The Mother Wound typically refers to a challenging and painful experience with our Earth mother, caretaker, or mother figure. That’s not always our biological mother, so it’s referencing the main Earthly, physical mother figure from our upbringing.
A difficult experience with this figure has insidious impacts that remain with us throughout our lives. Specifically, mother wounds are a breeding ground for the main cause of all human suffering: SHAME.
Every single dis-ease we will ever experience, whether in our bodies, lives, health, relationships or work, stems from some version of the “there’s something wrong with me story.” That story is the result of shame.
This shame results from the programs, beliefs, and stories we’ve been fed about the feminine energies within and around us.
The subtle creates the gross. Whatever is imprinted on us in our intangible, unseen realms (our emotional, mental, and spiritual or energetic bodies) is creating and recreating our physical experience in life.
Our bodies, health, lives, and relationships are all mirrors of our internal workings. They’re reflecting the shame we are carrying on some level.
When we begin to heal and unravel outdated BS and untruths, we can identify the particular shame stories we carry. This begins the process of transmuting them, which not only sets us free, but frees our lineage. This is ancestral Mother Wound healing.
Mother Wounds result from the separation between ourselves and the Divine Feminine or Spiral Principle, as I like to call it. This excommunication of the goddess and of anything impermanent or spirally about our existence is the root of feminine shame. This separation is also the cause of the plight of the planet today.
Women experience shame, guilt, and fear of their own being-ness, then pass this on to their offspring to continue the cycle.
At its core, The Mother Wound is a symptom of unused or misused and repressed power that manifests as a variety of coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms intend to numb the perceived pain of being a woman. However, alienation from other women and one’s own feminine aspects results.
I also want to make it very clear that I’m not being “heteronormative” or insensitive to gender identifications. We ALL have feminine and masculine dynamics within us, regardless of anatomy or personal identification. I refer to these as spiral and triangle principles, respectively. Although I am speaking to females, it’s important to note that feminine shame inflicts all of us.
How did we get here?
Some flavor of the “there’s something wrong with me” story takes root in a young girl as she internalizes her mother’s pain. This was programmed both through “nature” and “nurture.” Trauma, including shame, lives in our cells and is inherited.
- Eating disorders
- Health challenges, primarily those inflicted the endocrine system (adrenal glands, thyroid, reproductive organs, etc.)
- Feeling jealous or competitive or mistrusting of other females
- Tolerating and settling for disrespectful treatment
- Constantly feeling unworthy
- Saying “sorry” a lot
- Having a lack of confidence
- Fear of success because it’s not fair for you to shine
…and more are all ways The Mother Wound can rear its ugly head.
The ways in which our Earth Mothers hurt or triggered us are the very coping mechanisms they used to continue some illusion of safety and control… And, they’re the ones you may also be incorporating on a subtle level. We can definitely turn into our mothers.
When we resist these ways, they intensify. Our own potential, deep happiness, and health continue to be stifled, just as they were stifled in those women before us.
Why is it so hard to create a healthy relationship?
Not only is shame and guilt at the core of the mother wound, it also is what prevents us from healing. Changing the status quo and breaking away from the paradigm of our lineage feels shameful, wrong, and weird. Social conditioning, on top of any outright projected guilt we may receive from our mothers, instills a sense duty and repayment. We’re reminded of the sacrifices they made and how we owe it to them to be/do/act in accordance with their expectations.
I’m not saying motherhood doesn’t require sacrifice, however, it’s important to note that we’re each sovereign beings making our own choices. The more we internalize the regretful choices made by those around us, the more shame we ingest. We have a strong energetic umbilical cord that is supplying us with a steady dose of shame.
Aside from that latent guilt, why would we not want to leave a way of being that is neither healthy nor functional?
Why is complacency in dis-ease the new family tradition?
It’s safe and familiar. Even if the status quo is completely not serving us, for many, it feels safer to stay in the same dirty pond than to go explore new ones.
In my own case, there was definitely a sense of shame and guilt. It felt like my mother’s pain, and therefore the pain I endured in my childhood as a result of her drinking and drug use, were my fault. I wanted to save her and wondered what I was doing wrong.
I have had my own battles with alcohol and disordered eating. I have placed tireless and ruthless expectations on myself. I have succumbed to the hyper-intellectualism and perfectionism plaguing women at the expense of their own vitality. I have also felt the guilt and shame around energetically uncoupling from my Earth Mother to find my own voice. And despite dancing with this mother wound for quite some time, the familiar tinge of shame lurks: I couldn’t save her before a lifetime of unprocessed grief, trauma, rage, and shame washed down with alcohol took her last September.
