I now what you are thinking. But stay with me a while as I explain. The truth is there are more women who believe themselves to be failures in some way shape or form than there are women who believe that as they are, they are already enough. And it is this belief, like flu, that is pandemic, yet no one talks about it openly. We talk about feminism, we talk about #metoo, we talk about the wrongs men in power or positions of authority have perpetrated upon women; but what we don’t talk about are the wounds we inherit from our mothers. And until we have this conversation and start on the road to healing this wound, the empowerment of women will remain just beyond the grasp of untold numbers.
So deeply attached are we to this hidden pain that we have been paying for it for years. Billions of pounds and dollars are made every year from the insecurity, competitiveness, smallness, shame and humiliation that women feel. Advertising agencies and news corporations hire psychologists to help them generate the advertising and marketing to acutely hone in on this aspect of humanness particular to women.
What is the Mother wound?
Years of patriarchy have left generation after generation of women living consciously and unconsciously with the trauma of the systemic suppression of women and the wound that is left, which presents as the unhealthy patterns and behaviours women adopt to cope with the pain.
How does the wound present?
Comparison: This is something we are all familiar with, to a greater or lesser degree. When we compare ourselves to others we are reinforcing a misguided belief that who we are, as we are, is not enough.
Shame: That persistent background chatter. Some call it the inner critic that reminds you that there is probably, almost, maybe, definitely, something wrong with you.
Minimisation: Denying one’s own importance or significance in order to be loved. Playing small.
Guilt: This is a natural part of the human experience. Women are far more inclined to feel guilty for wanting more from life.
What are the symptoms of the mother wound?
Diminishing your talents and abilities to make others feel comfortable
Accepting poor treatment from others
Feeling competitive with other women
Depression (rage towards self)
Low Self Worth
Your “No” is not heard or acknowledged by others
People ignore you or speak over you
Being fixed, domineering.
Mothers pass on to their daughters their own feelings of low self worth around being a woman, the feeling of being less than, insecure about weight, height, looks, hair, intelligence and so the list goes on. The daughter grows up wanting her mother’s approval, she internalises the belief that to be like her mother is the best way to make her mother happy and so the daughter denies herself a life of her own fulfilment, reaching her full potential. To reach her own full potential – to exceed her mother – carries the risk that her mother would perceive that as a rejection of her as a mother. Daughters are very loyal to their mothers. Loyalty is related to our sense of belonging – our sense of belonging is related to our survival. And so women will carry the limiting beliefs of their mother rather than risk not belonging to the tribe into which she was born. Even if the daughter were to live a life seemingly separate from her mother, the inherited patterns remain. Physical separation does not bring an end to emotional bonds, to the invisible thread that binds us to those we love deeply.
The danger of living your full potential.
For many women their deepest fear is that to live their full potential is to risk awakening their own Mother’s rage. The sacrifices a mother makes, the parts of herself, her life she gave up as part of her own mother wound, prompt the daughters compassion towards her mother, and so she too learns to play small, forget the past, bury it. However, the law of the past is like the law of problems, neither will go away until we lovingly make a resolution with them. The past and its problems show up as the fears, doubts, obstacles and challenges you come across every day. The relationship you have with your mother impacts everything, most significantly it impacts the relationship you have with yourself. If you bury it you have no idea what gems about yourself, what truths and potential you have buried along with it, you lose something vital, essential to living a happy successful joyful life in both your professional and personal world. All our worlds are inextricably linked. There is no separation between what happens in your professional life and what happens in your personal life. Just because you can’t see it, it does not mean that each is not affecting the other.
What are the benefits of being an empowered woman?
To be an empowered woman requires looking at your relationship with your mother and in doing so you allow yourself to become a fully-fledged woman rather than a lost little girl in a woman’s body. To be an empowered woman requires you to discover and explore what your own beliefs, thoughts and values are, separate from your mothers. Once we can enter the process of separating ourselves out from our mothers, we can start to truly connect with walking the path of our personal freedom. The challenges, the obstacles, the fears, doubts and insecurities start to fade away. We become authentic and that authenticity is your true radiance: there is no beauty treatment, detox diet, fitness programme or cosmetic surgery in the world that can match how you will show up for yourself and others when you live from your fully empowered, authentic self.
Other benefits of empowerment include:
You are better able to read your emotions and allow them become a source of wisdom and strength, active rather than reactive
You have clearly defined healthy boundaries
You trust and know that you are capable and competent.
You have greater compassion for yourself and other people
You no longer feel the need to judge or compare yourself to others
Your relationships with others are balanced and healthy
You treat yourself better
Others treat you better
You trust that life will bring you what you need
You feel confident in your own skin, your own body
You are not afraid to excel in life and work
You know that you are enough
“Healing the mother wound is the gateway to your empowerment and freedom; love heals the wound it makes.” – Zita