eyes, for lack of a better word. In opposition to the theological ideas she holds to be true and so forth.
It’s really made it difficult to have a common language.
I often feel that when I’m saying something, in my opinion, that’s rather neutral, she’s seeing it through a lens that has to fit into the Christian box.
And if it does, then there’s approval around it.
And if it doesn’t, then there’s resistance or a need to say why it doesn’t fit, or to even label it as the devil’s work.
Over time I’ve just learned to share less because I don’t want to be judged that way, where I don’t want everything to be measured against the “Christian ruler”, so to speak. So yeah it’s been challenging for sure.
Thanks for sharing. It’s so incredible knowing that you have initiated yourself and you are following your path. I know that regardless of how independent we are, or self-initiated, we still want the love and approval of our mothers.
So it sounds like in your experience there’s a level of acceptance around it, but do you feel like there’s ever been a part of you that has wanted your mom to, to change or to awaken to see where you are? Or do you feel like this is something you’ve just had to give yourself? Is there some grief around longing for a relationship? The wish that it would be more “this way”, but it’s not… if that makes sense.
Big time for me.
Mimi: Grief is the right word for me too. Longing for that relationship and connection. I will say that my mother is actually incredibly intuitive.
SJ: Mine too.
I’ll give you one example and I think I may have shared this with you before; I’ve really yearned for my mother to wish me a happy mother’s day. Even though of course I wish her happy mother’s day, as I’m a daughter, but I’m also a mother, and that’s not something that she’s ever recognized. She’s always just saw me as daughter, her daughter. She’s aware that I’m a mother obviously, but that’s just not something that she’s ever done.
And to me, it’s, maybe it’s just symbolic, but it means something to me, it means something. Because in my opinion, we have the potential to relate almost as sisters in our mutual motherhood. And what’s different, I happen to be, I can be a sister or a daughter for her, but that invitation has been declined.
And that’s part of the grief, and part of the wishing, but also realizing that I am not responsible for changing her and nor is she required to change. That’s her path, it’s her path, and mine is mine. And so the big question is around what do I do about this grief? And honestly, it’s not going away.
At least for me, it just keeps on changing into different flavors.
Yeah. So I guess, just to allow it, let it shapeshift as it needs. Tend to yourself. And from our lineage, grief is largely what gets passed on right? It’s the parts of ourselves that, we haven’t really been given a voice to express, or have been allowed to feel fully.
Their imprints stay with us as deep grief. So I think just acknowledging that there is something around that, and then, doing what you need in those moments to just sit with it, and process it, and knowing that it can change shape and it’s ongoing, right? It comes in waves.
I feel you with the mother’s day piece and the lack of acknowledgment for me.
I feel some of my mom’s sadness on mother’s day too.
When women don’t step into their empowerment in ways that they had hoped and then having your children leave home, it can just leave a giant hole. And when you didn’t do the thing that your dream was, and then your dreams become your children’s dreams, and then the kids go… There’s like this massive loss, and displacement of self, right?
Dismemberment! There’s codependency, and then all of a sudden the people who were basically your arms, and they’ve left, now you have no arms! It can be very destabilizing.
And also destabilizing for the children, because we never signed up to be anyone’s arms. And yet, I don’t know if you feel this and this is why it’s such, it’s a rich, complicated type of grief, I also feel a lot of compassion towards her. I’m angry, and I’m filled with rage and resentment.
And even at times blame, right? It’s “whoa you didn’t do this for me, or you did this or whatever,” and yet so much compassion. And those are the times where I just wish I could hold her, and be her mother, because I see, I really see. And yet for me, if I were to do that, I don’t know if it would be welcomed.
Because I have tried, maybe I need to try more. But, I don’t want to be in that space all the time. I don’t want, and I know in my case, there is a potential for that to become the thing like the new relationship that like codependency. I can’t be my mother’s mother.
I might be able to offer compassion and be my mother’s mother for an afternoon here and there. But ultimately I want to be the little girl, so there’s this real tension inside.
To acknowledge that part of ourselves that wants to be the little girl and needs tending to, if our mothers aren’t available to be that for us, because they, themselves are needing mothering, how do we do that?
Do you feel like you have some specific tools or practices that you use? I know also maybe some like plant allies that you could speak to that might have helped you in this healing journey.
I think for me, a huge realization was understanding that the nuclear family unit is doomed to fail. The idea that we have one mom and, or we have one partner, and that one partner needs to fulfill every single need imaginable.
