She loved me more than she had ever loved anything before me, she loved me more than she even loved herself.
She worked hard to give me the life she thought I needed, and no one can deny that my mother did her very best on her maiden voyage into motherhood, with an ever emerging, ever questioning daughter, who would challenge her every move.
Weeks after giving birth, back to work she went. Off to day-care I went, but that was the nature of nurture in a household with two incomes.
But maybe if she just worked hard enough, I could have everything she’d dreamed for herself, but never manifested into her reality; maybe I could have the fairy-tale life that was played out in the stories of princesses.
Maybe if she just worked a few extra hours a week, she would have a few extra dollars to buy me all the plastic toys and pre-school fashion that I or she could dream of.
Her hard work translated into long days away from home, and away from me. When we were all together, it was time for her to unwind with a glass or two or three of chardonnay. And that was the way she coped.
I found myself asking “Am I not good enough for her? Am I so bad that she has to drink to get through her evenings with me? Are her friends more fulfilling than her family?”
As the long days turned into long years, I began to understand the complexity of her life, but I still held onto the pain I felt as a grown child of a parent who worked longer hours and had more glasses of wine than either she or I cared to admit.
I will say, I was no perfect daughter, but I had no guidance towards daughterly perfection. Instead I found ways to cope on my own, for fear that my problems would be too heavy, or too much to share.
As the years passed, she projected her own insecurities onto my emerging spirit.
“Sit up straight…
Suck in your belly…
You are so dramatic..
You don’t really need another slice do you?…
You are not the adult…
Go to your room!”
These shaming words play in my head when I am alone, re-wounding me over and over.
I wonder if her mother said the same words to her?
Punishment for being authentic and real, punishment for accepting the challenges and joys of womanhood. A verbal lashing for choosing to be ME, rather than putting on a pretty mask for the world to appreciate.
I’ve seen the scars on her face, and on her soul. She wears them without knowing that she has been wearing them her whole life. She tries to cover them with makeup and hairspray, but those of us that wear the same scars can see through her concealer.
As I began to heal this wound, I began to have dreams of my own mother as a daughter. In my dream I realize that she is navigating her her scary murky world, just like I am. I come to understand that my expectations of her were un-human.
But she never sat me down to tell me that she was wasn’t Wonder Woman.
I grew up with a distorted view of my own femininity, there is no one person to blame, but my mother did place the patriarchal framework over my eyes, day by day without even know she shaping me to see the world in dollar signs and crash diet fads.
As I step into the nurturing darkness of my own internal struggle, my ego can finally peel back the thick shroud that kept me blind for so long. I can see that the wounds my soul carries around are shadows and translations of my own mother’s wounds. She protected me from herself, as best as she could, but I was still affected by the self-hate paradigm.
How can I love my body, when EVERYONE tells me I look just like her, and I hear all the horrible things she says about her sacred vessel?
How can I trust my own judgement and personal intuition, when she’s always told me I am too dramatic?
What can I do to teach her that by loving herself, she gives me permission to do the same?
As I drift off to sleep after a long journey, I remember that we’re all learning and growing together. I remember that I can honor my unmet expectations while accepting that she did her very best.
In my dreams, I can feel her struggles and they are different then mine, but somehow they are the same. Different colors and different words telling the same story.
The light at the end of this tunnel is a New Moon night sky full of stars. Together, my mother and I will dance in the dark and sow the seeds for a new generation of mothers and daughters. When the moon is full again, we will see the fruit of our generations-long labor.
Her wounds are my wounds, and when I heal my own, I am healing hers too.
I will always wear the scars, but I know that one day these old wounds will no longer cause me to wilt and writhe, rather they will be my catalyst for conjuring transformation with every step that I take.
She loved me more than she ever loved anything else, and she can transform that love into a love for herself. Together we can build a world for mothers and daughters. We can build a world that is safe to explore who we are, rather than wearing pretty masks for the masses to approve of.
Come sit with me Mom, let’s put our egos away and heal these wounds.
Writer, Moon Witch, Carrier of Ancient Womb Wisdom -- Lauren is a Catalyst for Feminine Empowerment, and the Founder of Womb Tree Alchemy. She is an Intuitive Coach and Ritual Facilitator for Women seeking to cultivate a deep connection with their own personal magic through the Cycles of the Moon and the Divine Feminine.