Motherless mothers – finding our way back to wholeness and love
Whether we had a mother or not, many know that feeling of not being held or loved with a quality of real care.
Can this and other psychological impacts of motherlessness be healed? And if so how, and what supports motherless women to change the underlying hurts of this in our own lives, for ourselves, and for all others, including any children we may have?
Women base many ideas about themselves as a woman and how they will parent, on their own experience of being mothered.
The impact of supportive mothering can affect resilience and confidence throughout life, so it is understandable that motherlessness or poor mothering can be a source of enormous grief, hurt and emptiness, generating anger, sadness, fear of abandonment, lack of worth, dependence and neediness. [i] Yet are these impacts inevitable and permanent or can motherless mothers, or those who experienced poor mothering, find their way to wholeness and love - to become mothers themselves?
Although I had felt wounded by my absent mother for decades, the process of healing began simply with letting go of the idea that I needed to get love from anyone other than me, and then beginning to learn how to love and mother myself deeply. I began to examine my self talk, I spoke to myself gently when I needed support, I took the time to notice what I was feeling, I went to bed when I was tired, I made sure I had warm clothes on cool days, I ate foods that would nourish my body.
Most important of all, I gave myself the quality of love that I knew I had wanted from my mother. I found that what matters is the LOVE, and not the source we think it should come from; my own endless self-love is valuable and sustaining and gave me what mothering from others also provides. Similar findings have come from studies of the impact on children who attend day care [ii].
Mothering is not so much about the ‘ideal source’ as it is about the quality of care given and the quality of relationships between people.
For me, in the absence of any of this, I was able to learn as an adult how my relationship and care for myself was the key to having the love I had always sought.
"Learn to love yourself in full and that love will parent your children like no other parenting can."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, pg 474
It sounds too simple to be true, but I am living proof that it works. It is entirely possible to find healing by taking the responsibility to give ourselves the love that may have been unavailable from our mothers or other caregivers.
By establishing a caring, nurturing, accepting, and unconditional relationship with ourselves, we are actually giving ourselves the quality of mothering we were seeking elsewhere.
It is life changing to understand that whether we received nurturing from our mother or not, as adults we can all learn to nurture ourselves. In my experience of raising and nurturing children, showing them how to nurture themselves is an essential foundation of how I parent and support each child to develop their own self-nurturing ability - dispelling the myths, fears and deep seated pain I’d held around motherless mothers being somehow less equipped or capable of mothering and nurturing than anyone else.
The quality of nurturing, not who delivers it, is what defines mothering.
It’s well worth exploring self nurturing within oneself, and seeing what does start to shift when we let go of needing a mother’s love – or any love - to come from another and begin to entertain the possibility that mothering is something we can bring to ourselves in the way we nurture, support, respect, listen to and constantly cherish and parent ourselves. All women – whether they had supportive mothering or not – can mother themselves and their children from this sense of wholeness and inner knowing, discovering that the quality of a mother’s love is always available to us, from within us.
"It is wiser to mother from your innate knowing rather than from the ideals and beliefs that flood your head."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, pg 547