The Mother Wound as Initiation into the Divine Feminine

We live in a very fast-paced culture. There’s an atmosphere of pressure to be productive, to show our value through what we do, and to expect instant results from our efforts. This atmosphere of being rushed can be challenging when we are in the process of healing emotional wounds, because the process unfolds on its own timeline. The tendency to “power through”doesn’t work in terms of the healing process, which has an organic intelligence that can’t be forced. It has cycles and spirals of ups and downs. It’s not linear the way our minds would like it to be.

Catrin Welz-Stein

Healing the mother wound takes time. It’s common for people to reach places of intense discomfort and think “What am I doing wrong? I thought I was healing, but I feel miserable! When is the pain going to end?!” It’s at this point that people can get down on themselves, get distracted, or doubt their ability to heal. Yet, it’s at this place when it’s important not to give up, to hang on and get the necessary support to keep going.

It’s important to keep going because the pain does in fact come to an end. Transformation is indeed truly possible. But only if we stay committed. I came so close to giving up so many times, and I’m so glad that I didn’t because I had no idea what gifts and transformations were lying before me. The light at the end of the tunnel was more than I could have imagined during all the years I spent processing my early wounds.

Edouard Antonin Vysekal--A Figure in Shadow,

In this post I’d like to talk about what it’s like to come out the other side of the mother wound and why its so important to stay committed to your healing.

The process that I offer on healing the mother wound supports one to:

  • Gain mental clarity on the “mother gap” (gap between what you needed and what you actually received from your mother) and how you have compensated for this gap through dysfunctional patterns and beliefs.
  • Process the emotions of grief and anger that arise after we have the mental clarity.
  • Fill the mother gap with our own love and love from those around us.
  • Transform the inner mother into an unconditionally supportive one.

I would say the steps above are phase 1 of the healing process, which together work to de-construct the false self. As we complete these steps, and if we stick with the process, there begins a second phase. During this second phase of healing the mother wound we begin to increasingly integrate, embody and realize ourselves as the Divine Feminine, and ultimately as the Self.

Alexei Jawlensky, Blasse Bluten

The problem is that many of us stop short and never make it fully through all the steps of phase 1, so the fruits and gifts aren’t fully tasted. We usually stop short because it gets intensely uncomfortable and we think this means something is wrong. But what we must realize is that it’s necessary for a de-construction to take place within us. By virtue of living in a patriarchal culture, we’ve had to internalize structures and beliefs that are  actually built to prevent our empowerment and self-realization as women. So without this necessary de-construction and the discomfort it brings, no authentic transformation can take place. That’s why I’m so passionate about being brutally honest about the fact that this work takes time AND emphasizing that each woman is worth the time and effort it takes to do this work.

If we follow the process of phase 1 all the way through, this is what we can expect to unfold in phase 2. I call the second phase:  Emergence of the true self, which contains 3 steps.

1. Integration.   

After we have done the work of phase 1 (identified the main issues of our mother wound, have seen how they have caused us pain and have given up the hope of our mother changing, etc.) we can deeply let go and begin the process of building a new structure within us that supports us in flourishing as our authentic self. Time is critical to integration. It is a natural process, much how healing a physical injury has its own timeline. Our psyche is the much the same. We fully integrate when we have long-enough received and sufficiently internalized the love (from the outer and inner) that we never got as children. This creates a fertile inner environment to subsequently expand our ability to receive in a variety of ways, because we now feel worthy and deserving. We finally know ourselves as infinitely good. This foundation is strong and can now support us in receiving and offering higher energies and experiences.

Alison Blickle - Cypress

2. Embodiment.

After we have deeply integrated this love into our being, through the unconditional love of our inner mother and supportive people in our lives, we begin to have the capacity to embody the divine feminine. What this means is that we begin to have the increasing ability to express, in our words, bodies, actions, thoughts, behaviors, dreams, creations, etc. the energies of the divine feminine. Not just intermittently, but more and more sustainably. We begin to operate primarily from a space of Being, rather than with an emphasis on Doing. We no longer experience ourselves as only a child of the Goddess, but we begin to have moments of experiencing ourselves AS the Goddess; to hold these powerful energies and bring them into our lives as women.

You become capable of embodying the Divine Feminine because you’ve filled the gaps within yourself, and by doing so, you increasingly become a container and vessel of higher energies that impact and elevate your environment.

