It is often said that we should strive to be better than our parents; greater than the generation that came before us. While this is a noble sentiment and honorable goal, it doesn’t touch upon the tremendous difficulty of truly breaking generational cycles, and the work it takes to break harmful patterns and shift belief systems.
Many of us have behaviors, inclinations, and tendencies that stemmed in some way from our mother. Reflecting on these parts of ourselves can be uncomfortable, especially if our mother was absent, inconsistent, neglectful, or abusive. But addressing and processing these wounds is the first step in healing, and can lead you to more profound acceptance and forgiveness. It can also bring you the power to let go and find greater self-love.
Ways to face, feel, and heal these wounds, and inspire transgenerational wellbeing
- Commit to therapy, psychodrama, recovery groups or other healing collectives.
- Establish a care team and support system of people you trust and communicate your intentions to heal these patterns and wounds down the feminine line.
- If your mother (or mother figure) was not present for you, summon your courage and lean into consistency. Try your best to show up every day, not only for yourself, but for your kids, your work, your responsibilities, and your recovery. No matter what, keep showing up.
- If the communication from your mother was withheld, infrequent, or harmful, focus on sharing and expressing yourself in ways that are safe and sustainable to you. Speak up when you would say nothing, ask for help when you would stay silent, and share what and how you are feeling.
- If your mother wasn’t affectionate, warm, and loving in a way you wanted or needed, strive to share love in pure and healthy ways. It can be extremely vulnerable to express love and what is in our heart, but giving and receiving love can radically heal wounds.
Feeling truly loved changes our lives. Set the intention of leading your family with love.
- When you are feeling frustrated with the pressures, responsibilities, and the obligations of parenthood, picture yourself as a little girl standing right in front of you. What attention and care would you have wanted your mother to give you? What do you wish your mother had said to you? What love do you wish your mother would have shown you? Now, give yourself these things.
As you look at your own children (or nieces, nephews, and other young ones) standing right in front of you, focus on giving them the love, attention, and care you should have received. Giving your child a hug can be seen as giving your inner child a hug. They both deserve kindness, respect, support, and love. This is how painful patterns are broken, and this is how we can re-parent ourselves. This is how our hearts heal. It’s okay if tears come.
- If feelings of pain, anger, sadness, and regret come up because of lost time, or resentment towards what you feel you have missed as a mom, remind yourself that your feelings are healthy, normal, and valid, and take a deep breath. Try not to fight these feelings, and instead, seek out some professional support to help you work through them. Allow yourself all of the time and space you need to grieve and heal.
- Remember that harmful coping techniques or hurtful words are a response to pain, and the women in your life who hurt you did it out of their own sadness and despair. It was never about you!
- Remind yourself of the beautiful, yet bittersweet opportunity you have to learn new skills, recovery tools, and strategies to rebuild your life.
Reflect on these questions:
- What are dreams that you have always had? What have you always wanted?
- What are other accomplishments and achievements you wish for yourself?
- What are your commitments to achieve these goals? How can you stay accountable?
- What are your intentions for the feminine line in your family?
- What are the honorable traits in your grandmother, mother, sister, or aunt that you want to see continue? How can you embody and carry them forward?
- What are the characteristics you want to improve upon?
- What are the behaviors and tendencies that you want to work to put an end to?
- How can you recognize when they are happening? What can you do instead?
- What do you want your daughter or son to carry to the next generation in your line?
- How can you help them? What do you appreciate about them?
- How can you hold, love, and continue to support your inner child?
- How can you prioritize re-parenting yourself, and be the mom you needed and deserved?
Be patient. Hold yourself and love yourself as you heal, one wound at a time.
If you or a loved one is ready to address, process, and begin the beautiful work of recovery,
healing yourself, and restoring the feminine line, contact us at New Directions for Women, a
treatment center located in Costa Mesa, CA. Here, you can find restorative residency, supportive
outpatient solutions, and many other therapeutic recovery groups. We know recovery, and
understand the strength and courage it takes to change and transform your life. That is why our
approach is holistic, and we honor and hold your whole family in the process. To take the next
steps, or get more information, contact us today.