By Sheila Vijeyarasa
Our mother is our first love. For nine months in utero, we are but one. There is no one else in our life with whom we have such a primordial relationship. In the womb, we begin a process of inheriting an imprint from our mothers of what it means to be a woman. When a mother gives birth, a process of separation between the mother and daughter begins.
I have come from a line of strong women. Strong because they have had to endure difficulties. My mother had an arranged marriage and migrated to a new country leaving behind her whole family at a young age. My grandmother’s husband died suddenly of a heart attack when she was in her forties. On one hand I was gifted the generational virtues of my female elders;- strength, tenacity and resilience, – and on the other, I inherited their ‘mother wounds’.
Science has shown that trauma can leave a chemical mark on a person’s genes, which is passed down to subsequent generations.
Epigenetic gene expression means that the feelings, traumas and memories of previous generations may be experienced in my life as true, even though the environment is different. The core belief of the ‘mother wounding’ is ‘There’s something wrong with me’. When I would say to myself, ‘Am I worthy?’ I came to realise that this was not my voice, but a voice from many generations ago.
All of us have mother wounds, to some extent; the generational differences and the discord with the patriarchy through generations means no one really escapes this fate. What varies is how significantly the impact presents itself in your life; it may be a shadow that you need to walk with, or the wound may run deeper and require deeper healing to transform your life.
What do we think happens to the emotional states of our mothers when they are forced to abandon their purpose, their childhood dreams?
A rage builds. And when the rage is suppressed it transmutes into states of depression, neediness, shame and unease. In these states, our mothers emotionally abandon us because they have been abandoned themselves. There is a fracture in our emotional connection to the person we are most primally connected to – our mother. This triggers instinctual fears within us in ways that no other relationship will. To survive we abandon ourselves and our own emotional needs in the way that our mothers did, and we enter a multi-generational cycle that is amplified and compounded with each generation. This is the impact of ‘The Mother Wound’.
My romantic relationships became the great testing ground for the mother wounding.
A strong independent woman, I would crumble into a needy, excessively insecure, co-dependent mess when I was in a relationship. I was anxiously attached when dating. I could not find a man who could love me when I was in my full power. I would stand shoulders squared demanding to be equal yet, how could they love me when I was yet to love myself in my full power. My relationships became the battle of the egos. Eventually to ensure that these men did not run away, I made myself less. I knew that I was copying an entrenched maternal pattern handed to me, yet I did not know how to address it.
We all want to fall in love. Yet no one likes to fall. We reach for a myth of romantic love and run from the fear of the romantic subjugation handed to us by the mother’s story. I was looking for a man to save me from the life I had created. When I would fall in love, I would anxiously attach to him, to his friends, to his spiritual beliefs, to his routine, even to his favourite chocolate bar. I placed an inordinate amount of attention and focus on the relationship. For me, holding on to my romantic relationships became my purpose.
It was challenging when I realised that I had to take responsibility for the relationship I had created between my mother and myself, but when I took responsibility, a shift happened. The shift saw the dissolving of my judgement of my mother and how I wanted her to show up in my life. I realised that stepping into my power did not have to mean stepping away from my mother. But I did need to shed the social stereotypes of a woman that I thought I needed to be: silent, sacrificial and obedient.
Even though my mother saw me, I still felt unseen and that gave me an excuse in life to act out, to not be responsible, to be angry, to be a victim. She had been my scapegoat from all I lacked. The worst thing I realised was that my mother had never been seen by her own daughter. She was rejected by me. I needed to stop and witness her gifts, as gifts and strengths, not weaknesses.
I see now that I have a mother who has exceptional intuitive abilities,
a pious heart, a great sense of humour, a generous spirit and a mane of curly hair, all gifts that she gave to me that I now embrace as my own. When I stopped rejecting who I was in the world I could finally stand in my power and call myself a professional medium. I could say the words out loud without wincing and expecting a negative response.
I had to fully embrace my feminine nature, my intuitive gifts and heal the deep wound of the feminine. When I accepted, harnessed and used my intuitive abilities, I noticed that my mother did too. I started to feel differently about my mother and our relationship. We were seeing each other for the first time through new eyes.
Through the lens of respect, reverence and acknowledgment, our gifts became visible to ourselves and each other.
It is important for all of us, if we are lucky enough to still have time to do so, to ask questions about our mother’s lives, inviting them to share their dreams and ambitions. And to understand the impact and limitations that this has created in both our lives.
In order to heal our ‘Mother Wounds’ we must get curious and ask questions:
1. What is your relationship like with your mother? And her relationship with her mother?
2. What do you know about your mother’s childhood and adolescence?
3. How do you sacrifice yourself in romantic relationships to hold on to love?
4. Do you lose your commitment to your purpose when in romantic relationships?
5. What is your womb trying to tell you? Are your periods heavy and painful?
6. How can you let yourself be more fully seen in your life?
7. What gifts are you most grateful to your mother for?
Sheila Vijeyarasa is the author of Brave: Courageously live your truth (Rockpool Publishing, $29.99). She is a powerful psychic medium, transformational coach and keynote speaker.
Sheila reveals your truth; your purpose, by tapping into spiritual wisdom. She combines spiritual wisdom with executive leadership coaching to empower you to go out and transform your life.
Find out more about Brave at www.rockpoolpublishing.com.au