The beliefs we develop about ourselves and life around us arise from our earliest childhood experiences. Our wounding, which we are taught to deny is there because our culture thrives on denial.
Unprocessed pain, unmet and unfelt grief crystallizes into "negative" belief patterns and shame. It contributes to and is easily and steadily fed by our emotionally dysfunctional culture. A culture that is incredibly illiterate in one of the most healing and important aspects of the human experience.
Grief is potent healing energy.
Without it, the unmet, unfelt wounding within us reaches out into the world to find soothing, to find "mother" in order to experience some kind of inner resolution that will lead to peace, safety and goodness; to feel connected to the feminine face of God.
Unprocessed wounds are running the world. They are what has us picking the same relationships over and over again, doubting ourselves, not trusting life, running from one addiction to another, looking for the "one" or hiding from ourselves.
What we see as co-dependence, seeking our wholeness in the external world, is at the root, a symptom of spiritual and emotional disconnection from love itself, also known as trauma.
Anyone with an unMothered heart is left feeling a sense of emptiness that is a profound loss that only gets expressed in the unconscious behaviors of adulthood.
This kind of heart often has a difficult time seeing his/her own innate goodness; an embodied knowing the divine nature of soul that feels connected and a part of the goodness in life (regardless of how much is accomplished).
In search of soul, of a connection to innate goodness and love, the adult with an unMothered heart projects this out onto others and searches for soul, love and ultimately Mother or a higher power in another, in the world or in behaviors and substances.
A good enough mother, according to Winnicott, is a mother is who is attuned enough. She loves her children, she enjoys being a mother and while she has her moments of anger and frustration, she tends to her children, protects them, nourishes them, nurtures them and provides enough of a holding container for their experience to be mirrored back as lovable, workable (through maternal guidance and demonstrating through her own being) and human.
For an infant, Mother is everything. She is, essentially, God and this experience of her is wired into the psychic system in the first seven years of life, before any verbal or meaning making skills have taken effect.
All future thinking, meaning making and belief systems that are formed arise out of an internalized structure of life experience that by then is so far out of conscious, mental awareness but is living there, inside the body.
The body is the home of our consciousness.
She is the ground and home of our soul.
Consumerism is wrapped around everything from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, to the way we are taught to approach our own healing.
If we want to make more money, we must heal our trauma.
If we want more of this or less of that, if we want a different lifestyle, we must heal ourselves.
If we don't have the things we are taught we are supposed to "want" or "have" to match the ill-fated picture of the American Dream, then we haven't done enough healing or "work" on ourselves.
This is the negative mother parenting us through our cultural paradigm in spades.
It's a negative mother who will not let up because she controls us through our internal sense of lack and not enoughness that drives our desire to satisfy what is truly a spiritual hunger for reconnection with the elemental feminine. But instead, we get distracted with trying to construct some picture of "perfection" to the point that we are now attacking our internal psychic life if there are wounds or emotions that do not measure up to what the negative mother (outside world) expects of us.
Healing is not a weapon to be using on ourselves, or each other.
Spirituality a not competition of how perfect and of the light we appear to be.
The weight of a painful childhood can be a lot to bear. Its consequences seep into so much of our lives. It never feels right that the pain we experienced at the hand of another impacts us so deeply and now we must do work of healing, grieving and recovering ourselves so we can thrive.
This is how we internalize this death mother energy, where Athena cursed Medusa for being raped and cast her out into a cave where she was feared for turning others into stone. Her rapist went free. Medusa punished for her trauma.
This happens every day in our inner worlds. We punish ourselves for what has happened in the past. We continue to treat ourselves this way because, especially as children, we learn how to mother ourselves through the way we were treated.
We adapt, becoming more like Athena, safe in the patriarchal world that perpetuates abuse while denying it and gaslighting people, even using spirituality to shame victims of trauma into thinking it was somehow their fault or projection.
Spiritualized truths do not fly in the face of recovering from any kind of trauma. This is not what healing our relationship to our soul is about.
Belief systems develop out of lived experiences of life and the meaning the mind makes of them.
Personality and identity becomes a strategy that is unconsciously developed in order to get one's needs met. This is a very intelligent mechanism of the psyche. As children, it is the only strategy we have that can help us split off from what is overwhelming, intolerable or painful.
Soul loss protects us from feeling more pain.
The psyche builds around this and it serves us in surviving our early life. This is what becomes our path of awakening back to true self when we are adults, when we realize it no longer works to live a life from inside that loss.
Feeling unworthy of love is such an extremely common phenomenon in Western culture where there are a lack of devotional spaces or honoring of the sacred inner sanctum of the human heart. The beliefs that stem from this come as not being worthy of love, feeling disconnected from the rest of life, feeling that it's not okay to be here or to be human, not deserving love all the way. It can trickle all the way down to "I don't matter," which is common and normal if we had a death parent who resented us, envied us, criticized us or otherwise created a lack of safety in our inner and outer world.
