The pain of being a woman, passed down through generations.
Years ago, in a medicine circle, Mother Gaia came and sat with me. She showed me a vision of myself as a little girl witnessing my mother moving from childhood to teenage years to adulthood. In this vision, I could see that my Mother was just another woman trying to live her life as best she knew how. Compassion filled my heart, and I felt weights drop from my body and disappear. I was releasing wounds, stories, and emotions that were no longer claimed as mine to carry.
With the emerging research in transgenerational trauma and epigenetics, we are - as a society - discovering a whole realm of triggers, feelings, and fears that are stored within the unconscious of our own bodies that may, in fact, not be ours.
How many of you can think of stories or experiences that your mothers have had which you recall hearing as a kid or throughout your teenage years and into your adulthood? As you have grown into your adult self, taking on more responsibility and developing your own lifestyle and habits, have you uncovered certain feelings, triggers, or fears that you cannot necessarily explain or put your finger on?
Have you ever had competitiveness get in between you and another woman you are friends with or work with?
Have you ever had the fear that you are too much or that you may make others feel threatened?
Do you tend to care a lot about how others feel, even more than your own feelings?
Do you have negative self-talk or get in the way of yourself going for what you want?
These highlighted “symptoms” are what researchers are uncovering as manifestations of ‘the Mother Wound’ - the pain of being a woman, which is passed down through generations of women living in Patriarchal cultures. Though it has been coined the mother wound, this should not imply that it is our mother’s fault. The wound was the result of survival mechanisms required to live in the patriarchal culture.
A Moment of Reflection
Take a moment here to ground yourself. Close your eyes or stare off into a daydream, and meet yourself at your power center (the Solar Plexus is what Shamans refer to as your Power Center). Remind yourself that you can and are already keeping yourself safe. I want you to know that you are amazing and you are loved, just as you are.
If you do not identify with a gender binary, I offer both of these paragraphs below as a reflection to how the mother wound may have touched your life.
If you identify as a man, I want to thank you for reading this article and learning more about the Mother Wound. This wound is something that affects not just your Mother, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother, best friend, daughter, and colleague; it is also a wound that has touched your life. I invite you to think about how the Mother Wound may have had an impact on you. And even more, I ask you to deeply consider how you feel about this and if this reflection has had an effect on how you want to act, speak, or see things and people moving forwards.
If you identify as a woman, I want to bless you for your spirit and for living this life as a woman. We are women - what does that mean to you? What are you proud of, what do you love about being a woman? I invite you to hold this gold - your own personal list of things that you love about being a woman - and turn those loves into a psychic adornment (an unseen item in this realm).
I envision myself wearing a thick golden necklace, hung high across my collar bones, centered with a gorgeous oval amulet of Labradorite. When I close my eyes and envision myself adorned with this necklace, I feel a strong connection to my sacred feminine strength and intuition. Put your adornment on now. What do you see and feel? I invite you to wear this, feel into it and connect to the energy it holds for you now and whenever you need it.
The Impact of the Mother Wound
This transferred trauma can often surface as post-traumatic stress symptoms, emotional triggers, and fear-based stories and thought circles. (Transgenerational trauma can be transferred from the first generation of trauma survivors to the second and further generations of offspring of survivors.)
As I have embarked on my own healing journey, I looked at my Mother’s relationship with her Mother and so on and I can follow the wound going back generations; and the same goes for the women in my patriarchal line. I have continued to assess and acknowledge the various coping mechanisms and manifestations that I still carry - both consciously and unconsciously - rooting back to the Mother Wound.
Below are the four common coping mechanisms with various manifestations of the Mother Wound:
Comparison: feeling like you're not enough
Seeing other women as being in competition with you
Being overly rigid and dominating
Shame: feeling like there's something wrong with the way you look, feel, or think.
Having a high tolerance for being treated poorly
Attenuation: feeling like you need to make/or keep yourself small
Feeling like you can't be your full self in fear of threatening others
Emotional care-taking of others (typically in priority/or exchange over your own emotional care)
Guilt: feeling bad for wanting more than you have
Participating in self-sabotaging behaviors
These coping mechanisms and manifestations are at times haunting and can be triggered and come back even after years of remission. However, the awareness and intimacy that I have developed with these shadows have allowed me to see them and hold them at a distance where I get to choose how I want to respond. This process is also a part of the healing.
I continue to heal and grow as I stand into the Mother role myself and invite my daughter into this world with more tools and intuitive knowing than I had at her age. As a woman healing the Mother Wound, my greatest hope is that Audrey will grow up as a present woman who also chooses to lead in example throughout her friend groups, community, and family.
They say healing takes generations, seven to be exact. I believe it, do you? Where are you in your healing journey? What coping mechanisms hit home for you? What are your relationships like with other women? What is your relationship like with your Mother, with yourself?
I want to remind you that it's never too late. Old dogs can learn new tricks, and things don't have to be this way! All it takes is one person in a family to create a ripple effect. It can start today, right here with you, and I can help. Man or Woman, we all have a role to play in this healing, in fact, we are already in play.
So, I ask you again...what kind of Man or Woman do you want to be?
AUTHOR: Natasha Allain is an OSYL Igniter and Mirror of Truth, Modern Medium, Healer, Yogi & Intentional Artisan. Her main purpose is to truly see You. She is here to mirror your Gold and hold space for you to reclaim your Spirit! Together, you will journey inwards and foster a stronger communication line between your body, mind, and Spirit.