yes, you are a good mother
10 PM. I'm in bed. My girls are still rolling around the house. This happens rarely - me, going to bed before kids. But today I'm exhausted. I notice the weather is changing; Eclipses are moving in. I hear the entrance door. It's from my hubby. He soon realizes I'm convincingly in bed. So in his humorous-teasing style, which I really love, he asks:
"What have you done to your mum, girls? Have you completely demolished her?"
No-one answering (typical). So he asks again. Then (predictably), our first force of nature, almost-Mrs.-teenager, arises from her messy fox's den. She states in a clear, sound voice:
"No, we haven't demolished her. She's demolished herself."
As I am in my bed, listening to all this, I must confess I feel heavenly. I'm proud and delighted. I feel like if the Earth would stop turning, it's all ok. Perhaps my parental work has been done. Certainly to a certain degree, in some reasonably good ways.
Growing up in a messed up and dysfunctional families, it leaves us with lots of wounds.
When I say lots, I mean lots.
We have problems with our bodies. We have problems with accessing, regulating, handling our emotions. We don't trust our senses, perception. Often, we think we are making things up. We judge ourselves for "complicating." Even worse, we can feel like we're a burden, a hurt, a danger for other people. We have issues with boundaries; we either lack them, we are putting walls around ourselves, or we exhibit them in unpredictable ways. We don't feel comfortable with ourselves. We underestimate the positive effect we have on other people and collectives, and we overestimate fatal impact our behavior will have on other people, and the world as it is. We are prone to catastrophic thinking and obsessive mental loops, keeping us away from the painful emotional world. For us, it is difficult to make a stand, and if we do make a stand, afterward we need to deal with enormous amounts of guilt and shame, so we often condition ourselves to... well, not make a stand at all. We have hard times delivering the truth to people because we have an experience that our subjective, individual truth was something that made our parents collapsed, ill, sad, angry, murderously violent, envy, or mean to us. This way, we have difficulties to be creative, since creativity is an essential need for self-expression of an empowered self.
When we start the inside job of healing our childhood wounds, we experience some injuries entirely recover, leaving no traces.
But some do leave scars.
Like this one...
In psychoanalytical paradigm, my first school of psychological thought, a relationship a woman has with her child is a repetition, a compensation, or a reactive formation of the unconscious dynamic woman had had with her own mother ("object").
Means, whatever comes up in our relationship with children, and it is intense in any kind, shape or form - either in its presence or its absence, there is a high chance our first relationship with our first "object" of attachment is playing itself out.
Especially for women, relationship with mother is colossal. You must understand that our ego (the way how we think) and our sense of self (the way how we feel) has been initially built through gazillion and gazillion energetic-bodily- emotional exchanges between her and us. Those exchanges form the core perception of ourselves and the world.
Eventually, they massively affect the pain or pleasure we experience to fully manifest ourselves and come out with who we are on the spiritual level.
Some relationships, some mothers, they, without doubt, support their children's spiritual essence. They allow girls to develop their authority. They honor daughters being different from them, unique, as they are capable of sustaining their daughters need to be the same, to be like the mother. They can dance into this paradox, and they can love and cherish the Soul in their daughters.
Many mothers are not capable of this.
When the mother is not able to see her daughter as different, as unique, as an individual - and she also makes no try, no effort to achieve this... life is not easy for a little girl.
When this little girl becomes a mother herself, mothering is predictably source of severe stress. There is little joy, lots of worries. Zero pleasure, lots of private, hidden pain. A woman starts her journey into the motherhood as a "wounded mother." From the beginning, she may doubt her "capacity," ability to mother. She often has serious difficulties to feel the support she has in her motherhood journey from her partner, child's father, as she is so unused to being supported, so cautious to protect her childhood wounds.
Growing up in messed up and dysfunctional families, we experience self-doubt in many areas of our precious lives. One of the most devastating forms of suffering is the self-doubt in parenting.
I think there is nothing more heart-breaking than the flood of unloving thoughts, judging ourselves as parents, regretting and ruminating past events without any mercy, contracting under the heavy burden of guilt and shame: all the things we did wrong, all the opportunities we missed, all the talents and possibilities we fucked up or didn't support in our kids.
Fact is, we all make mistakes. We are un-perfect. As mothers, we will never do everything right, and it is not even necessary that we do. We are humans. However, if we are reflecting on ourselves as mothers, and if we are honest about the influence we have on our kids, this is the first single step away from the narcissism of our parents.
Fact is, if we suffered as kids, we are repeating this in certain form with our kids. We shouldn't foul ourselves that we are not. We have been victimised, but we have also learned some pretty dysfunctional models of behaviour. What differentiates us from our mothers (and fathers) is our ability and willingness to reflect and then act in a different ways. To look deep enough into ourselves and to make real changes in how we attend our kids - which is the most challenging and demanding part! But we will never heal everything. Yet, we can make amends, we can pay our dues, and we can bring significant changes in the lives of our kids, our families, our communities.
We need to land into loving ourselves. We begin, and continue, with unconditional, deep Love. We don't need to forgive anyone. Or forget anything. We just need to meet and accept ourselves exactly as we are.
When I became pregnant with our first daughter, I've started to have grave doubts about being a good-enough mother. Working on my relationship with my own parents, it helped me move from lots of horrible inner pain and crippling doubts onto much more positive, realistic, warm, grounded, and joyful terms of being mama.
I'm happy our eldest daughter is showing signs she knows she is not responsible for me. I'm so glad that she can answer to my husband's good-intentional provocative questions in such a straightforward manner:
"It wasn't me. It was she."
I was never able to do this as a child. I felt responsible for adults in my life. So when weather changes or Eclipses move in, my scars start to move too. They begin to whisper and then shout, the residual emotional truth of my childhood.
As you know, we are design to feel.
Our inner worlds are created through emotional exchange - or lack of it. Emotional energy - or lack of it, is something that rides humanity. It builds how we perceive ourselves and other people, and it defines the way we think and how we act.
The world is fucked up because of a lack of felt sense of self, embodied experience of oneself and other humans beings. It is fucked up because people don't let in - the pain of a child, the pain of trees, animals, the pain of Mother Earth.
The world is fucked up because people don't let in the truth of their own childhood pain. Wombs get numb, hearts turn into stone, and they perceive everything through the lenses of a cold, unloving mind.
So, when the weather changes and season of Eclipses move in, every tear I cry, every unloving thought that I dismiss and heal with lots of effort and self-compassion,... all this is liberating the emotional flow between my daughters and me. It is affecting them. It is changing also my intimate relationship. Work with my clients, the way how I'm writing to you. The collective.
Our emotional work is essential for all of us. You already have my sincere gratitude for every tear you cry, every tiny little part of wound you heal, every scar you attend, nourish,... in all the loving ways your beautiful heart is capable of.
And, let me tell you... you are not a bad mother. You are thinking, you are reflecting. You are doing this demanding job of parenting and inner healing, in your structured, non-linear, chaotic ways.
You are a good mother.
You care and act accordingly. You care and you try hard. Through trials and errors, stormy nights, you are persisting. And I know you won't give up. Because giving up is for quitters... and people who don't really care. Giving up? It's not an option. At least not for witches, warriors, all the Luminous Souls.
** Tina Bozic is a straight-edge lady in her 40's; a psychotherapist, psychologist, and energy worker. With her husband, their daughters and Bowie the cat she is currently living in Slovenia, serving clients worldwide. She's helping women to get radically empowered, radically loved. You too can subscribe to her e-newsletters by clicking right here.