My answer to that is because we do not value the healthy expression of the mother archetype in our culture. We can not be relaxed as mothers in a culture that does not value feminine aspects, especially empathy and gentleness. On that note, fathers struggle, as well. We lack fathers who feel relaxed, proud and like they know what they are doing in their role as mentors. What we do value, or at least we valued too much in the past, is the warrior archetype and the strong patriarch, who does not care about everyone else, but thinks only about his own victories and gaining power.
Thus, when we feel like we’re not doing our best, which archetype is activated in our psyche? Is it the mother? I don’t think so, because a mother would never make you feel bad about yourself, she only makes you feel loved.
Every woman carries the mother archetype in her subconscious, in fact, even men do! The problem with our culture is that we have lost our connection to everything natural, organic and divine. The disbalance between the feminine and the masculine is causing us great difficulties, from problems in our relationships, to problems in our environment.
Therefore, the best advice I could give to mothers is stop trying to be strong and start being gentle. It will not only relax you, but it will also calm down your child. I know that it seems counterproductive, because we were taught, already as little girls, to be strong. And in a highly competitive society, that probably worked for building our careers, but it does not work in relationships. Human connection is about empathy. This is not a guide on how to become a better parent. It’s a reassurance that your feelings as a mother count and can help you be and do better, when you learn to let them go.
What is mother’s love?
A woman in touch with her healthy mother archetype always intuitively chooses what is the best for her child, because she is in tune with all life, therefore she is wise in her choices and strong in her spirit, while remaining gentle and loving in her approach. She has strong boundaries along with strong empathy and in my definition, this is what love is all about.
I dare to believe that love is absolutely the most important thing in the world. Contemporary science has proofs to back this up. The love that a human being receives from his parents is priceless, because it is love that makes him strong enough to face the stress of life, not toughness. Mother’s love will make him emotionally stable, psychologically healthy and empowered to create fulfilling relationships.
In the past, mothers were living in a fear mentality, not in a love mentality. Therefore, not having a healthy mother is not just your individual experience, it is a collective experience many people have faced.
For a long period of our history, life used to be mostly about survival and work. People had to be tough to survive and emotions had to be suppressed. Finding happiness was not a life goal, like we made it to be in present times. We got married for status, not for love. Women were not able to provide for themselves and their role was to give birth and obey the social norms. There were no goddesses in the patriarchy. Mothers were afraid that they would spoil their children, if they allowed them to be vulnerable, emotional, and sensitive.
Later on, feminism enabled women to emancipate, but it still did not provide the rise of gentleness, empathy and connection to nature, which is a healthy aspect of the mother archetype. With feminism, feminine aspects still didn’t rise, as women became more like men - striving for success, trying to prove themselves and operating with their mind. But this culture brought us to the point where we are today; we have destroyed mother nature, we live in constant expectation that we perform our best, we are more stressed than ever, mental illnesses are on the rise and divorce rates are going through the roof.
Nowadays, it is on us, to heal that, to revive the mother archetype from the collective subconscious and to start nurturing this planet along with all life.
What kind of mother does a child need?
Contemporary science has the answers on what kind of upbringing a human being needs, to become a psychologically healthy individual. And it has nothing to do with making children tough by minimizing emotion, as we did in the past. On the contrary, we have to teach them a sense of safety, while experiencing big emotions, instead of suppressing them.
Upbringing practices that stress parent - child relationship, empathy and tuning into the child, as important factors for a healthy development of the human brain, stem from neuroscience. It turns out that empathy helps a child to integrate both parts of the brain and thus facilitates healthy development. It enables emotional intelligence. Holding space for your children’s emotions to come out and then regulating them, gives them a sense of stability and safety and teaches their brain how to later do it on its own. For more information, I suggest reading Daniel Siegel: The Whole Brain Child.
However, nothing really valuable about motherhood can be explained quickly, or understood mentally, it has to be felt. It has to be experienced in the body. Because being a mother is an organic experience. It is something you are, not something you do.
How to be a better mother?
With shadow work, I help women integrate aspects of the mother archetype from their own experiences they had with mother figures in their life.
Healing the mother wound involves regulating and processing dysfunctional dynamics that might have shaped our perception of motherhood.
So many mothers today feel like they do not know what they are doing and are constantly afraid that somebody is just about to expose that. Therefore, I wish to support women in their process of connecting with their bodies, instincts and feminine nature.
Because motherhood is not a set of skills that we can learn in a google search, it is an inner connection to the line of motherhood that we all belong to. The mother archetype is within us, whether we are aware of it or not.
But, only an experience of a healthy Mother can awaken an inner archetypal Mother within us. And this is why every mother deserves a mother! However, when I say mother, I mean a mother with a capital M.
A real, healthy - standing in her instincts, nurtured by the depths of her womb - kind of Mother.
The kind of Mother that makes all pain go away, just by letting you know she is there.
She sings a lullaby along with the stars every night, because she knows the tunes of time and cycles.
She goes to sleep with the snowflakes and is woken up by the summer storms.
No matter the weather, she is always there, always the same, fresh and strong from the rain, illuminated by the sun, she is Mother nature herself.
She is not shallow. Earthquakes are her labor pain.
She is not afraid. Darkness is only a place for rejuvenation.
Can you feel her in your pelvis?
Do you go to places of her sweet milk when you are thirsty?
You don’t have to search for her anymore.
Take a breath with your breasts.
You are her!
I believe that any woman can feel whole and strong by organically embodying her most sophisticated expressions – we are goddesses by nature.
If you wish to be supported and nurtured in your process of embodying the healthy mother archetype, you can read more about my service HERE.