Hello, soul friends! It has been a while since I had written my own personal blog here, and in the essence of transparency, I would like to reconnect with things that I have written and shared in the past. In this day and age of instant gratification, as well as the accolades one receives from the ego-boosting likes, comments, and interactions - I am wanting more. More realness. Connection. Heart. Soul.
One of the biggest lessons on this journey called Life, has been healing and that is why I decided to write THIS BLOG POST. I dove into a few things and skimmed the top. I also have learned a lot about how to forgive, so I also completed THIS POST on it. I choose this sandy picture because it reminds me of my relationship with my mother. It is pretty and feels nice at moments and in theory, but once you are covered or dive too deep, it irritates, crushes, and hurts.
“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.”
- William Makepeace Thackeray
The one thing that has been a huge trigger and also significant part of my journey has been my mother and OUR relationship.
From the earliest moments of my relationship with her, I have constantly seen the vast differences within us. I am not like her in many ways. Almost her opposite. And I think this only served as fuel to feed our broken relationship.
My. Mother. Broke. My. Heart.
And I am happy she did.
No, this isn't some platitude served up to make me more congenial. Her breaking my heart (repeatedly) has been a catalyst for change within and around me. As the saying goes: Hurt people, hurt people. It was inevitable.
In fact, I feel like a huge factor in me finding peace is that I can let go and move forward, by forgiving others, once I set my heart and mind to do so. And all of the lessons were learned because of my relationship with my mother. The thing that has aided me the most in healing, is that I always have some experience to draw on and allow me to start the path towards forgiveness - and ultimately healing from the situations.
If I can do the heavy lifting and work within the one relationship where you are SUPPOSED to receive unconditional love and support, without having that as the reward for existing, then any relationship should be a lot easier.
So before I dive into my personal story and what I have garnered from this tumultuous and frustrating relationship, I would like to talk about The Mother Wound. I think with the rise in the Divine Feminine, it is the other side of the coin that needs to be addressed and discussed. The shadow, so to speak.
I found this beneficial and well-written blog and felt the need to share. Check it out! I included a few excerpts that I felt would be helpful.
From Womb of Light:
What exactly is the mother wound?
The mother wound is the pain of being a woman passed down through generations of women in patriarchal cultures. And it includes the dysfunctional coping mechanisms that are used to process that pain.
The mother wound includes the pain of:
Comparison: not feeling good enough
Shame: consistent background sense that there is something wrong with you
Attenuation: Feeling you must remain small in order to be loved
Persistent sense of guilt for wanting more than you currently have
The mother wound can manifest as:
Not being your full self because you don’t want to threaten others
Having a high tolerance for poor treatment from others
Feeling competitive with other women
Being overly rigid and dominating
Conditions such as eating disorders, depression and addictions
I have always had a tumultuous relationship with my mother. We are opposites in many ways, but she is my mother and in my culture and upbringing, you are sort of forced to believe that you have an emotional responsibility to and for your parents. For those who do not know me, I am Mexican American - first generation. My parents are old school Mexican. I was also raised in a very strict Catholic upbringing. In both of those instances and with this strong culturual reference, there is a reverence given to parents and our elders.
Unfortunately, this has only served to confuse me further as I have worked on healing myself. I feel constantly at odds with my sense of duty to my relationship with my mother and the relationship to myself. There is a sense of invisibility and taboo manner in which to even want to speak up on these feelings and issues. I often feel that pain ebb into my life on Mother's Day, holidays, and milestones I have celebrated as a mother myself. There is always a dark cloud that lingers and resounds in my head - am I fucking this up?
Becoming a mother (without any expectation or desire) has been a huge motivation in working through my previous emotional injuries so that I could parent to the best of my ability. It has taken a lot of therapy, a lot of emotional and spiritual work, and also utilizing various modalities to come to this point in my life and in my addressing my mother wound.
I became a mother 2 weeks before my 20th birthday. I had been estranged from my mother since my 18th birthday. She had kicked me out mere weeks before I was leaving to join the Army. Then, I found out that she had been taking out credit and business loans under my name and social security number without my permission and had accumulated a lot of debt without any intention of paying it back. I was sued and served by the State of Texas OAG on my 2nd Mother's Day - hilarious at how life plays with one, right?
My pregnancy had been extremely trying and taxing on me. I was naively married to someone who brought out the worst in me (and me in him). I was in the military, unhappy, and scared. I never had expected to be able to have children due to medical issues. I also, due to my mentally, physically, and emotionally abusive relationship with my mother, felt that I would be ill-equipped to raise any child. I was terrified of it, actually.
The first few months were lonely and hard. My child was ill, and in my inexperience and lack of support, it took me a long time to trust my own instincts.
I constantly felt the failure and frustration from not being able to be a woman who became a mother easily. Who couldn't breastfeed. Who had to work. Who was tired and cranky. Who. Just. Couldn't. Mom. Good. Enough.