And that’s what a soulmate needs to do. Or your twin flame needs to be. I’m really just realizing that we have lost, at least in this part of the world, we have lost the capacity to relate in a village. This is why we are supposed to have friendships that are intergenerational. That’s why we should have friends, women, friends that are 10 years, 20 years older than us that are not our mothers, so that we can receive mothering in some capacity without let’s say that, that dangerous road of addiction or, a revolving door of men.
Maybe that’s more related to daddy issues. Obviously, there’s going to be a part two to this conversation, but regardless, we don’t know how to behave in a village setting. And really it allows us all our human capacity to be mothers, no matter what, no matter if we have biological children or not.
It shows that we have the capacity to have more than the actual biological siblings that we are born with. It just really reveals a lot more. For me, that has been the human lesson and the huge place where I can access resources, so to speak. Because in the kind of society we live in,you outsource. If you don’t have a mother, you go get your therapist. That’s what your therapist is supposed to do. He or she, or they’re, supposed to walk you through all these problems, but in more of an ancestral setting the village took care of that. The wellness existed within the group rather than on a psychologist’s couch, right?
Like it’s not to say there’s anything wrong with a therapist, but it looks really different now. And I’m very interested in really experiencing that re- revitalization of the village. And I do feel that the village doesn’t have to look analog. We can have a digital global village. We can utilize the tools that we do have and invite the community and have these inter-generational friendships and relationships and really, openly and safely talk about something as basic and also court to our being,
Regarding plant medicine, I love mugwort. Mugwort is found in my heritage, but it’s also found in many parts of the world. Particularly, it’s found in all parts of Asia and then, and most parts of Europe. And I’m sure it’s made itself here in North America. I know in my, like my Han Chinese Taiwanese heritage it is used a fair amount in traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese herbalism as moxa and so forth. And I found even though she’s more, she has more of a crone personality then that of a young mother.
For me, I’ve been craving that Crone, because she’s the wise-aged mother. And I say aged in the most flattering sense, not in the way perhaps mainstream fashion or mainstream beauty would perceive it. And I really need and crave that presence.
Yeah. The village is paramount, that we have elders and they’re part of the community, and they’re playing a role in raising the children, and also counseling the parents and, passing on the knowledge. In COVID, we are in this weird anomaly time where we are so disconnected from our families, our blood families and of course our community as well. I don’t want to paint every elder with a brush that they’re not able to use technology, but it is a little bit more challenging to connect with elders through technology. It’s possible, but it’s also hard for some to access, or to “get it” or even get them to have to log on when we’re not able to physically visit them in their home, and tangibly set them up or teach them.
But having mentors I think is huge as other mothers. As is sisterhood, and having strong friendships to be able to discuss, advocating for our children and what is working for us as Mothers in this time.
Having peer support right now is so important, we’re going through this time together. We’re raising kids in the time of COVID, we’re facing a challenge that, our parents didn’t have that same challenge when we were growing up, and can’t really counsel us on.
So being able to connect to friends online, or text, having friends like yourself, to give + receive that compassion and nurturing energy.
Our chosen friends/family can offer us reassurance that sometimes we maybe seek from our mothers, but perhaps aren’t able to give us in the same way. We don’t really know what’s going on in their heads, or hearts and at times of course in our mother’s lives, they’ve experienced traumas with us as well.
Sometimes we’re trapped in moments where maybe my mom only views me as a challenging 15 year old.
Big time. And I will say the sisterhood of mothers, I mean something that you and I shared. So for me, it’s so precious. I’m so grateful when you will just send me a text and a little, check in and you’ll say something like.
“Hey, mama, how are you doing? I remember our last convo and you shared that this was on your heart, how was it now?” That is priceless, because I don’t know about you, but we forget that other people do think about us, and other people do care for us, and how easy it is to go down that very accurate rabbit hole of beliefs where it’s “oh, I’m not important.I don’t count. No one thinks about me. I’m not being productive and I’m not being really visible online. So everyone’s forgotten.”
I love those texts, because that once again, defies those beliefs, and they can mean a lot, even if it was just like two lines.
Yeah. To know our friends can be nurturing us. I feel like often I will reach out, when I’m feeling myself, feeling alone. I think just knowing that my mom friends are working through stuff too, remembering it is a lot, it’s a lot for us to be moving through at this time. We have been isolated, and just not to feel as isolated in, whatever we’re going through, helps me to reach out and just, yeah, let my friends know that they’re not going it alone, and that there is someone out that sees them and acknowledges the work they are putting in.