The real way to express love, gratitude and loyalty towards our lineage? Follow Truth and Beauty.
I know and feel in my bones – which are the ancient materials that have housed the spirits of my lineage and those before me – that this is the way. This is, in fact, what they wanted for themselves and for us. They were trapped in their own delusions, perceptions, and trauma to allow themselves to have it.
The only duty we have is continuing the work they actually wanted and allowing the lineage to rise.
Loyalty is not continuing the same dysfunction. They don’t want that for us and they really didn’t want it for themselves. They don’t want us to be stuck in the same pain, same struggles, same addictions, same sicknesses, and to wear the same armors. They want us to rise and embody our divinity and know Beauty.
How do we begin to heal?
- We must first recognize the feminine shame we’re carrying. Often, we’re shameful about the shame we carry. That shame cycle prevents us from accepting it. Without acknowledgement and acceptance, surrendering to consciously and clearly move forward can’t take place.
- We should then spend time with our own flavor of shame. How does our particular flavor of shame how up in our lives, in our bodies? Where does it come from? How do you really feel about the feminine or spiral principle? How do you really feel about women, your body, your emotions, anything that’s unpredictable and ever-changing? Get very curious about your own shame and befriend it. It’s truly the root of all dis-ease and dysfunction.
- We must see our Earth Mothers as humans – just like us. They aren’t a representation of the Divine Mother or all women. They are or were just humans like us with wounds, shame, traumas, stories, and unprocessed emotions. Stop the lineage of blame and guilt and unprocessed trauma. Choose to embody something different.
- In releasing them of the burden of representing the Divine Mother, we begin to see them through compassionate eyes and free them and ourselves.
- Practice kindness and compassion and love towards yourself; develop a self-care menu that nourishes your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies.
- Embodiment practices to feel into the shame, pain and confusion you possess; allow yourself to grieve, access your inner child and allow her to vent, rage, cry, scream, and feel. Embodiment practices to feel into the pain and confusion you possess; allow yourself to grieve, access your inner child and allow her to vent, rage, cry, scream, and feel. I’m wearing a body in this life on Earth. I’m inhabiting a sacred, ancient, and wise suit that has all the wisdom and answers I could ever need. We’ve been programmed and conditioned to numb out of our bodies and rely on our intellect. The practice of embodiment and intentional, conscious movement is our anchor back to our innate knowing. We are able to access what is living inside us that begs for our attention. These trapped emotions and the energy they suck from our vitality is the root of all dis-ease. By engaging with it and processing it, we increase our health on all levels – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
- Other things you can do are to write her a letter – let it all out – and burn it. Seemingly trivial, the practice helps us access stagnant emotions. Often, we minimize our pain and experiences and by recalling them, we give this pain a voice and a witness.
It’s an ongoing process that requires consistency and a willingness to be with and reclaim all the pieces of yourself.
As you rise into a place of sovereignty, you are carrying the torch for those who came before you and those who will come after you.
How does the Mother Wound show up in your life?
For additional support in coming into your power as a sensitive being, I invite you to explore the InnerSpark Library. This collection of self-paced virtual classes is intentionally created for the sensitive, intuitive, empath ready to embody their magic and thrive.
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Devon Ray Battaglia, MS, NC, RYT
I am a mentor and catalyst for sensitive, intuitive, empathic beings who want to create a life of authentic purpose and joy out of their challenges and traumas.
Through empowering sensitive souls to remember how to trust their bodies, align with Nature and seasonal and cosmic flow, and leverage their subtle energies, they live their soul’s sacred purpose and their sensitivity is honored as a superpower and divine gift, rather than something to “fix.”
My greatest passion is activating the Sensitive Soul so they may rise into their Revolutionary self and offer their authentic gifts and sacred activism to the world.
My work is a magical blend of the grounded and tangible with the esoteric and energetic. My diverse background is a reflection of my diverse experiences and devotion to the sacred spiral essence of life and the sensitive soul’s vital role in this time on the planet.
My journey has led me to many magical places including earning a master’s degree in Nutrition & Integrative Health and exploring a wide variety of holistic and ancient, esoteric modalities and resources I use with my beloved clients including, but not limited to, Flower Essence Therapy, herbalism, yoga, meditation, energy + intuitive healing, shadow work, ancestral healing, embodiment rituals, and so much more.