Over the last several weeks I’m been feeling and hearing and thinking about the women who came before me. Their rumbles. Their roars. Their knowing. Their wounds.
I’ve been seeing how the wounding was passed down, generation after generation. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. And always present. These mother-wounds run deep, deep into our ancestors. This wounding didn’t start with our mothers or grandmothers. This wounding started long before, when the world first started to fear our power, our embodied knowing, our innate magic. This wounding started when that fear slowly (or quickly) and insidiously had us turn against each other; against our mothers and our daughters, our sisters and our sisterhood. This wounding started at a time our minds do not consciously remember and our bodies deeply know.
Shame is at the base of these wounds. Feeling shame in who we are and what we do. Who we aren’t and what we don’t do. Shame of how we look or dress. Shame of how much money we make or don’t make. Shame of wanting to be with our children and shame of wanting careers outside the home. Shame of having children and shame of not. Shame of being thin and being curvy. Shame of having a college degree and not. Shame of loving our mothers and shame of hating them. Shame of our existence in this world.
Along with the shame, we have unexpressed grief. Grief of the loved ones who have died and the relationships left unhealed. Grief of the life that could have been. Grief for the life that is.
Often I find our culture so focused on what I consider the light and fluffly and the “at leasts.” I believe in gratitude, and a practice of gratitude, and right alongside our gratitude practice we need to allow our anger and sadness and frustration for the life we have or deeply wanted but don’t have. None of us have perfect lives. When we get stuck in the idea of “at least” (at least I have my health, my family, a roof over my head, etc) and disallow space for the frustrations of not having unlimited resources (time, money, patience or any number of other things), we are stuffing and re-wounding our Self over and over again while continuing pass these wounds down to the next generations.
We need to take time to grieve.
We need to take time to heal.
We need to allow what is to be. To not try and fix it for our Self or for others.
We need to learn to witness, to hear, to let others have and share their experience.
We need to learn to share our stories, the good ones and the ugly ones, to allow our own Self to be witnessed, heard and seen.
We need to stop trying to paint life with a rosy hue, because life isn’t all flowers and sausages. Life is messy and dirty and gross and painfully beautiful. That is an authentic experience of life.
When we start to acknowledge our own shame, when we start to allow our life to be the mess that it is, the painful, heart-breaking, soul-fulfilling mess that it is; when we allow our Self to grieve for the past and the now and the future that will not be; when we see this wounding didn’t start with us or our mothers or even our grandmothers, then… then we can start to heal. Then we can start to feel. Then we can break the patterns and the chains and truly start to do things differently, for our Self and the generations of women to come.
We can heal the generations, forward and back. And it starts with acknowledging the shame we hold within, grieving the hurts and could-have-beens and if-onlys, and seeing our mother-wounds for what they are: another way for us to be disempowered and isolated.
We cannot pretend the past didn’t happened or has no affect us on. We cannot change the facts or the pain of what has already occurred. And we can heal the wounds and pain from that past. We can stop it from being passed down to the next generation.
It is an awesome and amazing and terrifying and beautiful opportunity we each have to heal our wounding. An opportunity, and in my opinion, a responsibility.
Take the next step in this journey. Join your community, come out of isolation and begin healing the generations old wounds.
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