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by Bethany Webster
"Why am I STILL healing this issue??!!!"
"I thought I was done with this!"
“Why aren’t I healed yet?”
"Here it is again! Why can't I just get over this?!"
The attitude of "Am I there yet?" represents a major misunderstanding about the healing journey. That very question comes from the wounding itself. I want to dispel the myth that healing is equivalent to "getting rid" of the wound and all its uncomfortable feelings.
Let's do away with the unrealistic expectation that we should reach a place of “I’m done healing” and never have to look within again. Or the idea that we should be able to do it alone without support. It’s just not possible. This “fast-food” belief towards healing is holding many people back.
The courageous, life-long commitment to healing is not a reason to judge yourself; it's a cause for deep self-respect.
The Mother Wound does not indicate some kind of defect in us. It means you are ripe for a full-scale transformation of deep pain into potent, life-giving wisdom. It is an invitation to step into the full, embodied realization of your goodness, of your true power and potential.
This healing process is done over time, step-by-step, tenderly, gently, and with compassion.
Our patriarchal society judges those who do long-term counseling or coaching as being somehow flawed and maladjusted. I encourage you to refuse to buy into that. The truth is that it usually does take years of inner work to heal inter-generational wounding. I’ve seen myself and others try to do it independently and intermittently and frankly, that is just postponement of doing what is really required.
Longing for relief from pain is natural. It is human. But if we are to truly mature as a species and truly heal, we must change our focus from seeking relief away from our wounds and instead seek relief through the transformation of ourselves through them.
The sooner we see our Mother Wound in this way, the less we postpone our capacity to lead deeply meaningful, soulful lives.
We don't grow and evolve through hating our wounds or judging our pain. We grow through the embrace of our pain and by realizing that no painful emotion can harm us. That deep seeing is only possible through letting go of attachment to being “done” and surrendering to the process. This powerful shift in mindset towards one’s own healing journey is crucial to really harvesting the gifts of a life consciously lived.
"A life that is being truly lived is constantly burning away the veils of illusion, gradually revealing the essence of who we are." ~ Marion Woodman
Yes, you are already loveable, whole, infinitely good and worthy now. But don't just settle for a mental belief or mere affirmation of this. Seek to remove any barrier until you can feel it rattling from within your bones as completely self-evident and without question. When you get serious about healing your Mother Wound, you get serious about actually creating the life that you really want.
Your desire for ongoing healing isn’t pathological, it is a deeply healthy and life-giving impulse.
The tendency to judge ourselves for our wounds is deeply embedded in the culture and our families. We may feel like an outsider or as though there’s something wrong with us. But the truth is that often the people seeking healing and growth are often the most healthy in a dysfunctional family system.
In the old paradigm, getting long-term coaching or therapy was seen as taboo. In the new paradigm, we have to start being really PROUD of our life-long journeys of healing. We must start seeing them for the badge of honor that they truly are.
People ask me “How did you reach such a level of clarity on the Mother Wound issue and speak so universally to a core human experience?” The answer is not that I’ve read hundreds of books, have multiple degrees, have done tons of workshops, etc. Those are all true. But the main reason is because I’ve spent the last 17 years (& counting) of my life in long-term psychotherapy working through layer after layer of my own Mother Wound, coming back to trusting the mysterious timeline and letting go of the need for a completion date. I have invested countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars in my healing process.
The work that I do in writing, coaching, and teaching on the Mother Wound is the result of my own healing journey. I continue to inquire and integrate deeply into each layer. And am I passionately committed to making the path easier for others.
I was a teenager when I started my healing journey. I recall some friends saying when I was well into my twenties, “Why are you still in therapy? Haven’t you worked through it all yet?” At that time I didn’t have many friends who were equally committed to their healing. And that question stung a bit. But I recall hearing “Investing in yourself is the best investment of all.” And that belief has kept me going. The return on the investment has been well beyond my wildest dreams. There is now a stable background of safety at my core that is untouched by the outer world. A lush, sanctuary of safety that was built from within, “brick-by-brick.” With each new layer of "traumatic residue" that appears, there is also a fresh new opportunity to meet it with compassion and to experience myself as more vast than I ever imagined.
Believe me, I’ve struggled in the most painful parts wishing for relief, and the key is that along the way I had professional support, someone to remind me in those moments, that the pain is temporary and that the inner safety I was cultivating would eventually and continually outweigh it.
