Most of us have heard about “Daddy Issues.” Society points them out all of the time. But there is another type of pain that bubbles beneath the surface, rarely spoken about; yet, it impacts us in so many ways.
Our Mother Wounds.
As women, we grow up emulating and wanting to be like our mothers. For men, they are the first emulation of femininity and womanhood. When our relationship with our mother is rocky, it affects us for years to come. Whether your parent was unable to relate to you, distant, or even narcissistic, these emotional scars guide us.
Growing up, I felt chronically misunderstood by my mom, who worked long hours and wasn’t emotionally available. She was rarely available, but when she was, she dumped her beliefs and opinions onto me like a 1,000-pound weight.
She had opinions on everything in my life: from academics to relationships, to clothing. As I grew older, everything came under scrutiny with how I raised my children.
Nothing was off limits. Nothing was ever enough to appease her. Nothing felt possible to fix our issues.
As I deepened within my spiritual journey and path, I began to realize that I have a choice in my relationship with her. She never developed or understood boundaries… so I needed to create my own. I love her dearly, and respect her opinion, but creating a boundary for the areas of my life where opinions are welcome and unwelcome changed my relationship with her. From the spiritual perspective, to maintain healthy relationships, we must speak up and advocate for ourselves.
Even though I may always be six years old in her eyes, the more I respect myself and acknowledge how I feel, the better our relationship becomes. Even when it is incontinent or difficult, communicate your needs and boundaries in a way that is compassionate and kind. We had some struggles at Christmas time where childhood memories of abandonment resurfaced. Feeling unimportant and disregarded, I allowed those emotions to wash over me without pushing them away.
Most Mother’s care, but ultimately, they are humans with trauma and quirks. They come from a place of love, but their compassionate ideals aren’t always perfect. If your Mother was physically or emotionally abusive, some of these steps won’t be feasible but challenge yourself to uphold the steps that apply. Naming and letting go of the emotions surrounding your childhood will set you free.
To heal your Mother Wounds, we need to first name and understand where they are and what they come from. Once you’ve acknowledged them, follow along for some tips and strategies to help yourself move past them.
#1. Understand It’s Not You
Once I became a mother myself, I was able to understand my own Mother’s intentions more clearly. She wanted to help me, but her assistance was often misplaced. Mothers are programmed a certain way… and often not able to change even if their ideas are embarrassing, frustrating, and otherwise unwanted.
The first step to healing the relationship and wounds is understanding that you are not alone in this difficult Mother-Child dynamic and that you did nothing wrong. Your Mother is doing her best but gently disconnect from the idea that you have done something wrong. Understand nothing your mother does is a reflection of you.
#2. Speak up for yourself without being hurtful
None of us want to hurt our moms, who have dumped countless hours into us. But to create a better relationship dynamic, you must speak up for yourself when you are uncomfortable or hurting.
The key to doing this is not using derogatory or hurtful language toward your mom but rather sharing how certain situations make you feel or potential triggers. Approach these conversations calmly, having cleared your mind, meditated, or exercised before. Speak in an even, calm tone and avoid playing the blame game.
#3. Create well-defined boundaries
Just like with my mom, I had to draw well-defined boundaries and lines in the sand so that I didn’t harbor resentment. Rather than shoving down your negative feelings about your mother’s behavior, write down a list and communicate a list of boundaries that are clear, non-negotiable, and well-defined.
If a boundary is crossed, utilize some of the strategies in Step #2 to have a conversation and let your mom know the boundary needs to be upheld.
#4. Spend Meaningful
Time Spending quality time with my children are some of the best moments of my life. Whether we are playing cards and laughing or taking a walk together, I cherish every moment I spend with my daughters.
Your Mom is the same way.
Carve time out of your schedule to give her a phone call, drive over to visit, or send her a card to express your gratitude for having her in your life. When you spend this meaningful time, you’ll be able to understand and emphasize with each other. This creates less relationship hiccups overall!
#5. Write Down the Emotion… and Let It Go
Did you get a flash of Elsa singing? Me too!
Holding onto negative emotions poisons our bodies and minds from the inside out. To truly heal and move past your mother wounds, write down the negative emotions you’re feeling and commit to letting the paper move on.
In other words, let it go! Whether you rip up the paper or recycle it, let the emotions move out of you and into the Universe, where they will be properly handled and cared for.
Relationships with our moms are complicated, challenging, and beautiful. Regardless of where you two stand, spend time reflecting this May on your Mother Wounds so that you can move forward and create a beautiful, flourishing relationship with your MOM.
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