The more we heal the mother wound, the more we can embody these qualities:

  • Ability to take emotional risks; being open and radically honest
  • Willing to be vulnerable and transparent
  • Ability to be imperfect without self-recrimination
  • Owning one’s physical presence with confidence and power
  • Embracing one’s cycles and natural fluctuations without judgment
  • Lightness, laughter and deep trust even when you don’t know
  • A greater capacity to experience pleasure and welcome good things
  • The ability to hold space for others to know their deeper truths
  • The ability to experience abundance as part of your own nature, not something outside of you.
  • The ability to welcome fear and uncomfortable emotions (of yourself and others) into the core of your Being to be transformed into light and higher consciousness.
  • So much more…

Agnieszka Szuba

3. Realization.

If we continue still on the path of healing the mother wound, something truly miraculous and profound may begin to awaken within us. We may become aware of our own presence in a palpable way, perhaps a presence that feels familiar. It may feel like a divine longing, a bliss, a source within us that is always there, and always has been there from the beginning. We may begin to realize it’s power as an overflowing emanation from within, the core true self, the source of all. What results in this stage is knowing. A knowing of your divine nature dawns in your being. 

At the realization stage, we begin to know ourselves as the one divine presence within all forms and to see this presence reflected back to us in everything we see. This is beyond ego and gender identification. And it’s not just an intellectual understanding. It’s deeply knowing your divinity and your humanity as one. It becomes apparent to you; self-evident. So much is released here, and yet there is still so many layers to be uncovered and revealed; but rather than it being a burden of suffering, the unfolding process is pervaded instead by a stable baseline of peace, joy, and love. Even grief and disappointment are relished because they bring us ever deeper into contact with Truth, with the Real, with the One that we are and that lives in all beings. This is the dawning of unity consciousness.

Mark Schaller, Big Orange Nude

It’s a paradox that we arrive at unity consciousness by first committing to fully embracing the pain of our deepest aloneness, which resides in the mother wound, the site of our first heart-wound as a human being. Any place of pain or wounding can serve as a doorway to this higher consciousness. The mother wound is a particularly potent access point because it touches our deepest vulnerabilities as human beings and impacts every area of our lives.

In order to fully arrive at realization of unity consciousness, we have to bring a certain mindset to the healing process. This mindset is quite counter to what is commonly believed in our fast-paced culture, which demands quick fixes, brute force to achieve, and lack of patience with things that inherently take time.

Antonio Fonseca Vázquez-Title- Eve

The mindset that we must espouse to make it to the other side, is a deep letting go: 

  • Surrender attachment to outcome
  • Trust: both the process and yourself
  • Accountability to keep your commitments to yourself
  • Integrity and self-honesty: to not turn away from your deepest pain or your deepest truths
  • Willingness to be uncomfortable for the sake of knowing and embodying that which is true and real.

In order to fully let go, we first need to feel fully supported. We have to first make sure we have a safe environment in our lives to support this work. In my opinion, the most ideal environment for support for this work has three elements simultaneously, however, this is not required. Each of these elements are wonderful on their own, but together they form a powerful base of support that can move you through the mother wound to the other side. You may experience one or more at different times of your journey.

1. Individual, long-term psychotherapy with a therapist that you deeply resonate with. This allows you to go deep into the emotional processing that needs to happen to create meaningful change in early patterns and beliefs. (I strongly recommend this component for women who have experienced trauma or abuse in relation to their mothers. And I think women who have not experienced trauma can greatly benefit from it as well.)

Gabrielle Senza

2. Coaching with a competent, compassionate mentor/life coach who has already been though this process herself. This person supports you to take action on the shifts and insights that happen as you process and heal the mother wound. This is a service I provide through my private coaching.

3. A supportive, stable community that fosters safety, authenticity and transparency. This could be in informal group of friends or it could be a formal community that meets regularly with the intention to support one another’s unfoldment.

Because the mother wound has two levels (personal mother and collective patriarchal inheritance), when we heal, we do so on two levels. We heal our own personal selves, and we also contribute to a massive cultural shift on the collective level.

I’m excited to share this process and greater vision with you to inspire you to see what is possible when we focus on healing the mother wound. And to underscore that when we commit to the healing process, it ceases to become a black hole that we’d rather avoid and ignore. Through our willingness to do the work it takes to heal, the mother wound begins to transform into a door into our greater wholeness and evolution. It is a second birth; a birth into your core, authentic, Divine Self.

(art credits in order of appearance: Catrin Welz-Stein, “A figure in shadow” by Edouard Antonin Vysekal, Alexei Jawlensky Blasse Bluten, “Cypress” by Alison Blickel, Agnieszka Szuba, “Big Orange Nude” by Mark Schaller, “Eve” by Antonion Fonseca, Gabrielle Senza)

© Bethany Webster 2014

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