If you read my last article on Understanding the Mother Wound, you know that this wound often arises because of our epigenetics. It is a wound that has been passed down generation after generation because of the society we live in. However, it can also come from parenting issues too.
If you can relate to any of these situations, your mother wound is more than just epigenetics:
Your mother just wasn’t there for you on an emotional level.
You were reluctant to turn to your mother for comfort or security.
You doubted you had your mother’s approval, so you were always trying to be perfect.
You felt nervous and frightened around your mother.
Your mother expected you to take care of her physically or emotionally.
In these situations, you will need to heal in different ways. These are my top five strategies to help heal the mother wound.
1. Express your pain.
The first step is letting yourself say, “Ouch!” — and more — if you need to. Therapy and life coaching can help your inner child express the pain of being unloved, ignored, shunned, ridiculed, and even victimized. Journaling can also help if you aren't ready to seek support. It is important to allow yourself to have ALL the feelings. Express yourself in a way that resonates with you. Maybe journaling doesn't resonate but making a piece of art, recording a video allowing yourself to process aloud, or sharing your story with a close friend would be a better approach. Find something that resonates with you and start expressing your pain so you can process it all.
2. Love yourself
Our concept of self was built through the way our mother interacted with us. We need to realize that the fact that our mother was unable to build our self-image in a positive way was not our fault. Try making a list of all of your good qualities and start to rebuild your self-image. Find a way to take care of yourself daily by doing something for no other reason than it makes you happy.
3. Develop self-awareness
Without our mother’s feedback, we didn’t have the reinforcement needed to develop self-awareness. You need to learn how to get in touch with your emotions and take the time to feel what you’re feeling.
Emotions are simply energy in motion. If you allow yourself to fully and deeply feel an emotion for 60 seconds, it will move through you and shift into a different emotion. You just need 60 seconds of courage to feel deeply.
Naming the feeling is the first step to coping with the feeling. Once you can name the feeling, take the time to connect with where you are feeling it in your body. Embrace it without feeding into it and watch it fade.
4. Parent yourself
We can also learn how to parent ourselves, and give ourselves all the things we never received as a child. This takes time. It can be helpful to sit back and relive a childhood experience. Connect with how you were feeling in that situation and ask your inner child what you truly needed from your mother at that moment. Now it is time to offer your inner child that support. This simple exercise can be very healing.
Self-care is another way of parenting yourself. It isn’t spoiling ourselves; it’s taking care of our needs. For some of us, self-care is a solo morning walk before settling down at your desk. For others, it’s taking time off for a coffee date with a friend who makes us feel good about ourselves. It's taking a moment each day to say "What do I truly need to feel my best?".
Last but definitely not least, forgiveness is a huge part of healing. Acknowledging our own feelings and grieving over what we never got as a child creates the emotional space needed to move towards forgiveness.
Mothering is hard work. If you’re a mother, you already know that. Sometimes mothers get things wrong, even very wrong. If you can recognize your mother for who she is and not get hung up on who you’d like her to be, you can move toward understanding her and accepting her.
Once you’ve done that, it could be possible to build a relationship with your mother. Learn to set boundaries and you may find that together you and your mother can build some sort of relationship. Even if it’s not the perfect relationship, it can become something meaningful.
Of course, in some cases, you may have had a neglectful or abusive mother that you truly cannot forgive. In such cases, it may be better to work through those hard feelings within your support network, a spiritual life coach, or with a therapist — without extending the olive branch. Forgiveness is still possible whether the other person is involved in your life or not.
I use aromatherapy protocols and energy clearing sessions for myself and my clients to help them heal and forgive on an energetic and cellular level. You can read more about how much forgiveness radically changed my life and health. I have found that forgiveness is a different process for everyone so listen to your intuition and see what it is telling you.