Humanity eternally seeks the mother, and it’s because we are missing key ingredients to our wholeness.
Happy Mothers Day.
Forms of mother
Since the Palaeolithic era, humanity has sought the mother, from temples and tombs to phone calls for uplifting. We are, after all, born from the mother as humans and creatures of Mother Earth.
I am talking about different kinds of mothers: archetype, spiritual, physical, and material. Today, we veer far from motherhood as nourishment as we climb career ladders, seek money status, and live more isolated lives through technology. But the underlying need for mother love is still there.
A member of a support group I was a part of once said, “We chase money as it has replaced the mother as our stability.”
We have replaced the mother as our source of livelihood. We instead think leaders of companies are nourishment. Being rich is. Our partners become our soulmates rather than simply partners. Our social media is how we connect but from a state of safe disconnection. We rely on false food, false medicine, false education, and false governing. While we say we are more advanced than the basic needs of Mother Nature, we continue to emulate it with other sources of power, from ideologies and religions to structures of marriage, work, and social customs.
Why have we done so? And why do we still need the mother?
The death mother
According Toko-pa Turner, author of Belonging:
There is one reason why I strayed from all things female and mother: mine was torture. Abusive to the tenth degree, I was living as her obligation instead of desire. I remember a picture of me when I was maybe six years old. It was a family portrait; Mom and Dad at the back, me and my sister at the front. My sister was young and held by my father. I was in front of my mother, wrapping myself in her dress. The picture appears to be happy until you look at it further. My eyes are yearning for love of some kind. I look lost and forlorn. I remember my mom pushing my hands away from grabbing her dress and getting angry with me. The look on the mother’s face was one of sheer discontent. Staring straight ahead and no smile. My father appeared smiling, but it didn’t reach his eyes. He looked like the man of the family he was supposed to be and revelled in the power of it. I don’t remember what my sister looked like.
This image remains in my mind at the age of 47, as I recall desperately wanting my mother’s love and attention and never getting it unless it was punishment and judgment. This picture captured my life as her child.
To be fair to her, she was in constant trauma herself, being abused by my father and never healing her childhood wounds. I don’t tell this story to shame her but to show my truth.
And so, to this day, I have constantly sought my mother’s love in everything I do, from relationships to friendships, work to self-identity. Everything I did was to get the approval of others. I clung and people-pleasing to the 9nth degree so I could belong somewhere. I chose hobbies and projects that would make me appear successful so I could be admired for being good at something. I found people who were as closed off as my parents were, so it felt normal when they neglected me. I wanted money as money was security in our world. Still is. Still do. My career choices were to serve me material gains and status as someone special. I denied all feminine traits as I deemed them unworthy and shameful; nourishment, self-care, community, power in caretaking, creativity, and wanting to be a mother myself.
Mother was horrible to me and yet I constantly sought its care.
Funny how that works, and most of the harmed societies are the same way. Something powerful was taken away from motherhood when the patriarchy came in and demeaned it to simply a breeder and service status. It’s so much more. Would you look at Mother Earth and declare her a breeder and service provider? Most politics and economics do; mother earth is there to rape her resources for the will of men and her plants and animals bred for their consumption. But Mother Earth is not just that. She is life herself. We would not exist without her. We would not survive without her. Every cell in our body, from our senses to movement, is designed to be with her. Mother Earth has the power to create life and destroy it. Build trillions of different species with their intelligence that works with every other part of nature. Create different climates, elements, and rituals of cycles of life.
The human mother is to work the same way: being the life force that guides future generations—and being the mentor for communal living, leading and teaching societies how to give and receive from mother nature to thrive.
Mother has been ripped away from us. We shun the concept of motherhood while still driving ourselves to get her nourishment. Isn’t it ironic? And sad?
From a historical perspective, I wonder why humanity back in the Paleolithic era did this. Were they seeking something they were missing when they built temples for her? Much of the spiritual worship at that time was of women, whether human women giving birth, animals with the archetype of femininity, or mother nature providing sustenance for living. The female was the Goddess, and it makes sense as the female creates life. They worshipped her until the patriarchal God burned her and took over. I wonder if they were missing something or wanted to show appreciation for what they had to live. I like to think it was the latter.
As the bronze age took over and patriarchy took root, the mother’s admiration of nourishment severely became deficient. Every age, until our present one, seems to have been buried further. And we are getting sicker and sicker. Not just physically sick but mentally and spiritually. Our communities are online. We are so apart from the sensorimotor living on mother earth. We use technology to give us sustenance instead of real-life resources. We are getting more mentally ill, and the amount of pharmaceutical drugs we take is increasing exponentially. We buy fidget spinners to feel something because we don’t dig our toes into the dirt anymore. We suppress our emotions with drugs, work, take out food, fake relationships, and social media because we have no idea how to be with them. All that emotional energy has to go somewhere, and it can either make us self-destruct or start wars.
Perhaps this is why I am so passionate about the deep work of trauma healing. It brings me back to Mother. Not my actual mother; I am no longer in contact with her. But I am finding my internal mother who feeds my inner child. I love Mother Nature and feel nourished in her presence. I am finding my deeply suppressed female fire and power of creation even as a woman with no children. That creation is still there. It guides me to other areas of innovation for future generations, like this blog.
Trauma healing is getting to the root of mother. Mother as mentor. Mother as creator. Mother as nourisher. Mother as leader. Mother as Goddess. Mother as teacher. Mother as builder. Mother has hunter. Mother as protector. Mother as explorer. Mother as student. Mother as caretaker. Mother as storyteller. Mother as lover. Mother as healer. Mother as medicine. Mother as life.
Stay tuned for my Return to Matriarchy Series if you want to read more. I discuss the collaboration of healing trauma and restoring divine female as the key to bringing society back to health.
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