Traditionally we have not had that safe space to express, “Hey, I’m going through it. It’s a lot right now. I feel really isolated.” I hope now, like that there is more of a pull for mothers to be more vulnerable and authentic in their experience.
Just having a community that can check-in can have a big impact in a moment where you’re feeling lost or disconnected.
What does it look like if everyone goes into this work and actually takes that invitation to change, to break patterns, what do you think that looks like collectively? To do this inner work of tending the mother wound, and what does it look like going forward if we’re able to do that?
Ooh, that’s a big question. I would say it definitely can’t be another trend, right? It can’t be a trend or fad or just a series of hashtags. I would say that it has to start very locally. And then it would radiate, outward. Yet at the same time, even though I’m going to contradict myself, it could also happen online, but that it has to happen within that close, safe network first where we can give each other a lot of space to, to essentially unravel because I feel for me, change starts with grief.
Like I can’t start with “oh yeah, tomorrow at 9:00 AM. I’m going to do this.” And it’s just this fictional, toxic positivity sort of place where it’s really, it’s not going deep. I compare it to gardening or just a tree growing. It has to root down quite below the surface for it to withstand the storms. And also withstand drought, and all those other challenges that a tree or a plant would face. So for me, this is why I feel that a small space just to have a handful of people who are committed to hold each other accountable and to be there regardless of the weather, so to speak and be in that place of grief.
And interestingly enough, any grief circle or any grief partnership I’ve ever stepped into even though our stories are unique, I feel that the emotions are the same and the challenges are essentially the same. There is a common language that we can begin sharing. Hopefully through that, we can start moving out of it.
Not in a permanent sense, because I know, like I said earlier, I feel that grief in some ways is it’s there no matter what the intention is, there is no band-aid or fix, but can provide us with more resilience. So we can navigate in a way that would allow the mother archetype to shift in this part of the world where there’s more forgiveness.
Like how many times have you felt or heard or witnessed someone saying something about a child that was having some challenges and then one of the first questions would be. “What kind of mother would allow that?” or “What kind of mother would do that?” or “Oh, is the mother around?” it’s automatically blamed on the mother.
Everyone is sharing these very idealized goddess-like forms, and yet she’s also the scapegoat for every single thing that’s wrong in our world. Oh, you turnout shitty, someone turns out to be a mass murderer. “Oh, where was his mother when all this happened?” It’s an impossible standard. So part of it is that personal grief, and part of that is that collective grief and the sacred rage that needs to come for things to be torn down and rebuild.
Being able to find those safer spaces to have just the compassionate listening. The presence to be seen, to be heard in that sacred rage, just the container to hold what has been unspoken, and all the unspoken messaging around mothers and like what you’re talking about. Also, if mothers are in like internalizing things, like if “motherhood is difficult,” it’s your own fault. That’s a big one. Basically shame, and blame layered over it. And if you’re not like superhuman, or a goddess, or have it all together, that there’s something wrong with you, and wrong with your children.
Mothers are the foundation of our society, and I think I like the analogy that you gave of the tree and the roots. And it is really about addressing the foundation and going deep. I know we’ve talked about language before and there’s this need to go deep, and it is about going deep, and taking care of the roots, which is like the foundation of our society, which is tending to the mothers and tending to these wounding patterns in ourselves.
But there is even languaging around oh, “She’s gone off the deep end or like fear of depths. That’s the dark feminine.” Like this collective shaming of “Oh, that’s scary. We can’t go there, or go near anything threatening.” Yeah. It’s not pretty to go deep sometimes. And even the way that birth has been an anesthetized and only looks a certain way in the movies it doesn’t give us a real idea, it doesn’t paint a picture of the reality of the wildness, and the rawness, and the messiness, and it’s trying to keep the mother in these false confines of weak + sanitary.
It’s intersectional right? Because that example earlier where it was, where was their mother as a blaming thing? Obviously the, the sociopath only turned out to be a sociopath because like their mother was absent or they had a shitty mother or whatever. The sweeping statements are there, and also a sort of economic and classist statements: “If I didn’t have money, then I wouldn’t have children,” like all these sorts of things and blaming the impoverished for their poverty because they chose to have children.