The belief that we are not worthy of love is not healed through repeating opposite affirmations that are a lie to the nervous system.
Scarcity is not a mindset but a lack of love.
It is a symptom of the wound of separation that is passed down the mother line. It is the way that the collective wound of patriarchy is transmitted into our bones through thousands of years of building a world idolizing the rational, provable and profitable.
Scarcity is a lack of connection, primarily to the elemental feminine soul, but mostly also it is a disconnection from love and the source of life itself. Nature. The earth. Our natural world we are meant to be a part of.
One of the major symptoms we experience through the influence of the death mother culture is scarcity. A scarcity of internal resources, a scarcity of feeling connected to love, nourishment and trust in the nature of life itself.
It is a symptom of a broken heart.
Spiritual trauma is a huge side effect of all kinds of abuse - physical, mental and emotional. At the heart of trauma, there is a deep rupture to our sacred roots because the sanctity of the human soul is disrespected or ignored. This is at the core of most dehumanizing behavior and practices that live in the heart of capitalism, as well as the death mother and father as rulers of this patriarchy.
For some, this is obvious to pinpoint. There were clear incidents or experiences.
It’s harder to pinpoint when this is the ambiance of the atmosphere we grow up in. These are the kinds of environments we leave and think that everything was fine but encounter challenges in our lives, including feeling that something is missing, feeling stuck all the time, lacking purpose, not trusting one’s own creative genius, chronic self-doubt, difficulty or guilt with thriving, feeling disconnected from Spirit and your own Soul, difficulty trusting life and love in a real, heart-centered, embodied way.
We are bathed in our mother’s womb. The environment in our early years serves this same container for our developing hearts, minds, bodies and soul. These energies shape us and inform our relationship with life and Spirit (our mother is our first experience of God or spirit or source), love, self image, etc.
"The death mother supports an inner and outer patriarchal system that haunts a woman with feelings of failure and worthlessness and oppresses men with feelings of depression and dissatisfaction with their lives (and themselves)." Massimilla Harris (parenthesis added by me)
In order for us to truly heal our relationship with the masculine energy that lives within us and find balance in the world, regardless of gender, we must tend to the death mother. The internalized death mother archetype we carry is a result of living in a patriarchal culture where she is transmitted through our conditioning. This complex is made more challenging if our own mother rejected, abandoned, feared, envied or disliked us because of her own wounding, not wanting to have a child or environmental circumstances. To a child, when s/he perceives the energetic rejection and dislike of mother, it feels like death and this archetype begins to weave its way into the cells of the body, emotions, consciousness and relationship with a higher power that is life.
Athena was the daughter of Zeus. Born out his head and a true daughter of the patriarch, she did not have a mother. She was revered and celebrated for her qualities associated with being successful in a patriarchal world. It's no accident that she is the Goddess of warfare and strategy, math, law and justice, civilization, courage and skill. She honed the qualities most celebrated in her society. But, not having a mother she was also deeply cut off from her deeply feminine nature. She, as Joseph Campbell points out, is also a symbol of the way the patriarchal culture has assimilated the Goddess.
Peace of mind will come from calling your heart home.
The inner nourishment we seek via the purest of inner freedom It will come when we stop enslaving the heart to the mind; using the mind as the body's task master and the primary source of our conscious focus.
The body is the container of the subconscious mind.
The mind constantly repeats what the heart has not released.
Fear, scarcity and negative thoughts will be soothed and transformed in the most miraculous way when we recognize they are reactions to flags being sent from the body, the subconscious, so we will pay attention to our hearts. These flags are the inner self-fragments vying for your loving attention, seeking a mother who will finally offer them what they need so that the wounds, the stuck emotional energy, the tension patterns can release and you can finally be free.
When we are born, our bodies are tender, undefended and deeply open in the most innocent and visceral way.
A baby’s first emotion is grief; a wailing for leaving its symbiotic union with the mother and entering a world filled with open spaces, objects, people, sensations and experience for which it must rely on others to keep it safe and alive.
It is our body that feels this wound of separation the most profoundly, a body designed to be relaxed and open to the flow of life.
All matter of things disrupt this flow upon arrival into this earth school. Many things, subtle and not so subtle, happen that start to harden the body, create patterns of tension and defense needed for survival. These patterns can become rigid over time.
No matter how unalterable our divine consciousness may be, this consciousness is woven into the fabric of our body on every level and every experience we have ever had, good and bad, ancestral and present day life, known and unknown…all of it takes us residence in the body.
The emotions from childhood (and adolescence) we were never able to process become rigid pathways of tension in the shoulders, lower back pain, a stiff spine, a chronic hip tightness, jaw pain, heart palpitations, digestive issues, or an ever present tightness in the chest.