Heal Your Inner Mother to Have a Soul-Filled Life.
Marion Woodman describes unconscious mothering as the kind of mothering that lacks attunement, not hearing or seeing, caretaking the mother, denial, neglectful, resentful, controlling, non-feeling, indirect, cold, critical, reactionary and chaotic.
If we have had this kind of mother, it is the way that we end up mothering ourselves, especially in our deep, inner life.
Notice, do you tend to not really see or hear yourself, do you care take others rather than yourself, do you deny your truth, neglect your self-care, resent your needs, try to control others or try to get rid of, deny or criticize your feelings, body or where you are in your life? Do you seek substances as a way to self-care or deal with difficult experiences?
We can lack the capacity to stay close to ourselves because attunement and knowing our basic emotions is a skill we receive through the caretaking and relational mirroring we experienced.
Relating to our emotions and needs in a basic, loving way requires being in the body in order to feel, sense and know. And, it is hard to feel loving towards our basic human experience if our basic human experience of who we are as unique souls is not safe.
Our body is the home of our soul. Our mother is our first container of our soul life.
Our addictions often take the place of deep attunement. Our inner mother takes over with trying to kill off the experience, to get rid of the neediness or the pain because of what it means or how uncomfortable truth being communicated from our inner world feels.
We end up punishing ourselves for the wounds we carry around, and this, I believe, is the root of so much hunger in the world that feeds on this mass consumption for things, resources, control, wealth and power that is now killing the planet.
Our magic is often tied up in these wounds and we can not only punish our wounds but our magic, wisdom, knowing, intuition, value, worth and genius as well.
I grew up translating and being a kind of cultural advocate for my family, who immigrated here from Hungary before I was born.
They relied on me for everything, which turned me into a parentified child. I translated, advocated for them, and I also kept telling them the things about our family that were not working, how we needed to get outside help for the mental illness that was taking deep root in my family system. They ignored me. I started to think I was crazy. I started to check out, even as a kid.
As a child, this sharing of what I was seeing in the family, the dynamics and suffering, was innocent and came from a place of love. It was also a way that I was trying to care take my family so that I could get the love I needed.
Later, I realized it is also how my soul loves, from shining a light on what and where we need to love more. And, this way of loving can make people very uncomfortable. This is the same place my work, my writing, and the support I offer my clients comes from.
I also suffered abuse from every single member of my family while they relied on me to help them navigate in the world.
My magic became a burden. My gifts became a burden. It all got wrapped up together and I’d navigate my way straight into the exact same scenarios over and over again where I had something to provide people but I was treated very similarly to my family. This is what I thought life was for a long time.
It’s also how I treated myself. I drowned my knowing in drink. I drowned out the visions, the downloads, the instincts, the wisdom, and performed a version of it in order to survive in the world. I dumbed myself down when I needed to, turned into someone else when I needed to, and in drinking.
As I healed, I spent a lot of time in nature and realized how much I had been medicating a broken relationship with a spiritual source of love with not only alcohol but also spirituality and working on myself, which was an addiction in itself. I had wrapped my gifts up with my wounding, and believed all of it was wrong when what I needed was to grieve and pull the pain out of my light.
The ways we are our own negative mother are infinite and vast. The webs we have woven to avoid the in-between spaces where we can heal ourselves are so intricate we can trick ourselves into thinking we are healing when we are only following a trail of consuming more and more things hoping something will fill the hole where our soul belongs.
Healing our inner mother is essential to the path of self-love and a prosperous life. And a healthy planet. And a happy heart. And a soul-filled life. And a sense of safety and well-being in the world.
And a feeling of satisfaction in enjoying our magic, gifts and being able to serve the world not out of fear, or needing validation, to survive, make money or to perform, but out of the soul’s delight that this is what I get to do here with my one wild and precious life.
Dr. Nandi Hetenyi is a psychospiritual healer, soul mentor and writer. She has carved out her own path based on 20+ years of clinical experience and an equal amount of time studying and practicing Buddhism, yoga, meditation, shamanic healing, ritual and energy healing. After recovering herself from addiction and experiencing an awakening to her soul, she fused her knowledge of psychology and trauma with both her studied and lived experience of shamanic and Buddhist healing modalities, creating an innovative approach to healing the soul wound at the root of so much addiction, shame and ongoing trauma. You can follow Dr. Hetenyi on Instagram and find out more about her work on her website.