Eventually, we got the hang of one another. Looking back (almost 15 years ago!), I am glad I was stubborn enough to keep trying - even when I kept feeling like I was failing. I was in therapy from the time my child was 4 months old until they were 4 years old. I have no shame about it. I make no bashful commentary about it. My therapists helped me when I couldn't help my damn self.
I learned healthy coping mechanisms. I learned to not rely on external influences for my personal and internal peace. I was able to explore the complicated and varied relationship I have with my mother. I also was able to become a mother again a few short years later, and that has allowed me to grow even more in my healing.
So am I healthy and healed and better?
BUT... I am still healing. I am still learning. I am still working it.
Many years, indiscretions, abuses, and things have come between us. It won't be easy to solve, and it will take work from both ends. I have often had to walk away from the relationship for my own mental peace. With these two polarizing aspects going on within me (my responsibility to be a good daughter and our constantly damaged relationship), I have had a lot of practice in the art of forgiving.
I have forgiven her time and again FOR ME. Not because she "deserved" or "earned" it, but because the pain she had caused me was disrupting my emotional and mental state. The relationship has been a double sided sword, but I am grateful for the education and practice it has afforded me in learning to forgive when it seems impossible.
In doing the deep dive of exploring my troubles with my mother and our precarious relationship, I have discovered facets within myself that needed to be gleaned from this experience with her. We had a head to head in September and I spoke my peace about the situation, but her grievances were not enough for me to feel that it is healthy for us to carry on a relationship. I have also chosen to sever my emotional ties to her at the end of 2017, due to more of her agonizingly hurtful rejections of me, our relationship, and where I am on my journey.
Sometimes healing requires removal. It doesn't mean that you can't work through it, it just means that in order to truly have a chance at healing properly, you have to excise what is no longer thriving. Unfortunately for me at this time in my life, I have decided that it is best to not continue involving her in my current life.
Nothing has felt harder and more right. My Mother Wound runs deep. It won't heal on it's own, but I am honoring where I am on my journey. And that is all we can do or ask for, as we grow through it.
"Healing is sometimes ugly and hard and dark and scary. It is sometimes vulnerability and other times impenetrable strength. What you garner from your soul and your path is yours."
It doesn't need to make sense to anyone else. I have to remind myself often of this. My mother is a woman in her own right. I respect her. I understand her hurt became my hurt in some weird cycle of passing it on and on through the generations like a virus, transmitted through our bonds and responsibilities as mother and daughter.
These hard lessons have given me a template of sorts of what not to do with my own children and what mothering means overall. I know amongst my friends, I tend to be the "mom". It is the role I gravitate towards. I even "mother" my childrens' friends! The lack of mom in my life, may have made me want to draw it in by becoming it.
Does it pain me to not be in a better place, as I champion to be a leader of my own Divine Feminine, as I work on being a real multi-faceted woman and mother, who thrives in spite of the challenges that have brought me down previously? Of course it does. I feel inside out. I feel like a piece of me will never have true peace, until I have some answers that only my mother can provide me.
And I am TOTALLY okay with being embarrassingly human. Because it is what I am here to do and be. Incarnated into this existence. To help my soul grow.
And my relationship with her is a part of that process. My soul and her soul hooked up to bring out the best and the most of our lifetime together.
I may not always appreciate the hard ways she has taught me love and I know that there are times where I wish it all so much better and different. But it isn't. And won't be.
BUT.... I can break the cycle. I can be MORE. And I can fill my heart with the love I had reserved for her and my own mothering. I am mothering myself daily. I am treating myself the way I deserve to. I am working through the darkness and the pain and seeing the beauty in it.
To be living this incarnation with all of the challenges meant to grow me. I continuously remember: Everything is lovingly curated for me. And I know she may love me, too - maybe not in the way I know how, but maybe that is the best she has to give. And I thank you for loving me so. It was exactly what I needed.
I see the magic in the heartbreak. I value the painful work this lifetime.
So, as I sit here and look at my own journey and how I am healing; you can, too. Give yourself permission. Work through it when you're going through it. Don't let fear or even a lack of support keep you from diving into your wound. Learn to love and mother yourself, if necessary. Break your cycle of pain and invisibility.
You are who you are as you are for a reason. Don't shrink. Don't shift for someone else's comfort. You are here to shine your beautiful heart, so please do. Sing your own song. Dance to your own rhythm. Don't settle for less than what you deserve. And definitely don't hide any part of you that brings life to the world.
Share it all, babes.
Unapologetically and authentically.
I share my heart, my journey, my struggles not because I am afraid to be more - but because I know I will be more. I rise and rise. I stumble along the way and it's totally okay. I am here to shine. I am here to love. And I have an obligation to love this human I am at this moment and the human I have been in the last 34 years.
Please know and love yourself for all of the wounds you carry. For every part of you that has carried on a legacy of pain via your Mother. You are your own person. You are glorious. You always have been. I can't wait to see what else you do.
I love you. Always. All ways.