There is a lot of stuff there. Yeah. We can unpack this deeply in many different ways, but this really does still relate to the mother wound. It’s okay, fine. You’re going to say that. And then yet at the same time, you hav the government saying you don’t have rights to your body.
So you can’t make choices about your body. So they say, in the US, make abortion illegal. Then how are you supposed to help someone to manage perhaps the population? So to speak from an economic perspective, if that’s even right in the first place, by not even giving them the tools to make autonomous sovereign judgements and choices about their own physical body it’s like this, but that’s how I feel a motherhood has been set up to it’s you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
I feel even those who are not mothers have mother wounds, because how often is a woman painted as selfish, if she chooses not to have children? ” Oh, you must not like children” And then if you’ve chosen not to have children, you must be so selfish or it must be career hungry and money hungry for not choosing to have children.
All these sweeping judgements that exist, even if they’re not spoken to.
I would say there is a lot unspoken, tons. Yeah. Toxic messaging. And then it gets passed on and internalized and propagated, and I think that, these conversations and what we’re sharing now, doing this work and having these conversations allow me to feel like I’m being an empowered mother, woman, human at this time is really advocating for these kinds of boundaries.
I’m not going to be productive. Nine to five, 52 weeks of the year.
I think like we are going to have to start really saying that, because I think especially as women, the people in power and the people that create the systems, like their bodies don’t function in that way. So they don’t, they’re never going to understand and implement those kinds of new systems or put these policies through because it’s just not a reality. So I think like we, the feminine in all of us, not just like women’s bodies, but having that understanding that women and humans, need the rest we need, just like our earth needs rest and replenishment.
Like this is so linked into our body and embodiment, we are the Mother Earth. So of course we all have these wounds, because we are nature. We need the advocacy to implement more rest and bring things back into balance, so that we can regain our strength as a society and have systems that are more supportive for all peoples, not just the chosen few, not just for people who are making economic gains or profiting.
There’s just so much work and cleaning up. And then I do feel like supporting mothers is a foundational piece.
Especially if you are working through grief. It’s very intersectional. I came from a home where essentially the rule, or the unspoken rule, is that the mother and the father know best, the adult knows best.
I find that toxic, right? So one thing that I do at least in my everyday reality is to just constantly remind myself to follow and orient to my children. And it’s not to bypass my responsibility. To remind myself there is an invitation to walk alongside them, and to really be their student, like to remind ourselves that they are teachers. I feel that there’s such an invitation to play. Which of course is such a great medicine for grief; laughing, being silly, being playful. It’s also a medicine to remedy that overproduction tendency because when you’re playing, you don’t have an agenda anymore.
It’s just fun, for fun sake, or creativity for creativity’s sake.
I found that to be probably the most helpful, super simple. It’s easier said than done, because I have my defaults. Sometimes you do want to say, “because I told you so!” I want that to be my answer sometimes!
Cause it’s an easier answer. A more convenient answer, whatever you want to call it. Yeah, so I’m not going to say I’m good at this, but I do know in my heart of hearts, this is the way to go.
Yeah. Yeah. I know those defaults, they come, they sneak in, we all grow up saying “I’m not going to become my mother or father,” and then we say the things, or we do the things, and just recognizing in those moments like, “oh there it is, oops!”
But then to turn our own nurturing back on ourselves. I love the one who said, “I told you.” “I love that one who made that mistake,” or, and then just doing better.
Yeah, for me, embodiment, giving myself touch and self-affirmation, in moments where I feel like I could have used my mom. And just those moments where I feel the “not enoughness” or, those kinds of deep core beliefs pieces that I’ve needed to work through. Self touch, then affirmation for me has really been healing. And I like the invitation into play and no agenda. For me, creativity is one of those ways that I have expressed some of my wounds that I’m working through. I’ll write, I take what’s on the inside and put it on the outside.
So through art, or through writing, for me, writing letters that never get sent have also been good ways for me to process. It’s a learning of your own tools, then implementing simple things. Just know how you can give that to yourself.
Anyway, I’m so grateful for our talk today Mimi. Such a tender subject, and of course we’re all going to have our own experiences with our mothers, and our mother’s mothers and how we ourselves, if we are choosing to have families, how we’re showing up as mothers., So it’s about tending to these parts of ourselves when these intergenerational wounds show up as emotional dissonance or a lack of love, or a lack of support and nurturing.
I hope and pray that we can all find tools that work for each of us. And be that nurturing, protective, supportive energy for ourselves so that it creates that ripple effect.