Specialized support is required to keep the necessary mindset towards our process to truly come out the other side and abundantly harvest the gifts of our ongoing growth.
Let’s de-bunk the belief that healing generational wounds is something one can do in isolation, independently, through reading books or attending occasional workshops. Nor is healing simply being aware of the painful dynamics, but not really taking any committed action toward it. The Mother Wound is a relational wound, meaning we are wounded in a relationship and the deep healing occurs full circle, in relationship. That is why 1-on-1 specialized coaching is really crucial to deeply transforming the wound from a source of pain into a source of wisdom. That is why I offer lifetime community support in all my programs and why the women who invest in long-term, ongoing coaching with me have the most potent and deep transformations.
The Mother Wound takes place in a long-term 1-on-1 relationship (mother & child) in which a child's foundational sense of self is in development.
We can't expect the wound to be healed in a few months or a year or even a few years without any 1-on-1 support. This wounding is so primary that it takes a long-term, specialized healing relationship to truly transform it ---with a highly specialized coach like myself who has already done an enormous amount of work healing her own Mother Wound and continues to do so.
"We may have all the insights, but if we don't incarnate them, they are in vain."~ Marion Woodman
I recall a time years ago, when I briefly considered that perhaps I should be done with therapy. I had done so much already, I thought perhaps I must be completed. It came from a place of scarcity, a place of "I've already gotten so much out of this, I shouldn't need to do more." This belief comes from the wound itself, from the original maternal deprivation, an old belief that "I am a good girl when I don't need mommy."
Then it dawned upon me "Why would I arbitrarily pull out of the best investment of my life? A comparable analogy is if you are investing in a stock that is continuing to produce ever-increasing returns on your investment, why would you close that account? I saw that the more I healed my Mother Wound, and the more I internalized my own inner mother as a result of this healing relationship, everything in my life had been improving exponentially.
I realized that a foundational part of loving myself was continuing to have this specialized support.
I also realized that some of the most successful, forward-thinking, creative people in the world invest in consistent ongoing support to be their very best. It is considered an integral part of their commitment to excellence. And if I'm in the privileged position of being someone who can invest in my own healing, why wouldn't I continue to do so?
It takes time for our nervous systems to heal from patterns of hyper-vigilance and for our brains to re-wire from early trauma. We need flesh-and-blood models of what it means to both feel the pain and embody the embracing of it. We can't do this stuff alone or on a very short timeline. We don't need to put so much pressure on ourselves this way.
Stop making relief from the pain your main goal. Stop pushing yourself to be "done." Start seeing the wound as a portal to your power. When we judge our emotional wounds as personal failure, we’re unconsciously re-wounding our inner child: “When are you going to be done? You’re taking too long! Hurry up! You’re always making a fuss. What’s wrong with you?”
This journey is really about becoming that loving inner mother to yourself, creating that inner container where ALL of you is accepted unconditionally. Where nothing is rejected, where all parts of you are held with love no matter what. Where there is an abundance of love always available to you. A place of “healed” is a fiction. Just like “perfection” isn’t real, it’s a concept. The truth is that healing and evolution is infinite. You will always be going to a new level.
The more you heal the Mother Wound, the more you can consciously embody your own divine nature.
It’s as though the healing process clears us out of all the limiting debris we’ve accumulated in our families and in the culture. And as we clear out, there is more space for us to hold the energy of our true essence, and to embody our identities as divine beings, capable of bringing forward new ideas and solutions to the world that is in a time of great transition.
While this work of healing generational wounds is challenging, overwhelming and lonely at times, it is a privilege to be conscious enough to do this work. So many of our ancestors pushed their pain down and it crippled them in many ways. Now, we are now blessed with the consciousness and the responsibility to heal our wounds.
Travel wholeheartedly on the sacred spiral of healing. Fully engage and trust the process! Get the specialized support you need. As you do, with each turn on the spiral, you will be exalted in a way that no earthly reward could come close to.
© Bethany Webster 2016-2018
Art credits in order of appearance: "Compassion" by Patricia Allingham Carlson, "Into the Garden" by Carolina Echeverria, "Healing the Inner Child" by Ellen Uytewaal, "Self-disclosure" by Nicole Mizoguchi, "Soul Rests" by Nicole Mizoguchi, "The Metamorphasis of Knowing" by Christina DeHoff
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